Blog Hop: Top 10 Spooky Places + A Giveaway

Blog Hop Tour

FOREST OF WHISPERS & CASTLE OF SIGHS

By Jennifer Murgia

October 21 – October 30, 2017

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Top 10 Creepy Destinations !

So this is my little portion of the post where I give you a list of my top ten favourite creepy  destinations. I’m not gonna lie, some of these I looked up for writing this post but the first half were all ones I knew. If they were all ones I knew of prior to writing this post it all would have been abandoned fair grounds and amusement parks so… you know. Though I do promise you you will not reget looking into these creepy destinations either.

 

Abandoned Wizard of Oz Theme Park ( Reopens once a year for ‘Autumn at Oz’ )

– In 1970, two businessmen opened a then-cutting edge theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Nestled in the mountains, the park was originally opened to keep local ski instructors and workers employed in the summer months.

 

 

Wonderland Amusement Park – Beijing, China

Wonderland was an abandoned and never completed amusement park project located in Chenzhuang Village. Originally proposed by the Thailand-based property developer Reignwood Group, and designed to be the largest amusement park in Asia (to have covered 120 acres ), construction stopped in 1998 following financial problems with local officials, while a 2008 attempt to start construction again also failed.

The site featured a number of abandoned structures, including the framework of a castle-like building and medieval-themed outer buildings. Land was reclaimed by local farmers to grow their various crops while the site was abandoned. People have reported when visiting the site that, sometimes, there would still be parking attendants in the site’s parking lot, presumably to tend to onlookers and curious sightseers that came to visit.

Pripyat, Ukraine

In the 1970s, the town of Pripyat, less than 3 kilometers away from the reactor, was constructed for the plant’s personnel. Once a beautiful town by Soviet standards, its 50,000 inhabitants were evacuated 36 hours after the accident. Today a chilling ghost town, its buildings bear witness to the hasty departure. Dolls are scattered on the floors of abandoned kindergartens; children’s cots are littered with shreds of mattresses and pillows; and in a gymnasium, where teens once trained, floors rot and paint peels. Amidst the surrounding decay, decades after the catastrophe, nature reclaims the town: trees grow through broken windows, and grass pushes up through the cracks in dormant roads that once were glorious promenades – but the town remains unfit for human habitation for hundreds of years to come.

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

Called “the perfect place to die,” the Aokigahara forest in Japan has the unfortunate distinction of the world’s second most popular place to take one’s life. (The first is the Golden Gate Bridge.) Since the 1950s, Japanese businessmen have wandered in, and at least 500 of them haven’t wandered out, at an increasing rate of between 10 and 30 per year. Recently these numbers have increased even more, with a record 78 suicides in 2002.  In 2003, that record was beat with a number of 105 bodies discovered.

Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest’s depths. Complicating matters further is the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil.

Due to the vastness of the forest, desperate visitors are unlikely to encounter anyone once inside the so-called “Sea of Trees,” so the police have mounted signs reading “Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” on trees throughout.

Valley of the Mills – Sorento, Italy

the Valley of the Mills in Sorrento, Italy was abandoned in 1866. This mill ground wheat, and a sawmill operated nearby as well. The mill was isolated from the sea by the construction of Tasso Square, which raised the humidity in the area and caused it to be abandoned.

New Bedford Orpheum, U.S.A

The New Bedord Orpheum is an old theater and entertainment building located in Massachusetts in the U.S. It was opened in 1912 and closed in 1959 – since then, it has stored tobacco and served as a supermarket. Now, the Orph Inc. nonprofit is trying to raise money to revitalize the building.

Salto Hotel, Colombia 

The Hotel De Salto opened in 1928 near Tequendema Falls in Colombia to serve tourists who came to marvel at the 157 meter-tall waterfall. It closed down in the early 90s after interest in the waterfall declined. In 2012, however, the site was turned into a museum.

Abandoned Military Hospital in Beelitz, Germany

The large complex was built at the end of the 1800s and helped Adolf Hitler recuperate from a leg wound incurred at the Battle of Somme in 1916. Parts of the complex remain in operation, but most were abandoned after the Soviets withdrew from the hospital in 1995.

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima island in Japan has a wide array of nicknames, including Battelship Island (for its shape) and Ghost Island. From the late 1800s to late 1900s, the island was populated because of the access it granted to undersea coal mines. However, as Japan gradually switched from coal to petroleum, the mines (and the buildings that sprung up around them to support their workers) closed down, leaving an isolated ghost town that reminds some of a ghostly concrete battleship.

The Carlton Villa – New York

The Carleton Villa was built in 1894 for typewriter magnate William Wyckoff as a summer residence and large spot for entertaining. Wycoff’s wife died of a heart attack a month before he moved in, and on his first night in the mansion he suffered a heart attack in his sleep and died. Wycoff’s youngest son inherited the villa after his father’s death, but within a few years the family lost much of their fortune in the Great Depression and the house fell into disrepair.

 

 

About the Author and her Books!

 

shp-author-photo-jennifer-murgia-updated-headshotJennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (ANGEL STAR, LEMNISCATE, THE BLISS), to contemporary gut-punchers (BETWEEN THESE LINES). Her latest, FOREST OF WHISPERS, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. The sequel, CASTLE OF SIGHS, released October 27, 2015 from Spencer Hill Press. She is the co-founder and coordinator of YA FEST and currently resides in Pennsylvania.

