Saturday, 23 January 2016

OFF THE PAGE #2 - MAPS




#2 MAPS

This meme is hosted by Nicola from Queen of the Bookshelves.

I want to start by saying Maps are not my favorite thing. I love them as artwork but actually using it for a book is very hard for me. I get really confused sometime even by simple maps and that is why I try to avoid trying to use the map while reading a book. But when it comes to writing my own book, I am trying my best at understanding the map I am using. Before I talk about my experience with Maps in my writing I am going to show you some of my favorite Maps in Books.


My Third Favorite is the Erilia map from Throne of Glass.






This Map was really confusing for me in the begging but then I decided Just to keep staring at it for a very long time. I have no idea how long but is was well over an hour and I began understanding some of the things, I now think I can actually use this Map while reading the books but I cannot spend over an hour on each book map so, this will be one of the few I will ever understand.


My second favorite map is the Witchlands Map


This Map is still really confusing to me but that is because I have not spent much time trying to figure it out in my mind. But I will do so as soon as I finish Truthwitch which I am trying to read as slowly as possible because it is just... (I am crying as I am writing this), so emotional. I don't know why but everything is just like .. what!? SO GOOD!! I knew I would like it but not as much as I actually love it. I want to get married to it!! (Now back to the post) It is my number two map because of the beauty that it is. This map looks magnificent. Don't you think so!? If you want to see it in the full detail and actually be able to interact and learn from it click this : Witchlands Map.


Now to my favorite of all Maps which is The Study Series Map


This Map is not my favorite because of the books themselves but because it is very easy to understand. I actually understood this map instantly and it has contributed to my enjoyment of this series as I can image the exact way they are moving and also this map gives me hope for books to come. Maria V Snyder wrote and is still writing in this world but I hope that one day she writes of what is beyond the Soul/Emerald Mountains. (Fangirling bit next skip it if you don't wanna hear my theory.) Maybe on the other side people have electricity and they use it in everyday life with their magic.


Maps in my Writing

In my current WIP A Broken Rule I still have to make a map. What I do know is that it will be very complicated. At first I need to make a map of the City they live but then of the entire world as the story progresses. I have tried this multiple times but the Map never ends up looking like anything I can understand. This is probably because of my shitty drawing skills. All that I am using at the moment is a random Map of Pangaea I found online. And I have to say it is confusing me but I am trying my best.


And I want to end this by saying 
MAPS ARE NOT MY CUP OF TEA!!
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Thursday, 21 January 2016

OFF THE PAGE #1 - STORIES NEW AND OLD


#1 Stories New and Old


This is my first post in a new series of posts I will be doing about my Writing. 
This meme is hosted by Nicola from Queen of the Bookshelves.
Click here for Original Post

Past:

I have probably been writing since I was about 3 years old. At that time I was obsessed with 101 Dalmatians and could only write the two letters O and C but I still wrote on a piece of blank paper fan-fiction of them going on different adventures. Then I would narrate them to my very patient Kindergarten teacher and she would write them down in actual words. I don't actually have them anymore but a few years ago the same teacher has told me that she found them in her home and she has now put them in file. I would ask for them but I don't know how to contact her or even if she is still alive because she was quite an old teacher.

I began writing again after Kindergarten in Year 5 at about the age of 9 or ten. There was an old British man that came to live in Malta and read us stories and after he read us The BFG by Roald Dahl we were tasked of writing a story about a giant/giants. After our teacher corrected them, she had given what she considered the best to him and he read them. About a week later he told me and my friend at the time if we would like to make my story into a short play and we instantly obliged. After a few weeks we had written the script and he corrected it for us and did all the editing for it. Then we casted most of our classmates for the play and began building the set in the art room for the play but finally it ended up not being performed because we didn't finish the set in time and the Headmistress wouldn't let us continue working on it the year after that. I do not know where the script for this play is.

At that point I had told myself that she actually just didn't like my writing and it was pure shit and I shouldn't write anything unless it is for HW or an exam. (To be fair my writing was probably pure shit but I would like to think that it has gotten better.)

Some important information for the next part: I was a full on Pantser. 

