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Rainy Day's Books, Video Games and Other Writings

Confessions of A Writer #2: I Don’t Write Every Day

I Need to Stop Talking About Writing and Actually Write Something

One of the many misconceptions about being a writer is that you have to write every day. Otherwise if you don’t, you apparently don’t enjoy it as much as you say you do or you don’t want to be a writer as much as you think. While some people might think this is true, I believe not all writers need to write every day as long as writing itself is still a part of your life in some way.

That’s why I’m willing to confess that I, myself don’t write every day. I try the best I can to make writing a weekly habit, even if it means jotting down an idea or two occasionally. But if I’m not in the right head space to write or don’t have any ideas, I don’t do it.

For one, writing is much more difficult to do when you don’t know what you want to talk about. Like I said in my last confessions post, writing is hard and it’s much easier to do when you already have a clear idea of what you want to talk about.

I also find writing to be fun and enjoy it more when there’s no added stress to doing it. That’s why I normally write whenever I feel like it because it becomes something I enjoy instead of being like a job to me.

So while other writers might write every day, I don’t because it doesn’t always work for me. It benefits me to write whenever inspiration strikes because that’s normally when my best ideas will truly emerge. That’s when I’ll truly make progress on whatever it is I’m currently working on.

 

Confessions of A Writer #1: Writing is Hard

Writing Is Hard Work Dorothy Day Quote

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well today. So, after some thinking, I’ve decided I want to try something new on my blog. It’s an idea I’ve had in my head for some time, something that I haven’t really seen before on other writer’s blogs.

I want to write confessions about my writing experience. I want to talk about my own struggles as a writer and admit some of the things I might possibly do that writers shouldn’t be doing. I also want to write confessions about writing in general because there are a lot of misconceptions in the world about writing and writers and it would be nice to clear them up.

So for my first confessions post, I want to tell you that writing is hard. Even for writers like me who’ve been writing for a number of years. There are some days when I know exactly what I want to write about and get to work on it immediately. Then, there are the days where I’m at a complete loss for words so it takes me longer to get any writing done.

But it never gets easier. No matter how many years of writing experience you gain, no matter how many words you’ve written down. But what helps me get through it all is perseverance. I might have some days where I’m really struggling, can’t figure out what I want to write about. So I take my time with it. If in the moment I don’t feel like writing, I tell myself its okay, and come back to it whenever I feel ready. I don’t rush it or pressure myself to write because then I know it’ll never work out the way I want it to.

Another way I get through these moments of writer’s block is by doing something else. I find with myself that if I’m able to keep my mind distracted, my thoughts will flow a whole lot faster. Then, I’ll be able to write whenever I do feel ready.

Writing is hard work. Even for writers who’ve been in it for many years. We all have our moments where we’re struggling with it. But we don’t let that stop us from doing it because we love it so much. Each of us has different ways we deal with these moments where we feel like we can’t get any writing done. And once we get through the tunnel known as writer’s block, writing doesn’t seem quite as hard. That’s when the real writing gets done.

Book Review: Carry On

Carry On Book Cover

Rating: 3 stars

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

After reading Fangirl, I knew I needed to read this book to see if I’d enjoy it just as much. And I did, maybe even more so for several reasons. But I found I couldn’t give it a higher rating than Fangirl because I found a lot more things wrong with it that I’ll discuss shortly.

Carry On is about the universe Cath fantasizes about in Fangirl. It’s about the world of Watford, a school for those with magic. It centers on Simon Snow, a boy who’s supposed to be the greatest mage the World of Mages has ever seen. In this book, he returns to school for his last year at Watford and his biggest nemesis/roommate Baz doesn’t return until several weeks later. It centers around the death of Baz’s mom along with Simon stopping the evil Humdrum who’s face is very similar to his.

What I enjoyed so much when reading this book is that it’s unique. While the storyline, characters and everything else in it are supposed to be a play off of Harry Potter, you can tell when reading it that it’s a completely different universe. I like that this story is very similar to the world I already love because it made it that much easier for me to understand everything that happened. The universe was very similar to Harry Potter, but in a humorous way that I appreciated. It was like Rainbow Rowell was writing a one novel parody of the Harry Potter series, but twisting it into something else that is just as enjoyable.