Literary Representation:

Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary Agency ~ amanda@macgregorlit.com

 

 

Connect with Jennifer:

Website: www.jennifermurgia.com

Email: jennifermurgia8@gmail.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.murgia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferMurgia

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jennifermurgia/

Goodreads TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18506004-forest-of-whispers

 

About the Books:

FOREST OF WHISPERS

Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago . . . and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.

Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to — one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder — a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.

CASTLE OF SIGHS

Some secrets cannot be kept–in life or in death.

Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another. After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon, and something darker seems to have been awakened, as well.

Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs–shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping she will find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.

And the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew.

 

 

Giveaway!

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Blog Hop Participants:

 

10/21: EAPL Teens – Top Ten Witchy Reads – Graphic #1

            http://eaplteens.blogspot.com

10/22: Heather – Top Ten Creepy YA books – Graphic #2

            http://yankeedragon4booknerds.blogspot.com

10/23: Penny – Top Ten Creepy movies – Graphic #3

            https://www.facebook.com/penny.k.wright?fref=ts  

10/24: Ashley  – Top Ten Creepy YA books – Graphic #4

            https://afterthelastpage.com

10/25: Melissa – Top Ten Creepy Destinations – Graphic #5

            http://melissaseclecticbookshelf.com

10/26: Adriana Gabrielle– Top Ten Creepy Destinations – Graphic #6

           https://adrianagabriellewrites.wordpress.com

10/27: Zachary – Top Ten Creepy YA books – Graphic #7

            http://www.zachsyareviews.com

10/28: Paula – Top Ten Urban Legends – Graphic #8

            http://herbookthoughts.reads-it.com

10/29: Brooke  –  Top Ten Creepy Destinations – Graphic #9

            http://www.thecovercontessa.com

10/30: Kimberly – Top Ten Urban Legends – Graphic #10

            https://booksaremetal.com

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Upcoming….

So life has been insane…but here is whats coming up.

 

A photo by Tim Arterbury. unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI

So long story short, my computer bit the dust. ( *weeps* ) its why I haven’t been blogging as of late because work has been crazy, my boyfriend was visiting AND I haven’t had the chance to get to the library long enough to actually write up a blog post or two…BUT here I am. At the library writing away and I’m popping in to tell you whats coming up.

 

  1. Sometime in this next week I have a blog hop post for Author Jennifer Murgia and her spooky novels! (Just in time for halloween!) – long story short it was supposed to be done today but see reasons above relating to my computer and now I have no graphics for the post either 😦

2. November 2nd – Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall Blog Tour

3. Early November (No set date yet) – I’m REALLY excited to bring a music review of a family friends newly released album. Just need some time to listen to the album and write up a post

4. More life posts! 

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Hey look at that! I FINALLY have a book review on here again. I just read this book this weekend and have been reading through it this month with Briana Morgan and I just finished it this weekend! I had … Continue reading

A Post In Which I Discuss Books and the Stupid Time Hog that Is Grade 12

Hello Readers!

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. High School is a time hog and even more so because this is the last year of school for me. (Got a semester and a half people, then I am freeeee!)

But today I figured I would give you an update on how NaNoWriMo is going for me by joining in on Paperfury’s Beautiful Books Tag. This might get amusing for y’all cause everything is falling apart here…but lets do this anyways. XD

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Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?

You guys, my novel isn’t even turning out. I’ve written 36 words (No. Not 36K just 36..) on the novel I’m supposed to be writing for this thing…I mean I’ve written 3k words on my WIP Aimlessly Wandering I had before…but that’s besides the point.

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Is there anyone skilled in writing Fantasy novels who can give me a hand here??? 😛

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

Well….It kinda doesn’t exist…. >.> But let me share on of the first scenes I wrote in my other novel for NaNoWriMo instead cause why the heck not?

Chapter27

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?

I used to be a hardcore plotter but now I’m kinda a plantser. Except for with my novel I’m supposed to be writing. It refused to cooperate with my usual ways of plotting my novel so I am completely going all pantser here…and we can all see how thats going…

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What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?

Getting fat, of course. (a.k.a eating junk food and thinking for a brief second about how I should probably work out and work this all off…but that thought doesn’t last long.)

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What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?

I honestly don’t know. I often time just find a name or one comes to me and if it sticks, then I use it XD

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

The Middle/End cause throughout the novel you just get to build to story and know the characters more….and also cause beginnings hate me so I love anything that isn’t the beginning of a novel.

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

Well I knew before writing the Fantasy novel I was supposed to be writing for NaNo (I’m writing Aimlessly Wandering instead 😛 ) was Caspia. Once I actually get the story written you all will see why XD

But from Aimlessly Wandering, its definitely my character Claire. I love her.

What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)

For both projects, I honestly haven’t researched much…Soooooo.

Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?

I can do either 😛 Cause I LOVE word wars and going to the NaNoWriMo write ins and such. and I love to share my work. Usually right near the beginning its only with a couple people but still, I love to share my writing. Though there is always part of me that panics that someone will steal it…even if I’m just sending my novel to my best friend to read haha.

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

Honestly my writing habits just consist of trying to write and listening to my novel playlists…other than that everything just varies…Sometimes I eat/drink stuff, sometimes I write in my room, sometimes outside on the porch or in really weird spots in my house…the last time I was at my friends house, I climbed on to the roof with my laptop and wrote so…

So that’s my little quick post thing. I hope to be getting on top of some blogging here and re-arranging how often I post and when to fit with my school work and all that stuff…but I promise I’ll be getting on top of this soon, you guys.