Then I began writing again in about Form 2 when I was about 12 years old and I wrote several stories by hand in my free lessons at school but none of them ever got done. One of them was called The Adventures of Luna and the other was called The Stone of Balance

The Adventures of Luna stopped after chapter two and I couldn't figure out what the hell I was trying to write and what Luna was supposed to accomplish (I also have no idea where these chapters are). While The Stone of Balance is 7 Chapters long. I actually know where these are and you can look at them below, if you can actually recognize my writing. The grammatical mistakes are edited by pencil by my Best Friend Gian. The writing in this is also pure shit (Excuse me for using the same expression too many times but I think it is the best way to describe it). 
Enjoy :)    









If you did read them I apologize for the horrifying experience you had and now let's continue :)  

Present:

After these two projects I decided that my writing would not be something anyone would want to read an entirely gave up on writing until one very special week in August of 2015 were my now two highest priorities came into existence through one giant chain reaction that had started in 2013 when I was at a bookstore and I decided to pick up a random book and actually read it all the way through and I had picked up the first book in The Healer Series by Maria V Snyder : Touch of Power.

This book later on lead me to Poison Study and in that faithful day in mid August I decided to see if anyone had ever read it on YouTube and 
polandbananas20 video about Poison Study came up and I found the book community which later on in the year lead me to NaNoWriMo. The moment I learnt about NaNoWriMo I told myself that I would try to write at least 5000 words and give myself one last chance at writing and I loved it. I found that writing is my stress reliever. The more stressed I am the more words pour out and that 5K word count goal turned to 50K and I actually completed that first draft that now I am giving a year to myself a chance to edit it and see if I want to continue on with that story.

The WIP name for it is A Broken Rule but I think it makes no sense after I wrote the first Draft but I don't want to get caught up with the name so it is going to stay that way. My friend made a temporary book cover for me when I completed the 50K which I don't think is that bad. Tell me what you think about it in the comments.


   
General Idea of the WIP : 

About 1000 years ago the continents clashed back together and reformed Pangaea. Most humans died as the continental shift happened but the ones that lived learnt the truth from Solas (Goddess of Light) and most of them gained magic. Only three years later her sister finished creating and released Reapers. Human like beings that have a special touch. Whenever they touch a human they drain their life-force and most of the time kill them. Now there are only a few hundreds of thousands of humans left on Earth and the main populous lives inside The Wall. Inside The Wall, Ice, Water, Earth and Plant magicians oppress the Normals and kill any Fire magician that is discovered in fear of the Wall melting or kindling.  

The main protagonists are in their first year of magic school where they will be chosen and trained for specific jobs according to their potential. They will slowly begin to learn that there may be a way to bring Solas back through a minor character's (that plays a major role) special power. They also learn that bringing her back would mean that all the Reapers die but the path to bringing her back will be a puzzling, dangerous and illegal path to take.

General Info about the Goddesses:

The Goddesses are not omnipotent and unbeatable beings and they do have their weaknesses. One ability that some gods in various religions have is that they know what they is going to happen but these two Goddesses do not posses such an ability either.

The 50K+ words I have written so far are going through some major rewriting and the Story is evolving as I continue to rewrite it as I do not have anything but the basic magic system planned out and that is actually my next thing to edit because I want to make it more detailed and make some magic less powerful than it is because Fire Magicians at the moment have a major advantage that makes no sense.

Now answering the Questions I still have not answered from this week's questions that you can find below.

Yes, my old writing makes me more than cringe.
No, I don't think my past work inspire my current work but I do think a charcter in A Broken Rule is inspired by a character from a short story I had written as an exam essay in Form 1 or Form 2.

My Off The Page posts will be about A Broken Rule. I hope you enjoyed this very long post and you keep reading the posts to come.

If you want to take part in this as well on your blog, this weeks topic and questions are the following : 

Your past and present novels. 
How did you get from those old works to where your writing is now? 
Do your old works make you cringe? 
Did they, inspire your current work?   
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

LATE TBR JAR CHALLENGE










So as you know many people do the TBR JAR challenge at the beginning of the year but I just decided so I am going to be doing it from February. I got some of these from Jessica @ Novel Cravings's Around the World in 52 Books post.