You Know You've Read a Good Book Paul Sweeney Quote
Via Popular Inspirational Quotes

I enjoyed reading Carry On so much that when I was finished, I was sad to see the story end. It felt like a piece of me had gone and went into Simon Snow’s world. And I know why I felt that way. This book has all of the elements I like in a story. It’s fantasy with a mixture of mystery, comedy, and its young adult literature that features LGBTQ characters. I like that the world Rowell portrays has magic in it, yet also has some real world elements mixed in that allow you as the reader to see magic alongside normal reality.

But most of all, one of my favorite features in this book is the relationship between Simon and Baz. Both characters are confused about their own identity, yet end up finding each other and connecting in a way you as the reader don’t expect: through the loss of a parent, aka, Baz’s mom who died many years ago at the hands of vampires. Simon could relate to what Baz was going through because of his own loss of not growing up with parents. So Simon did what he thought was right: to help Baz find out who really orchestrated the attack on the nursery that resulted in her death. This connection resulted in showing us their relationship continue to grow, from being roommates who hated each other to lovers. I loved seeing it come together because it was fun to watch the commentary between both of them as they uncovered the truth. It was entertaining, a breath of fresh air that I didn’t realize I needed. And it made moments in the story when things were turning weird more enjoyable for me. I could see the love for each other with each page I read and just couldn’t wait to watch their relationship continue to grow.

Carry On Simon Snow and Baz Pitch Because We Match Picture
Via Pinterest 

What also made Carry On an enjoyable read for me was the different points of view. I enjoyed reading this story from all of the character’s perspectives. It allowed me a better understanding of what was going on, gave me a clue about things I didn’t know before. It also made this book even more interesting because we were given access to these character’s thoughts and feelings, given an understanding as to what they were doing and why. I liked having access to all of the characters in this way because it allowed me to immerse myself even further into the story. It’s also different from any other fantasy novel I’ve read because there’s usually only one perspective that you have access to.

While Carry On is definitely a page turner, there were some elements when it came to the story that I disliked. For one, I thought the names of the spells in this world was ridiculous. I don’t know what Rowell was thinking when she came up with that idea, but it didn’t make sense to me. Especially because it wasn’t at all realistic to what magic is normally like in books. While this allows her world to be uniquely different, I don’t see how these different incantations would even be justified for someone with magic to say. I don’t know if she thought of this as a way to make fun of magic or something, but I just don’t see why magic wielders would have incantations that are nursery rhymes or common sayings that someone normal could say. That sounds like it could potentially lead to an accident, an incident that very easily could’ve been prevented.

I also wasn’t particularly fond of Agatha’s character. I felt like she acted throughout the story like she was above everyone else and just didn’t seem to care about the people she had called friends for the past seven years. Throughout Carry On, she was completely selfish, focusing only on the things that affected her life. She didn’t seem at all remotely interested in keeping up a friendship with Simon and Penelope, yet felt like she could criticize both of them for working with Baz to uncover the truth about his mother’s death. I felt like her character just existed in the story, but didn’t really belong. She was just in the story, wasting space that could’ve been better spent on other characters that played a crucial role in the overall plot.  I just didn’t like Agatha and wish she wasn’t a part of the story at all.

While this book was definitely a page turner for me, another criticism I have is that the overall plot was okay. It definitely had quite a chunk of holes in it that made it difficult to enjoy it as much as I’d have liked. I think part of the problem for me is that Simon Snow’s story is rushed. The whole plot structure in this story runs a little too fast, leaving very little room for making sure nothings being left out. I think part of the reason this is even a problem is because I feel like this story should’ve been spread out into multiple books. That would’ve given Rowell the chance to get the structure and story together and figure out how to end it. Instead, this story is at the final chapter of Simon Snow’s whole story. You learn most of what Carry On is about if you’ve read Fangirl, but I don’t think it’s enough because we miss out on all of the other years Simon Snow is at Watford. You get bits and pieces of some of the important details, but it’s not enough for us to just jump to the finale and see how everything will end for Simon Snow, which by the way is actually pretty disappointing too. With the plot, it feels like you’re missing something, yet not missing anything at all. It would for me be like only reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the Harry Potter series and expecting to know every detail of the whole series without reading any of the other books. I feel like we miss too much and that the details we are given aren’t enough and have holes in them that don’t really connect the story.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Carry On much more than Fangirl. But because of the amount of criticisms I found myself having about it, it would’ve been unfair to give it a higher rating. But that doesn’t make it any less of a good read for those who want to be taken away to a magical world or for people who want to read about two boys falling in love.