Until Next Time,

Adriana Gabrielle

The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

Hello Readers!

So Last November and the last Camp NaNo I participated in I made these little Survival Kit posts and I was going to just share them again (as I am participating in NaNoWriMo in November and even if I wasn’t a lot of people are…) but I decided, why not combine both and change some stuff around and add tons more gifs therefore making an ultimate survival kit post? I don’t see why I shouldn’t, so lets do this!

I will also warn you. This post contains MANY gifs of Lily Singh a.k.a iiSuperwomanii and I am not apologizing for it at all. (Also, if you don’t know who that is, go to Youtube and find out.)

NaNoPost

When it comes to NaNoWriMo, there are lots of things you are going to need to succeed and a fair amount of prep that needs to happen if you want things to go better-ish than normal.

So, I was gonna say that the first thing you should do is have a basic idea what you are gonna do, but lets be honest and say all plans we have usually go down the drain with an event like this. Which means the first step is:

1.) Actually prepare yourself for all plans to be destroyed and get used to making up new ones on the go.

2.) All your social interaction is cancelled. It’s just you and your computer now…No one else. You and your computer. And food.

Superwoman

NaNoWriMo is your life now you guys.

3.) Prepare for this feeling all through November:

Superwoman

Superwoman

BUT THAT FEELING IS OK! EMBRACE IT PEOPLE!!!

4.) Take Breaks

Being distracted and taking a break is a completely different thing. There is a lot of writing to be done daily, and because of that you should be careful not to get burnt out and take breaks. Just do it in intervals. Like write for twenty minutes then take a break for 5 to 10 minutes. (or whatever you want to do.) Though something to watch out with is this:

4.5) Don’t Use Writers Block as an Excuse to Take a Break.

If you keep using writers block or a slow scene as an excuse to take a break then you aren’t gonna get very far. (Harsh reality of it.)

Writing is hard, things get slow or a little difficult but thats where you have to fight through it. (Worst case if that scene is a huge mess, you can go back and fix it later.) If you’re stuck, have a book of writers prompts or play a song that gets you inspired to write that story or whatever. Just keep going and push through it. Don’t take a break just because it gets hard. The only time it is acceptable to take a long break is when it comes to eating and making food. If you don’t eat you will die….and you can’t write while doing NaNoWriMo! Food is important!!! Which brings me to point 5.

5.) Food and Caffeine are key in NaNoWriMo success.

Food and some sort of caffeinated drink is important. Thats what will keep you going because SLEEP IS OUT OF THE QUESTION HERE. Something that works really well is if I’m wanting food…(food is my favourite okay?) so I bribe myself with a snack or another cup of tea or something of the sort….Its funny how when you’re hungry you write a lot faster if food is the reward… But either way, you get my point. Reward yourself and set little goals for yourself and you will find that that novel will get done!

Superwoman

NOW with all that mental prep out of the way it’s time to get more into the actual things you are gonna need to write your novel and get it done.

6.) Obviously the Essentials

A laptop  or maybe paper and a pen or something…..but no matter what you use to write your novels there is something you need to know. Until your writing for the day is done you QUIT the internet. No internet otherwise you will be very distracted.

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7.) Plot/Outlines or whatever the heck you need.

This step may take more prep for others depending on whether you are a plotter, plantser or pantser.

8.) Music or Writing Podcasts

I often make playlists for my novels and I also listen to K.M Weiland’s  Helping Writers Become Authors Podcast. Seriously the best thing to ever exist you guys.

9.) Fangirl/Fanboy and just have fun writing your characters and your story!

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10.) Ignore Haters

A lot of people think NaNoWriMo is a bad idea (silly Non-Writers, thinking they know better) but just push them aside and say:

Superwoman

and keep writing! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

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So that’s my post! I probably missed a lot of things so if I did feel free to comment and tell me what I missed XD But either way, I hope you enjoyed it!

Until Next Time!

Adriana G.

Watch Me Write || Write All The Things!!

Hello Readers!

So, I know how I said I’m gonna do one post every other week for this post series and that is still the plan but I wanted to just do that reminder cause I’ve done 3 posts 3 weeks in a row cause I threw in that bonus post while I was gone at camp. (Which I was gonna get around to some journalling posts and such which I might still do. I’m trying to decide….Or maybe I will just focus on highlights or funnier things that happened or how my sister sucks at directing me (with the help of a map) or something. We will see what I can get around to doing. Anyways. Enough Rambling.

On with the post!!

WatchMeWrite

Okay so I mentioned in my Plot Bunnies post (where I basically just went on and on about bunnies) how I often sort through the plot bunnies in my head for a while and rarely do any writing. This next step includes writing down ALL the  things.
This next part in the writing/plotting process is where my notebook gets the most love and attention that it will ever get. Ranging from a few days to a few weeks I am carrying my notebook anywhere drawing strange doodles, writing character ideas, plot, setting… Pretty much anything I can come up with.

My advice to you is make sure you have ample pages (or even a notebook solely for that novel) and just write down any idea (big or small) because its better to have some not so great ideas written down or something that could come in handy instead of thinking you won’t need that idea and not writing it down…. Trust me I have made the mistake of not writing things down SO many times. Just write every little detail you come up with even if you don’t use it later its a good idea to have it written down.

