Creativity and originality

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“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

One thing I’ve learned about myself is I need to be constantly creating something. For me creativity is an important part of self-care if I’m not doing anything creative then I do not feel like myself. If I’m not creating anything for a long period of time it tends to mean I’m not in a good place mentally. There are lots of things I do to be creative: journaling, scrapbooking, writing, taking pictures, and of course, blogging. Journaling is a major stress relief for me I love documenting my life through journals and scrapbooks. Blogging is sometimes stressful, but it’s also a way for me to challenge myself. When it comes to blogging I’m always trying to push myself to be more creative, and come up with ideas that I haven’t seen done before. That is much easier said than done.

I definitely don’t think I’m the best at coming up with original content, then again originality is tricky. Pretty much every idea you come up with has been done before, you have to find a way to add your own spin to it. That is something I’m constantly trying to reiterate to myself. When I first started blogging it was hard to feel confident in the content I was creating, there were a lot of days filled with doubt, now I feel a lot more certain about what I’m doing. After you do something for a while it gets easier, but there are still days when it feels like no idea I have is any good. There will always be days when I’m just not in the mood to blog on those days there will be other creative outlets to keep me sane. If you make blogging a habit it’s a lot easier, but I am not a good example, I do not prioritize blogging like I should. I’m trying to have a designated day a week to blog; however, things just don’t always work out the way you want them to.

Occasionally creating anything is a struggle and I’m not sure I believe in absolutes, but generally, the quote I put at the top is true. The more time I spend creating the more inspiration and motivation I have. To summarize, I make time for creativity because the things I love doing are creative pursuits, and most importantly it’s how I stay grounded.

Why do you blog? And what other creative outlets do you have? Do you make creativity a part of your everyday routine?

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Strong Female Protagonist: A bullet point review

With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around.

Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun – until an encounter with Menace, her mind-reading arch enemy, showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn’t seem so important. 

Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It’s impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero… 

  • Interesting and multi-layered
  • A great beginning
  • Unsurprisingly has many feminist themes 
  • The last half got pretty intense 
  • Makes you think: surprisingly philosophical, and dealt with complex issues regarding moral values
  • Like the last chapter was deep and left me and the characters with a lot to ponder
  • Brings up questions like: can the world ever be saved? Are superheroes really making a difference? Who are the real heroes of the world? Etc.
  • It’s not your average superhero story, it was refreshing to read a superhero comic that isn’t Marvel or D.C and that is doing its own awesome unique thing.
  • If you love superheroes but want to see something different, or if you hate superheroes, give this heroic tale a chance.
  • Alison literally just wants to go to college and then she gets dragged into trouble, and I sympathized with her.
  • She also wants to make the world a better place, but in a way that doesn’t involve being a superhero.
  • She has good reasons for quitting superheroing. (Is that a real word?)
  • Has funny footnotes, that reminds me of the ones in Squirrel Girl. 
  • Overall it has depth and it has my attention, the author did their job well, I want to know what happens next. 

Will you be reading this comic? Book one is available as a physical copy and the rest is available to read online.

Furthermore review: a tale of whimsy and self-discovery

“She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Fernwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. 

This was my first experience reading a book by Taheri Mafia and it will not be my last. I always hear people talk about her writing more then any other aspect of her books and I can see why. Although I am curious to know how much the writing in her middle grade and YA books differ, I wonder which writing style of her’s people prefer.  Instead of struggling to describe her writing style why don’t I give an example?

Keep Reading

January Haul: Books and Stationary

Hello, hello I hope 2019 is off to a great start for all of you. At the start of every new year, there are a million things I decide I will start doing, I never stick to most of them. But one thing I’m starting that I plan to follow through with is a book journal I’ve been keeping up with what I read on Goodreads for years but I would like a tangible way to document my reading.

Continue reading “January Haul: Books and Stationary”

My 2018 Year in Books and Goals for 2019

Reading Stats:

Books read: 52
Rereads: 4
Pages read: 15,497
Most read genres: fantasy, contemporary, historical fiction, feminism/women’s fiction
Average rating: 3.9

52 Books seem to be my average per year it’s the same about I read last year but I read about a thousand fewer pages this year but I also read ten more graphic novels.