 

 

Book Review: Fangirl

Fangirl Book Cover

Rating: 4 stars

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I remember getting this book as a Christmas gift from my grandmother a couple years ago and when I read it feeling disappointed because it wasn’t as good of a read as I was expecting. But I decided to read it once again before starting to read Carry On and found myself enjoying it much better the second time around.

I don’t remember what exactly I disliked about Fangirl the first time I read it, but I can definitely tell you what I’ve enjoyed from this reading experience. One of the things I enjoyed reading this book a second time is how much I can relate to the main character. I don’t know if part of the reason I didn’t enjoy this book the first time was because I couldn’t relate to Cath, but after reading it again, I realize I can relate to her very well. For one, she’s an introvert like me. I can also relate to her because my own college experience involved me spending a lot of time in my room more than going out and socializing with friends. When I come to think of it, I didn’t really have a lot of friends in college anyway due to focusing so much on schoolwork and working at my job that I didn’t really make as much time to spend with friends as I probably should’ve. I also share Cath’s love of the written word and reading. I know most of her love for it is due to one book series in particular, but I still appreciate how Rainbow Rowell makes Cath so relatable to me. That she’s so relatable to me that I feel almost as if this book was written specifically about me. Even her sister Wren’s first year experience at college reminds me of my own sister even though we aren’t twins.

I also appreciate Rowell incorporating fanfiction into the mix. When talking about reading and writing, fanfiction is rarely incorporated into a story. I like how she includes fanfiction in Fangirl by having the main character be so in love with a series that she writes a story of her own with the characters, making them almost as if they are her own. It’s nice to see a story center around the world of fanfiction, something which I don’t really see too often when reading young adult literature. I like it too because the book series Cath is obsessed with sounds very similar to my favorite book series of all time Harry Potter.  Yes, there are obviously some striking differences between the two, but it makes it that much more enjoyable of a read for me because I feel like I can also escape into that world too. It also makes me even more curious about that world, wanting to understand why Cath likes that series so much.

What else I like about Fangirl is Rowell’s writing style. Her writing is very fluid, easy to read and makes reading this story that much more enjoyable to me. She writes like she’s a young adult herself, going through college and trying to survive the outside world. Every piece of dialogue between characters flows naturally, like it has its own unique place in the story. It’s almost as if she’s bringing all of these characters to life with each word written. It makes me feel as if I’m with Cath, following her journey as she experiences her first year of college.

But what I like the most with this book is seeing some of what Cath’s character writes and her relationship with Levi. I like that we get a little snippet of what Cath has written in the past as her Simon Snow fiction increases in popularity so we can see for ourselves how good of a writer her character is. It not only allows us to see her character write, but we are also given a glimpse into that world so we can see for ourselves why Cath loves it so much. I like her relationship with Levi so much because they go so well together. He’s someone when she first started going to college she got along with so well. He’s easygoing, friendly and you can tell he wants nothing more than to make Cath happy. The way the two of them interact together is great because it’s very relaxed and easygoing. To give a good example is whenever Levi becomes curious about Cath’s fanfiction and wants her to read some of it to him. She’s at first surprised that Levi wants to learn more about the world she writes about so much. But she does it anyway because she can see that he really wants her to read it. He’s just one of the characters in the story who seems to get her and they just seem really good together. So I like seeing their relationship grow.

While I overall enjoyed reading Fangirl, there are some criticisms I have about the book that I’m sure others have with it too. For while I like Cath’s character because I can relate to her, there are times when I feel like she’s too unrealistic or acts completely stupid. I feel like Rowell made her too antisocial in this book, almost as if she was trying to create a nerdy character that fits the typical nerd stereotype. To the point where she was avoiding going to the dining hall because of the amount of people that would be in there. To me, all of those moments she refused to interact with people was ridiculous because all the times she did interact with people she seemed completely fine, not at all like she was dealing with any social anxiety. I also think the way she reacted to Professor Piper accusing her of plagiarism was ridiculous. While I get that Simon Snow is a huge part of her life, I think she sometimes forgets she’s in college and that fanfiction doesn’t play a role in academics. This part of the story made me realize that while I do relate to Cath in some ways, she still has a lot of growing up she has to do and that Rowell didn’t really progress her character all too much throughout. While I do get where Cath is coming from, I do also think it would’ve been nice to see Cath have some sort of character development in the story.