Also, a fun little thing I like to do when I’m in this stage is decorate my notebook based on the book. Whether that means creating a collage on the front, drawing on the cover in permanent marker, going all ‘Wreck This Journal’ on it, or making a mock front and back cover, go all out. It’s seriously a lot of fun and a cool way to take your mind off plotting (to give yourself a break) but still focusing on your story.

The reason I take the time to decorate this notebook is to also give my brain a break from direct plotting and cause its fun is that this notebook is gonna be my constant companion for a few months to a few years. I not only plot and draw and doodle in this book but I also will put newspaper clippings or articles inside but I will also outline my novel into the notebook. So seriously go all out.

Decorate your notebook, plot, outline, compile playlists, research and don’t forget:

...Even if you don't use all the things you write.

…Even if you don’t use all the things you write.

Hope you enjoyed the post? What do you do during the plotting stages of your novel? Do you have any specific techniques? I would love to hear from you lovely people!

Until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle

Missed  the first two posts in this series? You can find them here:

Watch me Write || Caging the Bunnies

Watch Me Write || Behind The Scenes Writing Tag

Announcing The ‘Watch Me Write’ Post Series

Hello readers!

Okay….So I kind of lied a bit and said today’s post was a writing post BUT this post is basically an introduction to a series of (so far) 8 posts which I will be posting every other week and I am SUPER excited for this!

 

So, let me explain a little bit about how this post series is gonna go 😀

The Watch Me Write series I’m doing will consist of posts on how I go about all the different steps from taking a novel through the planning stages all the way to editing the final draft.  There will also be a few times where I might have a friend do a guest post on some approaches to writing in certain genres as I will mainly be focusing on writing novels overall and/or the Contemporary genre as that is what I am more used to.

I’m SUPER excited to launch the first post in two weeks (on the Wednesday) and I can’t wait for you all to see the post(s) and I hope you enjoy the whole post series I got going.

 

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Are there any steps in the planning/outlining/writing/editing stages you want me to dig deeper into? Let me know and I’ll be sure to focus on that more in that specific post…or add that topic if I haven’t already!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Adriana G.

The Liebster Award || I’ve Been Nominated! (x3)

Hello Readers!

So it’s the time of year for the Liebster Award and, it seems, I’ve been nominated THREE times! I was nominated by  Natasha @ Memoirs of a Tale Weaver, T.A. Christensen,  and Rachel Day @ Stained Glass Windows and  I couldn’t be more excited! (Thanks T.A Chistensen, Natasha, and Rachel!) So, how this is going to work is that I am going to answer all 33 questions (So I don’t do three posts) but only ask 11 so my nominees don’t get all confused heehee. Simple as that!

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The Rules:

1.) Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog. 2.) Answer the questions given you by said person. 3.) Choose eleven questions of your own. 4.) Nominate eleven more people!  Note: You can find the questions for nominees and the nominees at the bottom of the post 😀

 

My Answers (to Natasha's Questions):

1. Who is your favorite character from your WIP? Why?

I suppose that means I’ll have to pick one of my many WIP’s huh? Well I’ll just got with my More At Home With Strangers cast….So, from that novel I will have to say that Paisley is my favourite. (That was hard to choose. I’m just saying. You all just couldn’t see my struggle and how long it took me to decide.) I love Paisley because she is probably one of the most Quirky Characters I’ve written so far and she’s absolutely brilliant but just doesn’t realize it and those kinds of characters are my favourite.

 

2. Outside of writing, is there anything that you really, passionately love doing?

Oh my goodness….I’m not sure. I have a passion for a lot of things (Dance, Singing, Reading etc.) but I have to say writing is something I passionately love doing….So I will say, not really.

 

3. What made you want to start your blog?

I’m trying to remember to be honest…Oh! I actually wasn’t sure I wanted to be a blogger but when I joined the GTW group about 3 years ago, a bunch of gals were starting a group blog and I did that for a while because I thought it would be fun….My posts really were terrible but I enjoyed it and that really kicked off my love for blogging so yeah…

 

4. What is one of your funniest childhood memories?

Now…Lets see. Do I want to embarass myself with one of these memories or someone else? Hard to decide I just have so many good/funny memories…But one of the ones that still makes me laugh so hard I cry is this: I was sleeping over at my friends house (She was my best friend at the time and we were both about 11 or 12) and we LOVED to listen to these Radio Dramas called ‘Adventures in Odyssey.’ I was so excited because I had brought my IPod and IPod Dock to that sleepover so we could listen to a bunch of the episodes I had on there. (I had the first 500 on my Ipod) So, we got SO excited and we had a blast listening to them the whole sleepover…and, I don’t know what possessed my friend and I to do such a silly thing, at bed time we decided to listen to one of my absolute favourite episodes….And it was a mystery. Probably one of the most frightening episodes I have heard ever (still my favourite one by the way)….Do you see where I’m going with this, you guys?  So we got ready for bed and we were lying there, in the dark, my friend was on her bed then sleeping on the floor was my younger sister, her younger sister and myself. (Our sisters were in between her bed and where I was lying on the floor) and we were listening to this episode and there was this crazy intense scene where this character was supposedly putting a ‘curse’ on someone and that is when….I sneezed. I sneezed so loud that it scared me and I jumped but the best part was my friend letting out this startled yelp and I literally see her shadow bounce off her bed a couple feet into the air while our sisters both scrambled out of the room and ran into the hallway.