  • A non-fiction book.
  • A historical fiction.
  • A book you meant to read in 2015 but didn't.
  • A novel from Goodreads Top 100 Fantasy and Sci-Fi list.
  • The highest rated book on your TBR.
  • A Retelling (lose or not lose).
  • The sequel to a book you have read.
  • A short story/novella collection.
  • The first book in a series.
  • A book no more than 300 pages long.
  • A book from 2015 that had a lot of hype and I still have not read.

I wanted to do this challenge because I want to push my boundaries just a little and also I wanna get surprised by my reads and since I am not much of a moody reader this won't affect me much.


Also every month starting from February I will be doing a Wrap-up or Monthly TBR or TBR JAR talk.




I might be decorating my TBR Jar as the year progresses but for now I am too lazy. :)
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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

MY FAVORITE BOOKS EVER - RECOMMENDATION!?



I haven't read too many books but I recommend these series to everyone because I utterly loved them and they are probably the reason I began this blog and made so many friends and found so many communities inside the book community. This is because these books were so good I began to read more and recently I had put them to second place but I have reread some of the books from both of these series and I decided to put them back in my Number 1 spot.

Drum Roll


The Ixia Chronicles and Healer Series by Maria V Snyder


List to all the books on Goodreads here: 


Trigger warning for rape in The Ixia Chronicles(appears more than once and it is not skippable as it is part of the plot) and there are sex scenes in both series that contribute to the plot. I want to make sure that everyone knows that these rape and sex scenes are there for no reason. They are sometimes major plot points that make the novels feel more real and the characters feel less perfect(which in my opinion makes them feel like real people).

A brief Synopsis on The Ixia Chronicles: They begin in Poison Study were Yelena that has been in prison for a year is taken out of the prison to be executed for murder. But there is a law in Ixia that states that the next in line to be executed can choose between execution or being the Commanders Food Taster for the rest of their lives if there is the need for a food taster. She has no chance of escape that will let her survive and more and more people are targeting her. Then she finds a secret hidden even from herself. A secret that will change her life. 
(Yelena is the main character for Poison/Magic/Fire/Shadow Study but in Storm/Sea/Spy Glass series Opal a character Yelena is friends with is the main character.)

A brief Synopsis of The Healer Series: Avry is healer. In the land healers are blamed for a plague that has decimated the kingdoms and so healers are hunted. She is rescued from prison by a gang of mercenaries. Together they need to travel the over the Nine Mountains. Avry has to decide who she should heal and who she is ready to die for as whatever she heals from someone effects her.
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I have to begin by saying these books are my favorite books I have ever read. Recently it was Carry On but since I have re-read the first book of Touch of Power and Poison Study again and I have decided that I like them better. So Carry On is now my second favorite.

First thing I have to say about The Ixia Chronicles mostly but about the Healer Series as well is that you will not expect the magic that people have. Every kind of magic in these books is either a usual magic with a twist or an entirely new kind of magic that I had never heard about and to this have never heard about except for those books. In my opinion the best magic that I have ever read or seen is the magic in the Glass Series. It is amazing and utterly spectacular. Also the best thing about the magic in these books is how Maria V Snyder writes it. It is vivid and I can imagine it easily without any problems.

These books also have diversity mostly, The Ixia Chronicles. There are people of many different ethnicity and there also is a Trans character that appears in some of the books but is mostly shown in Poison and Shadow Study.  

You should totally read these books if you like PLOT TWISTS, I cannot stress this enough but PLOT TWISTS in these books are almost impossible to see mostly when they involve new magic popping up and magic that was not fully discovered or not yet explained for a very good reason. 

The worlds are vast and they have amazing traits and some things that are not found on planet earth or with a slight little twist to them that makes them crazily interesting. These things also are major plot points.

The magic systems in both of these book series are very different from each other but I loved both. I don't think this is a spoiler but if you do skip this paragraph. In The Ixia Chronicles magic is a blanket around the world that some people have the ability to access and use in different quantities and ways (If you have read Carry On it is very similar). On the other hand the Healer Series magic, is inside the body. So everyone has limited magic that they can regenerate(If you have read Heir of Fire it is very similar). Something in both series is that both have different ways for one to use magic and gain magic except for the usual ways described in here that I think are spoilers so I will not talk about them. 