Another criticism I have with this book is the lack of fandom in the actual story. We hear that Cath is such a great writer of fanfiction that she gets thousands of hits every time she posts a new chapter, yet we don’t really see her interact with other Simon Snow fans. It’s like she lives in this bubble with just her sister when it comes to Simon Snow that she won’t really let others be a part of. I at least expected her to act like she’s more involved in the fandom since she has such high amounts of followers. But we really don’t get to see too much of that in Fangirl, we just hear about it.  We also don’t really get an understanding of why Cath loves Simon Snow so much. I understand that she and Wren grew up with reading the books and watching the movies, but she never talks about why she loves this series so much that she feels like she has to write a work of her own about it. Again, we just hear about all of this but never get an understanding of why Cath loves this series so much. To me it’s frustrating because I feel like we are reading this story from her point of view, but aren’t being clued into important details that would really make this book shine.

I also have a problem with the ending. It feels like all of a sudden the story comes to a halt with no real conclusion or anything. Cath goes to the bookstore for the release of the last Simon Snow book, is reading it and then the story ends. I’m frustrated that this is how Rowell chose to end this story because I figured we’d at least see what Cath thinks and feels about the final book in her favorite series. Instead, the story ends with no thought provoking conclusion and we are left wondering what’s going through Cath’s mind as she finishes the last book. While it was an interesting way to end, it wasn’t the ending I’d have chosen.

Despite these criticisms I have for Fangirl, I definitely enjoyed giving this book another chance. It was definitely a much better read for me this time around than the first and can’t wait to finish reading Carry On.

Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)

The Cuckoo's Calling Book Cover

Rating: 4 stars

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

When I first began reading this book, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of it. I’d attempted to read The Casual Vacancy a while back, but never really got too far into it. As a Harry Potter fan who hadn’t really read any other work by the author who wrote one of my beloved favorite series, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of this book. But after giving it a read, however, I found myself really enjoying it.

The main storyline in The Cuckoo’s Calling is about a famous supermodel whose death everyone believed to be a suicide. However, her brother John Bristow thinks differently and hires private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into her case. What he discovers investigating her death is a labyrinth of twists and turns to get to the truth of how she died.

What I enjoyed when reading The Cuckoo’s Calling is the characters. I enjoyed hearing in detail about Strike’s personal life, learning more about him and his relation to the world of the famous he was searching for answers. He’s a rough character I wasn’t expecting to be introduced to in this book, but I found his roughness to be quite alluring. It also helped explain certain details that came up as we learned more about him. I also liked Robin’s character quite a bit. She’s a very resourceful woman and I loved reading her interactions with Strike as these events unfolded. She’s also a character I could find myself relating to in this story because I’d probably react the same way as her if I found myself working for a private investigator. I’d want to get myself entangled into the investigation, want to find some way of helping solve the case or providing much needed information to help find the suspect. I wouldn’t want to accept a job somewhere else because the job I’d have would be exactly where I want to be. I liked the relationship the author gave between Strike and Robin. It was very cordial and friendly without being too intrusive. Robin allowed Strike to live his life without interfering, but was supportive of him whenever he needed it.

I also enjoyed the details Robert Galbraith put into the storyline. It’s a story full of richly deep plot that’s not too complex for any reader to enjoy. But it also has enough new vocabulary for the reader who wants a challenge when reading. The writing style is also unique because Galbraith tells us what happens throughout as Strike begins to investigate Lula’s death. You see the crime scene in front of you and hear the dialogue between Strike and all of the characters who were involved. You see how Strike uncovers evidence to the crime and find out how he knows who killed Lula. It’s such a good read that I couldn’t wait to find out how it unfolded.