It was one of the best things ever and we didn’t sleep for a long time because we couldn’t stop laughing so hard…  BOOM! Funniest childhood memory right there! (A note to my nominees: You better start thinking on something cause I’m asking this question. Too good to pass up.)

 

5. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

*sniffles* *sobs* I had a cat and I miss him soooooo much! (No, he didn’t die.) Let me explain. We were looking into fostering this adorable little kitten named Diesel ( or Deez and my mum and I called him) and we did a trial run with him for two weeks for two reasons. Those reasons were 1.) My sister has/had allergies but she hadn’t had a reaction in years so we wanted to see how she handled having a cat in the house and 2.) My dad isn’t a fan of pets (and if dad isn’t happy with an animal in the house then it could cause problems) So. We had a trial run with this adorable cat and I was the first one to fall for him. We went to pick him up and I was in love.

He was the sweetest cat ever and he had this funny way that he walked (due to a surgery he had when he was just a little baby) and he was just so chill and kinda my favourite but sadly, after a week and a half, my sisters allergies caught up to her and so we couldn’t foster him. I’m still heartbroken and miss my little Deez but we couldn’t have my sister not breathe well for the rest of her life either.  So, now that I have told you about Deez. I shall show you all pictures of him.

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Mah bebe sleeping like the angel he is

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6. Is there one particular trait that most of your characters have? If so, what is that?

I might sound REALLY lazy when answering this question, but I don’t really know…I’m sure there is, but I don’t know what it is…(someone who has read my writing help me out?)

 

7. If you could be any type of mythological creature, what would you be?

Well. I mean it’s already pretty well known amongst most my friends that I’m a mermaid sooooooo….

 

8. You have been handed a blank check by a billionaire. What do you do with it?

I swear I have been thinking on this question for SOOOO long and I really don’t know….

 

9. If you could live absolutely anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Oh boy…Too many options to choose from. I’ve never been there, but I’m gonna say Paris, France. I have heard from many people that it is beautiful there.

 

10. Plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I used to be a plotter but now I would definitely say I’m a plantser for sure. It all just depends on the day really.

 

11. Do you keep a journal/notebook? If so, what is it about?

I have about three main notebooks I have and use on a regular basis. The first one is just a simple notebook that I keep Sermon/Lesson notes from Youth Conferences and Church and stuff and I occasionally write prayer requests in there as well. The second one is a huge 500 page notebook I use for figuring out all my novel stuff. (There are short stories, snippets, character profiles and tons of stuff in there) The other notebook is what I use when people watching and has all my brainstormed story ideas and writing promts. (And it looks like the TARDIS which makes it a million times better.)

 

My Answers (To Rachel's Questions):

1. Favorite color?

My favourite color is Orange. No doubt about it.

 

2. Favorite sound?

Either the sound of thunderstorms/rain OR wolves growling/howling (Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know but it seriously calms me)

 

3. How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for two years as of April 21st, 2015

 

4. Do you have lots of stuff on your bedroom wall? Or do you like it clear?

Well…I have the issue where I share a room with my sister and she wants the walls clear so we compromised and I can use up the wall space around my loft bed (i’m on the bottom bunk) as much as I want….In result, I have SO many things on my bedroom wall. I shall just show you all instead cause it’s easier than explaining.

So, At the head of my bed is the following:

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A drawing I did and a note from my bestie ❤

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This is right underneath the note from my friend and the drawing and this is a one of a kind drawing signed by the artist 🙂 Something I got at Who Fest in Dallas last year

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This is directly above my bed and it consists of encouraging quotes, bible verses, emails from author Laura L.Smith and some other little things like that.

 

Meanwhile, to the right of my bed is this: (My Favourite thing on the whole wall)

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This is just a wall (still adding more pictures as I go) of pictures of my loved ones and reminds me of the fun times I’ve had with those loved ones 😀 ❤

 

 

Oh….and I have a kitty callendar.

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5. What is your comfort food?

I don’t really have a comfort food….but Earl Grey Tea is definitely a comfort beverage for me.

 

6. If your life was being made into a movie, who would you cast to play you?

Probably Billie Piper just so I could be portrayed as someone beautiful…Cause that would be nice.

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She is just gorgeous and I can’t deal.

 

7. What kind of computer do you use?

I actually have two computers who compete for my attention. I do all my school and most of my blogging on a Mac laptop who is kinda slow and a bit of a bum….but then I write my novels on a lovely little Acer laptop named Fred…who is basically my boyfriend (I have no life, okay? Don’t judge me.)

 

8. Summer or Winter?

SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER!!!!

 

9. What fantasy world would you most like to visit?

Narnia. Without a doubt. Narnia all the way.

 

10. One thing that will make you smile?

Getting an encouraging note/text from a friend or family member.

 

11. You are running away, and you are only aloud to take five things with you. What would you take?

Are clothes just an assumed thing I would take?….Hm. Either way, I would take: My Bible, My laptop (and charger, cause who wouldn’t take one?), My Kindle, My Ipod, and A photo album with all the pictures of my friends and family (on my wall) in it.

 

My Answers (To T.A. Christensen's Questions):

1. What’s something weird/unusual that you collect?

Well…I could say I collect earrings…I just LOVE jewelry and I have SO many earrings. All different shapes and sizes and all different levels of bling…*sigh* I have a problem.