Favorite books of the year:

Overall best: Unquestionably The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesslie Walton. This book is peculiar and lovely, and I really need to read more magical realism because I always enjoy them.

Best debut: Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi. This one was so close to being my number one favorite of the year. It is epic and reminiscent of Avatar The Last Airbender.

Best sequel: Sightwitch by Susan Dennard. Technology this is a prequel but it’s the latest installment of the series so I’m going to say it counts. I loved this one more than I expected it made the Wichlanders world that much wider and more amazing.

Made me cry/most moving: Speak (The Graphic Novel) by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll. This graphic novel is beautiful the story works better in this format. The art makes the story more impactful.

Book turned movie: Infinity Gauntlet. This was my first time reading a comic turned movie and it was just as epic as the movie and it was nice to know what was going to happen although they changed a lot I knew how it would end. Yet I was still nearly as shook as everyone else was.

2019 reading goals

  • Read 30 books: this is what I set my goal to this year and while I clearly read a lot more then 30 books I don’t feel like setting my goal any higher. I want it to be something I know I can achieve.
  • Read more classics: This has been my goal for the past two years and I did not do well either time but now I’m taking English lit classics so I will have to read more classics.  Hopefully ones I enjoy.
  • Read more broadly: I have sorta started doing this I just need to start doing it more actively. I need to continue to read books in genres I used to think I didn’t like or never read for whatever reason. I also might try reading more adult books but I don’t know they almost always sound less interesting.

What are your favorite books you read this year? And your goals for the new year?

Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu + a Moxie inspired playlist

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution. 

“Making girls monitor their behavior and their appearance because boys are supposedly unable to control themselves? That is one of the oldest fucking tricks in the book.

This is the girl power-infused YA book of my dreams. It has none of the misogynistic tropes that plague all too many YA novels. There is no mean girl, the popular head cheerleader is referred to as being nice multiple times and she has a character arc. And it’s a good one. The only characters who are reduced to being almost nothing but a stereotype are some of the men. The football players are all sexist pigs and not much else, but in the context of this novel, they don’t need to be anything more. They are not the center of this story, the girls are.  This story is about girls uniting against injustice and the bonds and strength that comes from girls banding together. There is romance but the female friendships are the ones you will be rooting for and they are never overshadowed.

“it occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.” 

All of the characters make mistakes and are called out for them the love interest Jake makes a few misogynistic comments that Vivian does not let him get away with. The kinds of remarks he made are not uncommon in reality or in fiction and it felt good to see a character get angry about them instead of them being dismissed like they so often are. All of the problems Jennifer Mathieu chose to tackle got handled with care. She is an English teacher and said she wrote this for her students, it makes me so happy that young girls have this amazing book to empower them. Girls and boys alike can learn a lot from it. This book is a wonderful introduction to feminism and the Riot Girrrl movement and also a great read for anyone. Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not Moxie is worth giving a chance.  I flew through Moxie, and it left me feeling positive and ready to start a girl gang.

This entire book feels like a girl power anthem. To celebrate that I put together a playlist of some of the songs mentioned in this book and other empowering bops that reminded me of the spirit of Moxie (the book and the word).  Enjoy!

All the Things I Watched in 2018

I am not quite ready to post my reading wrap up of the year, there are still books to be read before the year is over, but I can share a list of the shows and movies I enjoyed this year. Hopefully, I remember them all, at the end of every year I start to forget all of what I did. Another thing I feel I have forgotten how to do is blog. I haven’t done it in so long that it doesn’t feel as natural as it used to, let’s hope that changes. In the meantime let’s get on with this, I watched a lot of things this year. I spent more time watching television than I usually do.  After I started college I used all of my reading time to instead watch Netflix and Hulu. I probably watched more TV than is good for me.

TV Shows

The Good Place Season 2

Not quite as good as the first season but still tremendously enjoyable and I am so ready for the third season to end and be put on Netflix.

The Dragon Prince

This was a pretty good show it was not as good as the reviews I saw for it online made it out to be, but was for sure worth watching.