Not only do I enjoy this book because it’s a crime mystery novel, but also because you get to see the underbelly of being a celebrity. Galbraith takes us into the world of being a celebrity by allowing us to see what they deal with on a daily basis. You see this whenever Strike interviews Evan about his involvement with Lula. You get to see him and Ciara being hounded by paparazzi whenever they leave a building and being followed home. In this book, you get to see both the good and the bad about being famous and how anyone is capable of murder.

There are two things with The Cuckoo’s Calling, however, I didn’t particularly enjoy. For one, I didn’t like how the chapters were divided. Galbraith divided the book into separate parts, and then had chapters in each part. The reason I didn’t particularly like this is because it felt completely random how it was done. I also felt like the story could’ve continued without it. While I don’t necessarily mind books being divided into sections like this one, I just didn’t feel like it made sense to do it.

My other criticism with this book is I felt like there was more telling in this story than showing. For example, whenever you find out who kills Lula, Strike explains it to you how he came to this conclusion instead of showing all of the details that made him get there. While I don’t mind being told what happens, it killed the suspense in the story for me.  It took away the element of surprise because I was told who killed Lula instead of being shown how that conclusion was made. And I felt like this happened a lot throughout the book, which at times seemed a little too much for me. There were times in the story where I wanted to be shown certain details instead of being told about them later on.

But despite these two criticisms I had with this book, The Cuckoo’s Calling was such an enjoyable read to me. It was full of interesting characters, intriguing mystery and details about being famous that really made me flip the page to find out what happened next. I can’t wait to continue reading this series to find out what happens with Strike and Robin next. Hopefully, The Silkworm will be as much as an enjoyable read as The Cuckoo’s Calling was for me.

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Original Screenplay Book Cover

Rating: 3 stars

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf.

As a whole, I enjoyed reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The story and characters were interesting, making me want to continue reading to find out what happened next. I especially enjoyed reading about all of the fantastic creatures Newt Scamander had in his suitcase. They really made the story magical and interesting for me. All of the creatures that escaped had different quirks, which is what helped Newt Scamander figure out where they’d be in New York. I also liked all of the characters in this story and how they worked together to get the magical creatures back in Newt’s suitcase.

Another feature of this book I particularly enjoyed was seeing how the magical world worked in America. As an American myself, when I read the Harry Potter series, I always wondered how different the magical world would be in America. How non magic folk and witches and wizards would interact. However, the way it’s incorporated in this book is different from what I expected. But at the same time, I’m not quite as surprised. It’s different because the setting for this book takes place in a different time period than the Harry Potter series. The events in this book actually take place long before Harry Potter is born, at a time when non magic and magic folk are at odds with each other. At a time when witches and wizards have to hide who they are for fear that knowing of their existence will cause a war. I find this to be an interesting time point for these events to take place because it makes the story that much more riveting to read so that you can find out what happens. It’s also interesting to see magic folks having to hide who they are for fear of exposure and threat to the safety of the world. There’s just something about knowing everything is at stake that makes this even more interesting to read.

I also find that this book has a beautiful cover. I like the way it looks because it draws me in. Now I normally don’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes when you find a book and it has a really nice cover, you just have to read it. For me, this was one of those books. I also liked the cute little illustrations you could find in between the pages. Seeing some of the creatures illustrated in the book was really nice because it added something to the pages for me.  I also liked hearing this story told as a screenplay. I found this format of the story to be very interesting because it allowed you as the reader to notice things you probably wouldn’t have if J.K. Rowling had written it as a novel. While I didn’t like this format when I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, since this screenplay isn’t a part of a series I feel like it fits better here.

However, there are a lot of things about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that I’m critical about that made this screenplay not as much of an enjoyable read for me. Unfortunately, I’ve already seen the film based on this screenplay so I already knew about all of the events that took place in the story before reading it. And the movie adaptation of the screenplay is exactly the same so it made it hard for me to enjoy reading this because I already knew what happened. Usually when I hear a book is being made into a film, I try to read the book before seeing the movie because I don’t want the film to ruin my reading experience. Part of that is while most of the time the book and movie adaptations are completely different, I worry that there’ll still be enough similarities that the film will end up ruining the book for me. That is why I don’t mind there being differences between a book and its film adaptation. However, I saw the film a while ago, but the plot is still fresh in my mind. So it was harder for me to enjoy this book because I remembered everything that happened. I believe if I’d read this before going to see the movie, my opinion of it would be different.