 

2. Any interesting childhood nicknames?

My mum called me ‘Dilly’ for the first couple years of my life. That nickname came from the nursery rhyme ‘Lavender’s Blue’ (or whatever its called haha)…It might sound weird but I do miss the nickname.

 

3. What is the strangest piece of information that you know?

I seriously can’t just pick one. I know quite a few strange pieces of information to be honest…

 

4. Sweet, savoury, or both?

Both. Both. Definitely Both. Both is good.

 

5. If you could learn any instrument, what would you learn?

Wayyyy too many to choose from! I literally have a list of about 5 instruments I want to learn. One of them being the Violin 😀 (I’m learning the Ukulele now and I’m not sure if that counted as an answer cause I’m learning to play it now…)

 

6. How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

No freaking idea…

 

7. What is your opinion on instrumental music?

I LOVE Instrumental music. It’s so great!

 

8. If you could change one thing from your childhood, what would you change?

That I still had the nickname Dilly…That is all.

 

9. What is the worst book that you’ve read so far this year?

I sadly have not read much this year but I would have to say that it was this book called ‘Fat Girl’ I was so excited to read it but it was not as it was made out to be at all and I was quite disappointed. :/

 

10. Where is the last place that you would want to travel to?

The last place I would want to travel to? …I’m just not sure there are so many places I want to go so I haven’t had time to think about where I don’t want to go…

 

11. What is the first thing that you notice about a person’s appearance?

Is it weird if I say their eyes and/or smile???…. *sits here feeling weird*

 

My Questions for the Nominees:

1. What is one of your funniest childhood memories?

2. What would you say is one of your hidden talents? (Won’t be hidden for much longer. Mwahahaa)

3. What is your ideal vacation? (Location? What would you do?)

4. I demand a #Shelfie! (Picture of your book shelf/shelves in case you don’t know what it is?)

5. What is one thing you want to do or have done that will/has surprised everyone?

6. Favourite color! Go!

7. Do you have a favourite notebook/journal? What is the contents of this journal/notebook?

8. Who is the author you most want to meet? or have you already met them? (If you have tell us about it!)

9. People watching! (Admit it, writers, you do this.) What are your techniques to appear less stalker-ish while people watching?

10. What is your favourite movie/TV show right now? Why?

11. What are some writing/blogging goals you have for this lovely year of 2015?

 

The Nominees:

Brett @ Brett Michael Orr || Victoria @ Stori Tori’s Blog || Cait @Paperfury || Rae @ The Wallflower || Leah @ Leah K. Oxendine || Aidyl @ Noveltea || Carissa @ Digressions of a Demented Scribe || Laura @ Laura L. Smith || Aimee @ To The Barricade! || Kathrese @ Kathrese McKee || Rachel W. @ Secret Scribblings || and because I’m a cheater I’m adding a 12th blogger! || Justine @ Girl Gone Dreamer ||

Time To Share The Love || Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Wooh! Finally got around to doing a review again. I’m so glad to be back on board with my reading and stuff. My apologies on not posting a review on Monday. We had no internet the whole long weekend and havehad sick little people in my home. But anywho. Moving on.

Today’s review, shall be of one of those three. And as the title says, I will be reviewing Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

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Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

So, I never did get around to reviewing Cinder and I don’t remember enough to actually go back and review it and that’s why I’m picking up with Scarlet (So yeah, don’t go looking for a review of Cinder as that review never happened…)
I LOVED this book! I gave Cinder a 4 star rating as, I liked it but didn’t LOVE it….but this. This book I LOVED TO ITTY BITTY PIECES.

Cait Drews, I shall now give you a virtual high five as you suggested this series to me.

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Now… *cough * *cough *
This is seriously the best series as I love anything Fairytale related….so retellings are totally up my alley. If you know of any other good ones, let me know people!

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The twist to the Red Riding Hood story was FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC! And the twist to the whole wolf as the grandmother element was so creative as well. Basically, I have decided that Marissa Meyer is queen of retellings. So far the first two books have been great 😀 I really liked how Cinder tied into this story as well and we got to see a bunch of the other characters from the first book. I always love it when an author can bring another character in like that and it was flawless and so well done!

Scarlet was such an amazing adventure filled with action and I loved it. Everything felt so real and I could feel all the tension and fear and betrayal the characters felt and it was fantastic…Though with the whole thing with Wolf kinda threw me off cause I just kept picturing Derek from Teen Wolf…It was interesting. Basically, don’t watch Teen Wolf and read this book unless you want to picture Wolf and his buddies as Teen Wolf characters…I mean, its not like that’s a bad thing.

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*clears throat *

Anyways…I do believe that Wolf and Scarlet are my favourite ship of the series so far. Once again, I loved how this was a little more action packed than Cinder and that I loved! Don’t get me wrong. Cinder was great and such an amazing intro to the series but I loved the more intense action that came along with Scarlet. It was great!
So, Scarlet gets a little bit of a better rating than 4 stars I gave Cinder…and that rating is:

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Creating Diversity in the Fantasy Genre || Collaboration with Cait Potter

Hello Readers!

Adriana here with a collaboration post I am SUPER excited for! Today I have the lovely Cait Potter joining me for a post on the topic of writing more diverse fantasy novels and characters.

So, Welcome Cait! Before we get started, I’ll let you introduce yourself a bit.