Brookline Nine-Nine

I am still watching this one, it is really funny and I get why everyone loves it, but I am not sure if it will become a favorite. I really like it but I don’t love it. I just finished season three so maybe the next two seasons will change my mind and solidify ita s a great show.

Voltron: Legendary Defenders

This show is surprisingly amazing admittedly I was not expecting much despite my brothers praise for it, but I am so glad I let him talk me into watching it. It took a bit of time to get into this one but it is worth getting through the first season, it gets better and better. The seventh season is epic we watched that season in one night and it was so fun. This show is one of the best animated-shows I have seen in a long time, it is up there with Avatar and Legend of Kero for me and that is saying a lot.

Movies

Everything, Everything

I thought this was a really well-done adaptation, I am still not totally okay with the way this story ends and I understand why there is controversy around the book, that being said I liked the movie. It was cute, the acting was good, and the way they incorporated all the imagery that was in the book was neat. Also, the bunt scene was top notch.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

This is still the cutest movie I’ve seen it twice and now I will watch it many more times. I can see myself turning to this cheerful movie during next semesters finals and hopefully, it won’t be too long before the sequel comes out!

Dumplin

Netflix is killing it with this book to movie adaptations can they please keep adapting adorable books into equally cute movies. I have to admit that I still have not read Dumplin I know I need to and I will eventually, but it did not stop me from enjoying this wonderful movie.

Black Panther

It seems like this movie came out forever ago, but February was not that long ago. This is for sure one of the greatest Marvel movies I love everything about it, especially the kickass characters this is the only Marvel movie with a fully developed villain.

Avengers Infinity War

This movie killed me and the next one will be worse. I’m honestly not ready.  I read the comic and knew what was going to happen and yet, I was still surprised and sad when it did happen. I don’t know how the movie will choose to resolve everything but I’m sure whatever happens will be amazing.

I have watched a lot of good things this year and next year has even more and better movies releasing. I plan for the first thing I watch in 2019 to be Mary Poppins Returns I want to go see it on New Years Day and start the year off with a bit of magic.

What are your favorite shows and movies you watched in 2018? And what is one movie your excited to watch next year?

Booktubers writing books: Why is this controversial?

Youtubers releasing books is growing increasingly common and every time it happens controversy arises. There is always the question of did they actually write the book. This is has been talked about many times, it’s by no means a new conversation. I had always been hesitant to voice my opinion because I didn’t follow popular youtubers. It didn’t matter to me that they were writing books, but now that booktubers are beginning to publish books I have a lot more to say.

I think a booktuber releasing a book is a totally different situation than a famous youtuber getting approached by a publisher. There haven’t been too many booktubers even release books I can think of only one with a book out and another who has a book releasing next year. There are many booktubers who talk about writing books just as there are many bloggers who talk about it. Readers often dream of writing a book. These booktubers who are living that dream have talked about writing a lot. It seems clear to me that they have worked hard to get where they are.

There’s a lot of assumptions that youtubers have ghost writers and I’m sure they sometimes do. I don’t think that’s the case with booktubers at least not currently. I also do not think that they get book deals just because they have a youtube channel. It defiantly doesn’t hurt them but I don’t see it helping them as much as people assume. Booktube is a small side of youtube booktubers are popular among a very specific group of people they are not famous. Yes, their name might help them get published it could be the only reason their getting published. But I really doubt it and it does not mean they’re doing this solely for money or that they did not work for it.

When Zenith by Sasha Alsberg released I saw a lot of people rate it low some of them seem to have valid reseasons. Many of them mention her being a booktuber and one review said it would not have been released if she wasn’t a booktuber. They are probably right my question is what’s wrong with that? It is hard to get published if youtube is your way to do that then I think that’s okay. It seems that Sasha genuinely wanted to be an author. Most peoples first book is bad it doesn’t mean she won’t improve. I might not ever read Zenith I don’t like sci-fi but I am happy she got published. She was my age when it happened and that is impressive to me, and as someone who wants to write a book, I’m not going to ever say a book doesn’t deserve to be published. Unless that book is severely misogynistic or racist or something like that.