Another criticism I have for this book is the relationships J.K. Rowling made between the main characters. I felt like they were forced, as if she was trying to make this story a romance along with fantasy. In the film, it wasn’t quite so bad but in the screenplay, it’s very easy to notice. Because while I like the two pairings she created, I just feel like they aren’t meant to be. Especially the relationship that starts to form between Queenie and Jacob. It’s a relationship that just doesn’t seem realistic to me. I think part of it is because you know it’s not meant to be since Jacob isn’t a part of the wizarding world.

I also would’ve liked to have learned a little bit more about Newt Scamander and the creatures he has in his suitcase. He’s one of my favorite characters in the story so with each page I wanted to learn more about him and how he became interested in magical creatures. I also wanted to learn more about the creatures he collected. I know J.K. Rowling created a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them glossary long before she wrote this screenplay. But I think it would’ve been nice to hear more from Newt in the story about these creatures. Maybe even have some background of how he found them to give us a perspective of why they mean so much to him.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  But there were a couple things with the story I wish were included that would’ve made me enjoy it even more. Plus, I wish I hadn’t already seen the movie adaptation too so that I could feel like I’m coming to this story with new eyes. But I do highly recommend this story to those who’ve read the Harry Potter series and want to see more from the wizarding world by J.K. Rowling. Just make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did when you read it.

 

 

 

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee: Taking a Chance on Life

If We Were Having Coffee 06

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week like I have. I know last weekend, I unpacked a lot on you about what’s been going on in my life lately. Chances are high that I’ll be doing the same this weekend too, but for different reasons. Some things I haven’t shared with you yet that I’ve wanted to share. Not because I don’t trust any of you, just had something else I had to do first before I could acknowledge what I’m about to share with you today.

So I think I’ll start with that. This week, I made the not so difficult decision to quit my previous place of employment. I quit the job I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve hated so much because there’s so much drama, and the environment hasn’t been healthy for me. To give an example, I had a panic attack at that job one day during one of our rushes. It was really hot there and just felt like I couldn’t breathe, but I couldn’t get a second to calm my anxiety down because we had a rush come through. It was so bad that not only couldn’t I breathe but I cried in frustration over it because I kept messing up everyone’s orders. I also had one night while I was still working there where I couldn’t sleep because I was having really bad chest pain. It was to the point where I was mentally debating on whether I should go to the hospital. I didn’t end up going, and the pain eventually went away. But it was still on the back of my mind even when I ended up being okay. There’s also the fact that management wasn’t necessarily the best and made it hard for me to even want to come in to work. There’ve been many days at that job where I was tempted to just walk out and not look back. Because management didn’t reprimand the people who weren’t doing their jobs. They also made a fuss at us about silly things, like complaining to my coworkers one day before I’d clocked in that we were using the bathroom too much. I found this out from one of my coworkers when I came in and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry about the whole thing. So instead, my coworker and I made the decision to time each other when we went to use the bathroom. It became our little joke because we just couldn’t take that complaint seriously.

This job was getting to the point where it was affecting my health. So I knew once it reached that point, it was time for me to get out of there. No matter what happened, I knew this place wasn’t where I wanted to be at in my life. While I had so many fond memories at my college, I knew it was time for me to go. To move on, to make a change in my life for the better by putting all of my effort into a job I actually enjoyed going to every day. To take a chance in my life and see where it takes me. Because while there were things about that job I enjoyed, there were even more things about it I was starting to hate. And comparing the two things together, I realized how much being there isn’t worth all of it anymore. I know life doesn’t always give you the opportunities you want and that you have to make the most of what you’re given, but you also have to realize to let go of things in life that are causing you pain too.

And that’s what I did once I turned in my two weeks’ notice.  I felt like this whole weight was lifted off my chest and this sense of peace washed over me. I was at so much peace that when I walked off campus, I skipped on my way back to the car. I was so giddy knowing I was done there for good that I felt like I could conquer the world.