 

Cait:  Hey guys! I’m honoured to be a guest poster especially for this particular topic.  I’ll jump right in and elaborate on what Adriana meant by writing more diverse fantasy novels and characters.  It’s my personal belief that, in a genre that allows you infinite use of your imagination,  if you can’t write past the white characters, dragons and elves (My way of summing up the fantasy tropes) then you should reconsider the genre you’re writing in. This appears brutally honest but…honestly, that is the way I write especially about topics I’m passionate about.  What do you think Adriana?

 

Adriana: I definitely agree with you on how Fantasy seems to be limited to certain things that do revolve mostly around cliches. I know that, when I write a fantasy novel, I usually spend the longest time outlining and planning so as to avoid cliches and just let my imagination take over. Though, I have found (as I am writing a novel that has mermaids/sirens in it) that there seem to be so many cliches related to them (or other fantasy creatures) that make it hard to let your imagination take over and actually achieve that diversity. How do you go about achieving that diversity? I know I have a few ways of going about it but I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Cait:  I find that when it comes to cliches you don’t have to avoid them just change them to make them less the cliches they are to something perhaps a little different.  Hmmm…How do I got about achieving diversity?  Good question.

I feel I go about it in a few different ways;

The first, is understanding that there are more people in the world than just me. That there are billions of ways a human can look, sound, dress, etc as well as the amazingly different ways we perceive the world according to memory, experience and emotion. Now imagine all the different ways you could have your characters, human or not, experience each other and the world around them. Why would you want to just stick to the usual?

Second, The world doesn’t wait for you so why should it wait for your character.  There is so much going on in this world let alone all the others you could imagine. You don’t have to go for an ordinary waltz through the woods, your character doesn’t just have to deal with dragons. There is so much more to explore.

Third and last, Experiment! You have worlds inside your head my dear writers, give yourself room to experiment with them. Go wild. Is there a type of music in your world? Learn to play it on an instrument. Same goes for anything else (Cooking is always fun), But if you don’t want to get this adventurous maybe consider experiencing the things you want to write about in more ways than just watching a documentary or reading a guide book about it.  Learn to not copy and paste your world, learn to create it yourself.  

Over to you Adriana!

 

Adriana: Those are some awesome points! I will have to file those away for my own personal use haha. Your first point was outstanding I must say. When writing my fantasy novels I’m always trying to make sure I’m not just sticking to the usual appearances of the characters and such. Though I often find myself turning back to it in fear of offending people or something haha. Usually for my approaches to get diversity in my characters (if based off mythical creatures like mermaids and such) is by actually referring back to how they appear in the original myths themselves and from there I base a character off the myth and add my own twists and changes from there. I seem to get characters pretty well but it’s plot and world building that get me. It seems that, for plot, a lot has been done and I feel it dulls down the creativity (for me) as I come up with something and go: ‘Oh wait. Thats from so-and-so’s novel’

Is there a way you approach coming up with a unique plot or world that kinda helps you from not getting that ‘I feel like I’m copying this person’s novel’ feeling?

 

Cait: For your first concern when it comes to character appearances, you only have to worry about that if it concerns human characters. Then I would suggest research. Otherwise, on any other characters you will have free reign.  Go ahead and make that minotaur have pink horns, who is it going to offend? (OK probably someone but I have no idea why and you should ignore them because having pink horns is awesome) Anyways…

On plot, I think simplifying it might be your answer. Think of your plot as what your character wants/needs and how they have to go about it getting it…or there.  The rest is up to what you’ve got happening in the world that your character is involved in, the character’s situation, your character’s perception.  

For eg:  Your character wants to avoid being eaten by that angry mermaid. What things could stop that from happening? What could complicate that? Maybe the character can’t swim? Why is the character even in that situation? Maybe they got ship wrecked?  PLOT..No? Experiment with it. You don’t have to follow one idea, one plot.

For world building, That’s a tough one. My best advice is to build it from the ground up. Start with the land, the sea, the mountains, etc.  Come up with a few funny names for them, then rename them later. Build a house in each place, what is different about living in those places? How are the people changed? Add the things you want but justify them being there.

Well, you don’t have to do that but the idea is all the same. Your characters will be affected by where they live. It’s a good place to start at least.  

Seriously, you’re limited only by your imagination, Experiment!!!

 

Adriana: Yeah, for me its more the human characters I worry about. I’m very careful and don’t want to accidentally offend someone but your point makes complete sense. (I now want a novel where a minotaur has pink horns haha 😛 ) As for the world-building approach, I thank you as one of my struggles is world-building. That’s how I’ve been going about this all for my one novel but it is definitely not easy. Though, my main struggle with world-building is naming the places and locations and such. (Unlike my super complex questions this one should me a lot more simple.) How do you come up with names for places? Do you agree that all the names should have similar sounds and pronunciations? (I’ve been told many times they should all sound similar)

 

b10750dafa0b0cf1fcc0e09649fbcc91Cait:  Names. Oh names. I think this is one of my biggest peeves in fantasy. I can’t pronounce the names. I end up making up some random jibberish to replace that character’s name and then the horror of having to pronounce it to someone and feeling the light slowly leaving your eyes as you get to your fourth attempt.

Ok that was dramatic but I feel like it’s a fair point. Feel free to disagree.

Names can be weird, wacky, interesting and unique but as a person who struggles with pronunciation, can we try and consider this point? Please be kind to me!