Biggest Plot Twist goes to Shadow Study in my opinion. 
DISCLAIMER:
If you usually look at the last pages of a book, don't you dare do that with Shadow Study or you will ruin the ending that with major importance you should not ruin in this book.

I feel like the characters in these series are immensely likable because of how real they feel.

I highly recommend you read both of these series. If you are reading them make sure to read them in publishing order for the same series which is:

Healer Series
1.Touch of Power, 2.Scent of Magic, 3.Taste of Darkness

Ixia Chronicles

Study Series

1.Poison Study, 2.Magic Study, 3.Fire Study, 

Glass Series

4.Storm Glass, 5.Sea Glass, 6.Spy Glass, 

Soulfinder Series

7.Shadow Study, 8.Night Study(coming out at the end of this January), 
9.Dawn Study(coming out probably sometime early in 2017)

I want to end by saying that one day I want to collect all of these books in the flame/flower matte covers and if you want to purchase these books the links are below.

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Book Depository






Amazon US





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Monday, 4 January 2016

SHORT STORY #2 - THE MYSTERY OF DEATH










I wrote this short story as an essay for my English Class. Instead of a title we were given these instructions : 

Write a story that includes the words : 
 Man   
• Horse
• Liquid

If you want to write the short story that includes this, please do so and either leave it in the comments or send me a tweet. I am @duanethereader on Twitter.


The Mystery of Death

As nights go, a man rises from the puff of white smoke of the fire that was suffocated by the weak white crystals that turn into a clear liquid as they reach the flame.


As the man begins to rise, you can see his body form. First come the legs. Then his chest and later his hands that sprout from the sides of the top of his chest like flowers sprouting out of the ground. Until finally his head forms and his eyelids open and you see him in all of his magnificent glory. The smoke dissipates and his body is whole. Every inch of him except for his eyes covered in dark blue armor, which is dotted with silver scratches all over. Almost as if they were placed there to make the armor look like the night sky.   

He walks up the hill and looks down the other side, where he can see a field full of blades of grass whipping to the night's wind, where the weak white crystals did not fall. He leans down and grabs a handful of the white crystals before running down the hill. When he is in the field, he looks around until he sees a red shimmer of light that he walks towards. He finally comes to a clearing where men, women and children are sleeping on the ground. In the middle of the clearing he spots a pyre just like the one, he rose from but instead of it being full of human bones, there are the remains of a once beautiful horse. He goes around the sleeping humans soundlessly and makes it to the pyre were he throws the white crystals and from the puff of white smoke that arises forms a horse.


The horse forms in the same way the man had formed before. And when he finally opens his eyes, he finds the man's eyes looking at his. Both bright blue like the skies during daytime. Clear of imperfection and full of longing for the sun neither will ever see again. The horse is also covered in the same armor as the man except for his eyes and his lushes black hair that comes out of the back of his head and his tail.


The man slowly approaches the horse and rides him. As he rides him, the horse neighs. The people that till now had been sleeping now are awake. The horse charges away from between an old woman and a child and so the man has to make the choice at once. And he does and once more the cycle begins again.

I hope you enjoyed the story! Tell me what you thought about it in the comments! :)













DEAR EMPRESS OF KINDNESS

,





I want to begin with telling you how I came to know you are a living person and how I got sucked into the Fandom.

'One day I was watching Sasha from abookutopia on youtube when she says that she is reading her friend's arc of this amazing up coming book called Truthwitch. Once she explained the a brief of synopsis of the book, I was hooked and I searched the internet for you. Only to discover the last dose of Fangirl drug I needed. You were hosting the first #CLANCHAT. I joined the clanchat and was totally confused, thinking that I made it into the Street Team (not knowing what it was) because I asked someone (I have no idea who) "Can I join the Street Team?" and they said yes but I was later very dissapointed to know that in fact that meant 'Yes, you can join the Street Team but not just by asking. You have to be involved in the community.' but the devastation soon was over ruled by me remembering that I had just won the Clan stickers!'

Later I had joined every other #CLANCHAT and also made my Photoshop skills slightly improve (because I practiced more often making fanart) and finally most importantly made so many friends including Emily from Piplup's Shadowy Bookshelf that helped me a lot when I had just started the blog. 