 

I hardly read anymore and it’s okay

Reading/blogging used to be in my list of top priorities now my priorities are succeeding in my classes, taking advatage of all the opportunities college gives you and taking care of myself. All of these things go hand and hand and take up most of my time. Reading is now something that not only do I not have much time for it’s also something I haven’t been wanting to do. Usually when I’m not reading anything I will complain about being in a reading slump this time that isn’t the case. The thing is I’m busy, other things are interfering with my usual reading time and I am surprisingly okay with that. I thought reading would be something I would strive to make time for in college and I could make more time for it if I wanted to, but I don’t. Here’s why.

  • All it takes to be “a reader” is to like books. That’s it that’s the one requirement. I don’t care if you’ve only read a magazine this year if you love books then you are a book lover and a reader it is that simple.
  • School is the priority. College is way, way, more important than reading and more important then this blog. I’m not going to be doing much reading or blogging and that is okay because I’m busy doing something that matters more. Being a student comes before everything else always, except for my mental health and general well being that is what comes first but I think you get what I mean.
  • I just don’t want to read. When I have free time reading isn’t usually what I want to do with it. Sometimes reading isn’t what I want to do and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m starting to not read things for the sake of reading, what I mean is I used to want to always be reading something. It felt more like a nead then a want and I would read whatever was available to me. I added anything that looked even remotely interesting to my tbr. That need to read isn’t there right now. I’m going to make sure any book I spend my limited amount of time reading is one I’m excited for.
  • Assigned readings: I have a lot of reading I have to do for my classes, reading something for pleasure is different then assigned reading, but I don’t want to read anything else after reading a hundred pages from a dull biography. That is a big reason why when I take breaks or finish my homework for the day Netflix sounds more fun than doing more reading. I am going to try and devote a little more of my time to blogging though, because I need to spend more time on creative outlets.
  • I’m 133% complete with my goodreads challenge: my goal was thirty and I have read forty books. Forty books is a lot of books so it is okay if I don’t read anything else for the rest of the year because I have already read more books than I expected to. I have read a lot of good books it’s okay if I don’t read anything else for the rest of the year I’m busy I get a pass for that.

I think my new reading goal for every year will be to read one book that I love that I have not read before. I want to fall in love with a new story at least once a year if I can do that then I can be satisfied.

Fall time reads // my autumn tbr

Yesterday was the first day of fall! And the first day in two weeks that hasn’t been ninety degrees the high was ninety five friday, sixty four yesterday, and then seventy three today the weather is odd here. It is at last beginning to feel like fall  I’m so glad and ready to wear all my cute sweaters, and read all the cozy fall reads.

Normally I would recommend some books that remind me of fall and share the books I plan on reading. I started to do just that, but I realized I had already recommended the books I was listing multiple times. So instead I’m just going to be talking about some of the books I plan on reading in the next few months during my favorite season. I’ll be super busey soon with midterms and know that even though there’s only four books on this list I will not read all of them, to be fair one of them is 992 pages. In an ideal world where I had all the time in the world these are the books I would be reading.

TBR

  • The Price Guide to the Occult: After being so impressed with Ava Lavender I will read anything by Leslie Walton I don’t know what this book is even about but I’m excited to read it! I think it is a supernatural novel so it should be a perfect fit to read around halloween.
  • Dumplin: This is for sure the oddball of this list I it is not my typical fall read but one that I must read before the movie comes out. I’m so excited to read the book and watch the movie. I think it is awesome that it’s becoming a movie because it seems like a fun read and it’s important to see different body types represented on screen.
  • A Room Away From the Wolves: I have never read a book quite like The Walls Around Us but I would really like too, so hopefully this next book by her will be just as mysterious and wonderful.
  • Kingdom of Ash: I’m so scared for this I had so many issues with Empire of Storms and also when I read A Court of Mist and Fury the writing seemed I don’t know not the best. A lot of the lines were almost identical to ones in the Throne of Glass series and that is annoying. I don’t even like any of the lines that have been released I don’t know if her writing has always been bad and I’m just now noticing or if I actually do think it’s good and just didn’t like ACOMAF. I do know that I’m nervous I will not enjoy this. I hope it proves me wrong.

What books are you planning on picking up this fall? In there a certain kind of book you gravitate during the autumn months?