The only thing that was good about that job is what I want to talk about now. I hate that I’ve kept this such a secret online these past couple months, but I hope this post will remedy that. During the course of these past seven months, I’ve been seeing someone. One of my coworkers from that job, to be exact. He and I’ve been talking to each other months after my last relationship ended in heartbreak. I knew him before because of the job, but I was attending college there so our interactions at the time were very few and far between. We didn’t really talk outside of work during those days because I was more focused on finishing my education and getting my degree. I was also seeing someone near the end of my last year of college until that relationship ended in heartbreak, and he wasn’t working there at the time. I don’t remember when he came back to that job other than it was after I had my heart broken by my ex, and I was still dealing with it. But we started talking outside of work. He was interested in being more than friends. At the time, I wasn’t because I’d just had my heart broken months before and needed time to get over my last relationship before getting involved with someone else. I didn’t think it would be fair to get in a relationship with someone when my thoughts were still on another man.

So we continued talking, using this time to get to know each other even better. It was during this point when I eventually realized that I was starting to feel the same way he did about me. So when he asked me out, I took a chance and said yes. I could sense these feelings were beginning to become something more and didn’t see a reason to ignore them anymore. It took me awhile to accept my last relationship ending, but I didn’t see the point in reflecting too much on it anymore. I realized instead of reflecting on the past, I needed to embrace the present in order to live for the future. If there’s a possibility I could build a future with someone else, why not try and see what happens?

William has become one of the best things that came to me from that job. He’s very supportive of everything I do. He listens when I need someone to talk my feelings to and doesn’t waver in his devotion to me and making sure I’m doing okay. He’s not only the friend I can always count on, but someone I find myself falling even deeper for with every interaction we have and every moment we spend together. We might not always agree on everything and argue from time to time, but we never go to sleep angry with each other. When things get bad, we talk about our problems and do whatever we can to sort them out. We don’t let our problems stop us from talking to each other. Instead, we use our problems as a way to see what we can do to improve our relationship and make adjustments where we see fit. We work together and build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

William truly knows how to make me happy. He makes me feel not so alone and lets me know I’m loved. I hope I do the same as he does for me. As our relationship continues to grow, I know he’ll be there for me even in the darkest of times. I hope to do the same in return because I hate to see him hurt and care about him very much.

William, if you’re reading this (which I’m sure you will be at some point) I want you to know I love you so much. You’ve made these past couple months some of the happiest for me. I want you to know I care so much about you and can’t wait to see where our relationship will go from here. We might have some moments where we want nothing to do with each other, but I know we can work through whatever hoops life decides to throw at us. As long as you have my back, I know there isn’t anything in life I can’t accomplish. But I can’t imagine doing anything in life without you. Thank you for having my back these past couple months and being the rock I needed to get through some of the most difficult moments of my life.

The reason we kept our relationship a secret online is because we both still worked at that job. We weren’t sure how they’d feel about us dating and figured it would be best not to say anything until we both got away from there. But we didn’t keep it completely a secret. Our closest friends and family knew about our relationship. We just didn’t post anything about it online until this week when we both decided to quit that job. It was something we both wanted to do for the longest time now, and figured there’s nothing keeping us from doing it now.

I’m completely glad to have someone in my life like William. He’s really one of the best things in my life and I couldn’t be any happier. If I get the chance and with William’s permission, I hope to have a picture of us together sometime in the near future posted here on my blog.

There really isn’t too much else this week that’s happened for me besides quitting my job and William and I making our relationship official online. Or let me put it this way, anything that isn’t quite as exciting or interesting that you’d like to know about. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and can’t wait to hear about what’s happened in your life this week.

If We Were Having Coffee: Room Reveals

If We Were Having Coffee 05

It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these posts once again. A lot has just happened since the last time, and I just didn’t have the chance to share everything with you. We painted our whole upstairs, which took roughly two weekends to do because of me having to go to work. We also had our carpeting upstairs because it was starting to look outdated. Then, my older sister moved back home last weekend so I was busy because of that too.

But like I promised, I’m going to share the room colors for me and my sister’s rooms. I’m sure you’re interested to see how they turned out.

Painted Room Laneys Room

For my sister’s room, which no longer has the desk because it’s been moved into my room, we chose a dark green that she and Mum both liked. Originally, Mum had picked this pistachio green color that she thought would brighten up the room. But it didn’t turn out quite the way she expected so she talked to my sister and they both agreed on this color.  I actually like this color in my sister’s room because the way she has it looks really nice.

Painted Room My Room

Painted Room My Room 2

Now for my room, I chose blue! A blue that when I look at it reminds me of both the sky and ocean. The blue I picked isn’t quite as light as the pictures make it out to look, but it looks really nice with our new carpeting, which can be seen in the first picture.

Along with painting and carpeting, my room is now completely rearranged. We’ve moved a lot of my belongings around to give me more space, and it turned out splendidly. I have my bookshelves and television on one wall and my bed is now close to the window so that I can have cool air blowing on me. I also have the computer and desk that was once in my sister’s room since I no longer have my laptop, which allows me easy access to it whenever I want. Everything else is tucked away, either in my one big dresser or in one of my closets. Overall though, I’m really enjoying my room. It feels completely new and more adult and gives me more space than I expected to have.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you besides doing a room reveal, I’ve been doing a lot of other things too. Like usual, work has done nothing but keep me busy. My other job is supposed to be starting back up soon. But I’m hoping to get more hours at my new job so I don’t have to go back there again. I’ve also started rereading one of my favorite trilogies, which I wrote a blog post about a couple weeks ago along with started to watch Pretty Little Liars, which has been quite a pleasure to enjoy. I’ve also been listening to this podcast I heard about through one of the bloggers I follow called What Should I Read Next? which I’m debating about doing a review of. It’s something different from what I normally write about here, but it still has to do with books, which is why I’m really considering it. But I haven’t made up my mind just yet if I’m going to do that or not.

I’ve also ordered a couple books and eclipse glasses from Amazon, both of which have already come in the mail. The solar eclipse is supposed to be coming here on August 21st, so I needed to get glasses to make sure I can view it safely. The books, however, I bought for my own reading pleasure for in the future. What books I’ve bought I’m not going to say because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But after I’m done reading the trilogy I’m enjoying, these books will be the next ones I’m going to read and write reviews about once I’ve completed them.

I’d also tell you I’m finally doing something I probably should’ve done years ago: learning how to drive. A friend of mine had me get behind the wheel the other day and back out of where he parked only to drive forward and have me park somewhere else. The main reason I haven’t tried to learn to drive sooner is because the thought of it scares me. I don’t necessarily know what about driving scares me, it just does in a way I can’t explain. The only thing I can say is that I have a bad feeling about it for some reason. But I’m finally taking the steps to learn it anyway to the point where I’ve downloaded the manual that I need to read before I take the permit test. While I’m still nervous about the whole thing, I’m going to try the best I can anyway to be the best driver I can be.

Other than that, I haven’t done too much else. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. I would love to hear all about it.

Writing Prompt: “If You Actually Require Success” Quote

Writing Prompt Requiring Success Quote

Originally, this post was going to be Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge from last week, which involved using Inspirobot to generate a random quote to use for a fiction piece. However, after much contemplating, I noticed I haven’t done any writing prompts for a year now. So I figured why not get back into the spirit of writing them again, using this quote generator?

This quote was actually the first one this generator produced for me this morning and I found it very fitting.  I agree with it too. I really think the best way to find success is through yourself. It’s looking in the mirror and telling yourself you can do something and not letting anything stand in your way.

I’m someone who lacks self confidence. Every day, I struggle to tell myself I can do anything I put my mind to. And I can see how it affects everything I do from my writing to the way I feel about life and the world around me. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for years, yet can’t ever seem to get it to go away, no matter what I do. I try the best I can to move around it by acting positive about things even when I don’t feel like it. But that’s the most I can currently do.

What helps me get through it though is the support of those who I care about the most. Those people who let me know how much they care, that I can do anything I set my mind to make it so much easier to kick my lack of self confidence to the curb and show the world what I’m capable of. What also helps is someone else telling me I can’t do something. For some reason, that challenges me even more because it makes me want to prove that person wrong.

But at the same time, I think you can be successful without believing in yourself. With the struggles I have with my own self confidence, I know I definitely have been successful with things I never thought were possible. I know over the years I’ve surprised myself with what I can do. This blog is definitely proof of it because I never thought I’d get to this point in my writing. I never thought I’d be a blogger, that I’d be sharing my words and thoughts with the world through WordPress. Yet, here I am doing exactly what I never thought was possible for me. My blog is a constant reminder that even with lack of self confidence, anything is possible as long as you reach for the stars anyway. And that you can be successful at it too.

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