Now, I am part of The Street Team which soon is sadly coming to a close and I made amazing friends from all over the world that I wouldn't have otherwise (Since I don't tend to leave the house unless obligated). 

So finally, I want to say THANK YOU! in your favorite color for all that you have done for all of us oh great EMPRESS OF KINDNESS! 

I look forward to meeting you in real life someday! :)





Leave a comment with a link to your blog post with a letter or a similar thing to Susan and I will add you to the list in this post.



Saturday, 2 January 2016

My 2016 Goals!




Background Story: I named this 2016 Goals and not 2016 Resolutions cause I feel pressured by the word Resolutions. I know that makes no sense but for me a goal is something that even if I do a part of it, I am not a failure a resolution on the other hand does make me feel like an enormous failure.

The Goals will be separated by these goal types : Writing, Reading, Blog.



So let's begin

WRITING

1) Carry around a notebook wherever I go.
I want to do this so that if I have a plot idea or an idea in general, I can always have something to write it on because, I always keep forgetting the ideas that come to me in a middle of a class or while I am out with my friends.


2) Finish self-editing and re-writing my novel.
For those of you who don't know, which I think are the majority if not all, this year I participated and won NaNoWriMo. I finished the first draft but I still haven't done anything to it yet. I want that by the end of this year maybe, if I still like the novel, I can get some beta readers to see if I should or should not continue working on this novel. I also want to maybe share something from the book and see if people like it.
(P.S. If there is anyone that knows how to get beta readers, please contact me.)

3) Write more short stories.
Short stories aren't my strong suite in my writing ability in any way. Most of them have a broken plot because the story ends with almost no plot points resolved. So I want to try to write better short stories. This will both help me for my English exams as well, in my blog. My second post ever on this blog is actually a short story written by my friend and edited by me. In the post I say that this will be a series, in which I mean I will be posting more short stories written by me or edited by me for the reason to force myself, to write more short stories. (P.S. If anyone is interested in the short stories(most probably dark themed ones) please comment below.)



READING

1) Read 50 books.
In 2015, I couldn't read 50 books because I got addicted to books just in the middle of August and I am a slow reader(160 words/minute) and so I couldn't read too many books but this year I am determined to read 50 books, with the goal of reading a book a week and having books that take slightly longer or reading slump time is 2 weeks. I am already doing really great since by today (January 2nd) I will probably finish The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey.  

2) Participate in The Summer BookTube -A- Thon.
I want to participate, not finish all the challenges. I will try to  finish all the challenges except for read 7 books. I have a reason for this. As I said I am a slow reader and completing the read 7 books challenge would literally mean I either read tiny books or I spend about 14-20 hours a day reading which would probably put me in a reading slump. I do not usually exceed the 10 hours a day of reading and if I do, the next day I will probably read about a chapter. 


BLOG

1) Post at least once a week.
I think that this is a pretty manageable, post amount for me. Since i only started blogging last December.

2) Post at least twice a week in my Summer Holidays.
In the summer holidays I have a lot of time were i just stare at the ceiling while lying on my bed, so I want to stop doing that by making a schedule. A schedule that will give me some gaming, watching TV shows and movies, reading and blogging time.
3) Post at least one book review per month.

I had a lot of fun while writing the book reviews. Although they are very time consuming and slow down my reading pace, I still want to review more books because I have a lot of fun telling everyone how I felt about the book in detail. (P.S. Check my Twitter because every month starting from March I will be asking you which book to review from that month's TBR.)

4) Co-Host a Read-A-Long.
More information to come in the future.

That is it for my 2016 Goals, I hope you enjoyed. 
I want to know your goals. Leave them in the comments below. 
:)







Truthwitch Party










This is my Truthwitch Party Kit.
It is made of 3 games, 1 bookmark and 1 drink.
Enjoy.

Game #1


Game #2


Drink #1


Game #3




Two-Sided Bookmark #1



Feel free to download and print the bookmark and do any of the games/drink above.

If you want to buy Truthwitch by Susan Dennard check the links below.

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Paperback - Book Depository or Amazon(US)
Hardback  - Book Depository or Amazon(US)

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