I don’t agree that they have to sound the same, what’s the fun in that. Though maybe in a place where in the accent things are easier to say or it’s just the way things are spoken?  I don’t know.

Name things, scratch the names out, mix them around, rename things.  Names aren’t the only thing about a place, object or character so you should just do what feels natural.

 

Adriana: Oh I totally agree! I find it very frustrating (and kind of embarrassing) when I cannot pronounce a name of a place or character. I love quirky names for places and such as well….as long as I can actually say it without stumbling over my words. I agree that names aren’t the only aspect about a place but I do think that a name of a place can really sell it to your readers. I think that naming things does have to be a somewhat major consideration as I feel that that can also set the tone too. Like if I want something to be taken seriously as the characters are about to go somewhere dangerous I don’t think ‘The Black Forest’ is a really good name and I might take it more as a joke. (Unless of course that name actually has some sort of fitting meaning to it… Does that make sense? What are your thoughts?

 

Cait: I agree!

Words definitely have substance, the way a word sounds can make you feel different things. A name doubly so.  A name has a personality and can easily sway a reader’s first impression over a place or character to what you want them to think or feel about it.

But like I said, a name isn’t the only thing so you shouldn’t have to stress about it. If you’re having trouble putting a name to something or someone, keep working on that thing or person until your name comes to you.  Let your naming be natural, you know like ritual sacrifice. What’s the point if it feels all stiff.

 

Adriana: Very good point. (as you can see I still have a lot to learn about writing fantasy 😛 )

Now, kind of jumping back a bit here to character development a bit before we finish up here. (Cause I just came up with something) Do you have any examples from some of your novels where you have taken a common fantasy creature (like mermaids, fairies, and dragons) and added some sort of twist to make them more your own creation?  I’ll share some of mine in a moment but I would love to know if you have any twists/changes you’ve added to make them seem more original/special.

 

Cait: I certainly do!

Let’s go for the wackiest first….I had a werewolf that was a roman slave until he time traveled to the future.

I have angels that aren’t actually angels but still angsty and on too many drugs all the same.  

I have a mermaid myself but she threatens to eat her friends (tries to on several occasions)  and broods in the local pool.  

I think when it comes to making your fantasy creatures a bit more strange than they already are, personality is key!

On the subject, there was something I would mention. Destroying the stereotypes of the average fantasy creature.

For eg:  Why are all the ‘ugly’ creatures considered evil? Give me orcs, trolls, big nosed, boily ffef6c3d4887bf72e49bb78352ebe537witches, goblins and all the like, working for the good of the world. Hey why not? Why are all your dragons knock offs of the medieval western serpents?  Give me some dragon diversity. What could an egyptian dragon look like? What about all those asian dragons we only see in parades? (How to train your dragon is an excellent source and not to promote or anything but you should seriously watch it for dragon reference.) Your elves don’t have to be pretty, graceful creatures that are good a shooting arrows. They could be unattractive, whiny and good with a gun.

My point is, you don’t have to set boundaries when it comes to fantasy creatures. The possibilities are endless. Don’t insult your intelligence and creativity by setting limitations to either.  Don’t insult your readers by copying and pasting your fantasy creatures straight from the textbook.

 

Adriana: That is fantastic! I must say I’m quite happy the dragons thing was brought up. While planning out different kinds of dragons for my WIP ‘The Tale of Fojan Ryo’ I took the difference between the dragons from How To Train Your Dragon into consideration when planning it all out.

For example: I have a dragon called a Northwest Windskimmer and this dragon is very long, very large and sleek and flies through the sky softly as it surfs on the breeze sort of like a ribbon. They are harder to find but great when learning to fly a dragon.

Another one of my favourite dragon types (out of 7 so far) is one called the ‘Southern SkySnake’ It has a small, sleek body, large wings and big head. Its uneven weight/size makes it rather clumsy (due to its really big head) but it is very very friendly and an amazing flyer.

It was definitely a blast doing that for sure. I know I have other twists for other types of creatures but those are the main ones, really. I seriously love it when people take many different approaches to common fantasy creatures and make them more unique. Always love hearing about all the fun twists!

So, Cait. Anything else you wanna add quick before we wrap up this post?

 


Cait:  There are a few other things I would discuss but maybe that could be saved for a sequel to this lovely conversation?

To sum up my points in a few key sentences. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Don’t stress out if your world isn’t working. Fantasy takes time and it takes effort. There is a lot going on and it’s a lot to work with; that can be scary sometimes. But there is a good side to that, you have so much to work with and so many possibilities. Let your story draw you in as much as it might your readers.  

 

Adriana: A sequel might have to be arranged, for sure! Those are some awesome points, Cait! I want to thank you so much for collaborating with me on this post. I certainly had a blast! 😀 (and I have learned a lot about world-building here for my own uses)

 

Cait: Thank you for this opportunity! I’ve had great fun discussing this with you and I hope it is as informative for your readers as it was for me. As it is, if you have any direct or follow up questions for me personally you can contact me at geometricmoths@gmail.com  

It was great having writing this with you Adriana and I hope I get the chance again. Thanks!

 

and thank YOU for joining me, Cait! 😀

So, now readers, do you have anymore questions about worldbuilding and/or Diversity in Fantasy novels? I would love to hear your thoughts or maybe some unique twists you’ve added to common fantasy characters.

Until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle