Monthly Mixtape #10: Beginning

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Monthly Mixtape is back! We took a little break from Monthly Mixtape but we are BACK and READY with a rebrand. If this is your first time here, Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by me, Eve @ Twist in the Taile, and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

This time around we’re going to be trying a new style of prompt! Instead of giving a definition this time we picked a broader theme (because you know, new year and all, I do like a bit of renewal). Please do let us know what you think of it 🙂

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the previous prompts as well if you like. The next Monthly Mixtape will hopefully be up in the first week of February! And this month’s prompt is…

#10: beginning

Add or view playlist links HERE

I had a lot of fun making this playlist! I kind of decided to go for a bit of reflection by picking songs about the past and also songs that I listened to obsessively some time ago. Is it a law that I am drawn to include a Mitski and Ted Leo song for every playlist I make? I guess so. There’s something in there about using the past to make a new beginning… But anyway. I hope you enjoy.

Sunlight streaming out through a tree in the mountains. The word 'beginning' in a script font.

listen on spotify / youtube

this year – the mountain goats
someone new – darwin deez
if i’m being honest – dodie
every time i hear that song – brandi carlile
old friend – mitski
plea from a cat named virtute – the weakerthans
new year’s day – u2
biomusicology – ted leo and the pharmacists

I’m looking forward to listening to more of your wonderful playlists! And if you fancy sharing any music recommendations or what you’ve been listening to lately, I’d love to hear it. (I’m not gonna lie, I’m still obsessed with Thank U, Next; I’m sure it’ll be coming to a Monthly Mixtape soon haha.)

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Monthly Mixtape #7: Constellate

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hi there! I’m back with actual playlists for Monthly Mixtape! Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of August! And this month’s prompt is…

#7: constellate

constellate, verb: 1 : to unite in a cluster
2 : to set or adorn with or as if with constellations

Add or view playlist links HERE

It took me a while to think of where I wanted to go with this one, but I’m pleased with the final result — it’s sort of a combination of space-themed songs and songs that make me think of unity. I also had a random craving to listen to Life on Mars so that’s in there, but it’s a bop so WHY NOT. Also, Talk to Me has one of my favourite lyrics, ‘there’s a universe inside your head, constellations are the things you left unsaid’. I think that’s such cool imagery. ANYWAYS.

A starry night sky over a hill with the word 'constellate' in brush script.

listen on spotify / youtube

talk to me – lauren aquilina
us – regina spektor
life on mars – david bowie
somebody else – the 1975
the space tapes – shura
i like that – janelle monáe
science fiction – christine and the queens
give yourself a try – the 1975

I hope you enjoy this, and do check out playlists made by Evi, Holly, and Shadowriverdaleharley for last month’s prompt Hamartia if you’re looking for more. 🙂

Monthly Mixtape #5: Mellifluous

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of June! And this month’s prompt is…

#5: mellifluous

mellifluous, adjective: 1 : having a smooth rich flow
2 : filled with something (such as honey) that sweetens

Add or view playlist links HERE

And if you’re on WordPress you can also tag your post on with ‘monthly mixtape’. 🙂 Unfortunately I’ve been really busy with school (my first GCSE is in TWO DAYS *screams*) so I haven’t had time to make a playlist for this post, but I very much look forward to listening to Evi’s playlist and any others you all make!

 

Monthly Mixtape #4: Risorgimento

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hey everyone! I’m back with the April edition of Monthly Mixtape. (You can check out the earlier prompts here.) I found some wonderful new music listening to your playlists — do check out playlists by Michelle and Mer. If you’d like to share a playlist I didn’t see do let me know. 🙂

Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by me, Eve @ Twist in the Taile, and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. Feel free to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of May! And this month’s prompt is…

#4: risorgimento

risorgimento, noun: a time of renewal or renaissance; revival

Add or view playlist links HERE 

I hope you enjoy this prompt! Risorgimento (with a capital) actually describes the 19th century movement for Italian political unity, which I didn’t know about before discovering this word. You learn new things every day! As ever, I look forward to listening to your playlist, and you can view other playlists or add a link to your playlists above — of course it’s not obligatory, but I’d love to be able to see your posts. 🙂

Sunlight streaming over grass with a blurry tree in the background. The word 'Risorgimento' in a blocky font.

for rebirth, for reawakening, for learning to be reborn through the destruction.
listen on youtube / spotify

jennifer – fazerdaze
just like heaven – the cure
earth to heaven – esperanza spalding
send them off! – bastille
the future (is learning to…) – ted leo
don’t save me – haim
ain’t it fun – paramore
fireworks – mitski

Feeling out a playlist from the prompt is always such an interesting experience for me! For this one, I sort of tried to combine songs that I wanted to fit into the idea of renewal and revival with, like, an actual revival of old songs I used to listen loads to…? I DON’T KNOW. I think I went a bit wild on the theme but, you know, never mind. (Also, bonus points if you can guess which songs are my ‘old songs’ haha.) (Also, when I say ‘old’, I mean like 3 years old, because I am still a very young person.)

what music did you used to listen to all the time? do you still like it?

Monthly Mixtape #3: Petrichor

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hey everyone! I’m back with the March edition of my music feature Monthly Mixtape. (You can check out the earlier prompts here.) I’m definitely enjoying this opportunity to discover new music in addition to making playlists of my own — check out those on The Writing HufflepuffScattered Delusions and by my co-creator Evi on Adventuring Through Pages. If you’d like to share a playlist I didn’t see do let me know. 🙂

Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by me, Eve @ Twist in the Taile, and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of April! And this month’s prompt is…

#3: petrichor

petrichor, noun: a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

Add or view playlist links HERE 

I hope you enjoy this prompt and, as ever, I look forward to listening to your playlists! You can view other playlists or add a link to your playlists above — of course it’s not obligatory, but I’d love to be able to see your posts!

A close up of two green leaves with water droplets on them. The word 'petrichor' in a script font.

for walking through the forest after a summer rain.
listen on youtube / spotify

undan hulu – ólafur arnalds
mercury –  sufjan stevens, bryce dessner, nico muhly, james mcalister
amar pelos dois – salvador sobral
soothing – laura marling
moon river – frank ocean
february air (acoustic) – lights
naked as we came – iron and wine
featherstone – the paper kites

I’m really happy with this final playlist — the first song, Undan Hulu, was actually used in my school play last year so it brings back very vivid memories for me. Also Frank Ocean’s cover of Moon River is SO. GOOD. ASDFGHJK I CAN’T.

Anyway, I’d love to hear any music you’ve been into lately! Have you ever smelt petrichor?

Monthly Mixtape #1: Luminescence

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hey everyone! I’m really excited in this new year to begin a new feature that I’ve been wanting to introduce for a while… and without further ado, I welcome you to Monthly Mixtape!

Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by me, Eve @ Twist in the Taile, and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into. You can link to your Monthly Mixtape below!

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of February. 🙂 And the first prompt is…

#1: luminescence

luminescence, noun: a light which is not produced by heat; a soft light. 

I hope you enjoy making playlists from this prompt, and I really look forward to listening to them! You can add your link or view other playlists here:

Purple watercolour swash with the word 'links' in a script font.

I’ve also made my own playlist which I’m rather excited to share since it has a lot of songs I love on it, yay! And remember to check out the playlist that my wonderful co-host Evi made here.

Three circular lamps hanging down over a white wall with hanging leaves. The word 'luminescence' in a script font.

a playlist for sitting by the lake at night. for meeting a forgotten friend. for the soft and bittersweet glow in your chest.
listen on youtube / spotify

wonder – lauren aquilina
secret for the mad – dodie
compartir – carla morrison
young – frankie cosmos
i will – mitski
all that – carly rae jepsen
cool blue – the japanese house
rainbow – kesha

Please do share any feedback you have! (I didn’t find any other blog link-ups like this and I sincerely hope that I’m not accidentally taking it from anyone?) I hope you enjoy, and I’m really looking forward to listening to your playlists and sharing the music I love. 🙂

Buddy Read: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

dash-and-lily

Helloo everyone! This month I was lucky enough to participate in a readalong with the very lovely Lia @ Lost in a Story and Lu @ Girl Who Reads. We read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, a book about book-lovers in NYC at Christmas. 😀 It really got me in the Christmas mood!

I am myself both a) a book lover and b) a lover of New York City so this book appealed to me immensely. The premise is that each person leaves instructions in a special notebook for the next person to follow… I thought that was super cool. Even if reality was sometimes stretched. Although it wasn’t, like, a critical genius, I found it a sweet & fluffy read!  I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on the sequel at some point.

We each answered some questions about the book on each of our blogs, so go and check out the other posts here and here! (Wouldn’t want to miss our wonderful insights, naturally ahaha.) (Also, the cover I put for this post sadly isn’t the cover of my edition, but I thought this one looked way nicer so there we are.

how addicting was the book?

Me: It was really readable; although I didn’t read it in like 1 day because, alas, school, I read it very fast and I was invested in what would happen next in the story.

Lucy: I wouldn’t way that it was the most addicting book I’ve read this year, but it was certainly gripping! I was always wanting to know what happened next, but not to the extremes like some of the books I’ve read recently. I actually really liked that it wasn’t so gripping that I couldn’t put it down, as it meant that the overall reading experience was lovely.

Lia: The book was quite addicting, after I got into the book and passed halfway I just couldn’t stop reading. I was reading the e-book and I had no clue how far I was into the story and then it was suddenly over! I just needed more, immediately!

what could have been improved in the book?

Me: Some parts of it felt unbelievable to me. Sometimes the characters felt like their quirkiness was being stretched too far, and the premise was a tiny bit unbelievable. But there wasn’t anything massive.

Lucy: I think I would have liked the chapters to be a little shorter, because I was always wondering about the other chapters and found them a bit bulky for most contemporary dual PoV chapters.

Lia: Something that could have been improved… I think they could have toned down the way Dash speaks. Sometimes it felt like Dash swallowed a dictionary and randomly spits out words. Often I had no clue what the words meant, and that made it kind of less realistic.

are any of your pet peeves in this book?

Me: Mm, I don’t think so? I don’t read loads of contemporary YA romance, and it’s probably not my favourite genre ever. (Except Rainbow Rowell. I read a lot of Rainbow Rowell. Her books are in a league of their own for me ahaha.) But for what it was I enjoyed it a lot 😀

Lucy: Not so much a pet peeve, but I found Lily a tad immature ( and fun too), and was feeling sorry for herself quite a lot. I didn’t dwell too much on it, but I sort of just noticed it a few times.

Lia: There’s one thing in the book when Dash & Lily almost meet, but just miss each other. It is something that annoys me slightly, but I don’t think I would call it a pet peeve though.

Overall I had loads of fun doing my buddy read and I’d really like to participate in more in the future! 😀 It got me reading a book I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read ahaha, which was nice.

Beautiful Books (a nanowrimo update)

beautiful-books

You have probably seen a million and one things about it on social media already, but November means NaNoWriMo! I’m doing it again this year, for the 3rd time, although I do NaNo a little differently to many people I think… But that’s kind of what I’ll be sharing in this post, I guess. I’m linking up with the lovely Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In for Beautiful Books. 🙂

Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

This is going to be a bit of a roundabout answer — so, this is my 3rd time doing NaNo, as well as more Camps. In the past I’ve written 30k, and that’s manageable. I can normalyl write 1k in around half an hour. But each time I’ve done this and had to abandon whatever I’d written, because it was basically just crap. I never produced anything good or worthwhile because I was always trying to get SOMETHING down. That whole approach just didn’t really work for me.

This year I’m aiming for 15k, which is 500 words a day. Although it isn’t much, it’s still loads more than I normally write. And I’m actually enjoying NaNo a lot more this time. I don’t want writing to be a chore for me! So I think it’s going pretty okay so far. My writing itself is kind of terrible but the basic framework is wayyy better, in my opinion. (Probably because I’ve been sitting on this idea for about a year.)

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

NOOOO. Starting is the worst. Also, any actual writing style has basically just died for this month in favour of, like, a kind of framework. But anyway, here’s my first paragraph:

nanowrimo16-snippet

Lots of angst. That is Junjie. *nods*

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

I’m gonna be real — I’ve only introduced two of the four mostly-main characters so far. Junjie’s narrating so, like, probably him? But also JEM IS REALLY SMOL AND CUTE. Even though they have spoken approximately three lines so far, but who cares.

What do you love about your novel so far?

*winces* THERE’S FUN STUFF COMING IN THE FUTURE, I PROMISE. I am currently enjoying my characters and the general internal dialogue, because I always give my characters stupid angsty internal dialogue. Otherwise, the cool technology is also pretty fun.

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

I mean, I haven’t been doing any crazy word wars so far so not as many as usual! Although I have picked up a habit of writing little notes to myself in square brackets as I go. So here are two of them. The second one just made me laugh as I scrolled through my document.

nanowrimo16-notes-to-self

nanowrimo16 snippet2.PNG

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

HAHAHAHA. Well. I’ve never actually reached the end, and my middles always have no plot, so probably the beginning? But not the very beginning. Just after that.

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

I sometimes to listen to music, and I do actually have a playlist for this WIP! But if I find it too distracting I put on some kind of background noises through my headphones. Or I just put my headphones on and don’t listen to anything, because I kind of like the weight and the way they block stuff out? Otherwise, I guess I normally just write after homework haha. And I’m also partial to a cup of tea. 😉

How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

Eh, I’m pretty private. I don’t talk about my writing to anyone in real life and not even that much online! But what I do love is the whole atmosphere of writers writing together — like, that’s basically the reason I do NaNoWriMo. It makes a very solitary thing slightly less solitary. It’s really cool to cheer people on (or commiserate) on social media. 😀

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

The knowledge that it’s supposed to be hard. Like, writing is hard. I know this. The people who write the books I love say that writing is hard, and sometimes I don’t enjoy it that much. But my story is one that I want to read, and if I want to grow as a writer I have to write it.

What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

Okay: me, writing advice?! Yeah, no, I don’t really have that much. *scratches head* LOTS OF FOOD. Or another reward. Something to motivate you. (Even if it’s just writing an extremely gratuitous scene which is basically what I do.) I’m trying to think of things other people have told me, but quite frankly all pretense of good writing is abandoned for NaNo. JUST GO FOR IT, MY FRIENDS.

are you doing nanowrimo this year? if so, how is it going? or are you doing any other writing at the moment

Beautiful Books // introducing my nano novel

beautiful books.png

IT IS THAT TIME AGAIN. November, aka NaNoWriMo, aka I try to juggle way too many responsibilities at once and fail to write a novel. But despite this bout of pessimism, I am still very much here and thinking about The WIP. You may have seen me discussing it here and there on the blog, but overall I think you guys should hear a bit more. Because I like to talk about my smol children. 😉

Beautiful Books is a great link-up hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Please don’t laugh at me, because I have an extremely embarrassing origin story for this idea. (Even more embarrassing to people I know in real life. SAVE ME.) So I went to see my school’s production of King Henry V, and Henry (as well as a bunch of others because you know the original is almost all-male) was played by a girl. And I just thought… This seems really cool. And it would be EVEN COOLER in space.

Describe what your novel is about!

My WIP is essentially war, extremely-hyped-up-Wikipedia, and angst ALL IN SPACE. It revolves around four characters surviving through a conflict semi-started by one of the characters. (That is, Eleanor.) And there is also another royal who spends her time hating everything, a moody guy who doesn’t at all want to be in the armed forces, and a small mechanic who is possibly the only positive character in the whole book.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Here I direct you to my Pinterest board. All the time I have spent making that board should have been spent on planning, because now I have like 2 weeks to rewrite my whole plan, but NEVER MIIIND. *laughs manically*

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Okay, I’ll interest you to the four main characters and tell you a bit about them:
-> Junjie, an accidental hacker who roped himself into serving in the armed forces in order for his various wrongdoings to not be released. His mother is pretty important in the government, but she and Eleanor hate each other’s guts. And Eleanor doesn’t know that he’s in the army. Also, he has a cool cyborgised hand. (Is that a word? That’s super not a word. Oh well.)  Although no one thinks it’s cool because they all hate androids, but there we go.
-> Eleanor, a very determined newly ascended space queen. Originally my Henry V figure, although I’m not really retelling it anymore. But THAT’S WHAT SHE’S LIKE. She can have a very volatile temper but she is super patriotic.
-> Neus, who is also the heir to her city — I mean, there is a really weird political system that is still slightly in the works. So there is voting but also…not voting. (I KNOW AND I AM SORRY.) But she takes it in a completely different way; she doesn’t want to govern at all, and basically no one else wants her to, but she feels like she’s letting everyone down. THERE IS A LOT OF ANGST AND GUILT WITH THIS ONE.
-> Jem, a small mechanic who is literally still completing school but somehow is old enough to help out with military things. In an actual war. I’M SORRY I NEED TO THINK THIS THROUGH BUT NEVER MIND. They are a precious science-loving person. And also they are very sceptical of Junjie’s ‘I DO NOT CARE’ attitude. Hmm.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

Well… I’ve been trying to write this for about a year now, and I do have an 8k plan filed away on my computer. I’ve done a bunch of patchy worldbuilding and I also have character sheets, but I’ve basically had to abandon the first draft of my plan. *cries* I’ve been trying to do a bit of general research to help me with my character backgrounds and stuff — because I really want to get them right. And I also did read Henry V when i first thought it was going to be more a retelling.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Being able to write the character interactions. I am absolutely TERRIBLE at plot, but I’m kind of just looking forward to getting all my characters to finally meet up. (I don’t know. As I write this I’m actually realising that most of this novel has been STRESS. And I think that I do need to remind myself why I wanted tot do it in the first place.)

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

1. It is in space, and there are space pirates, and there are also spaceships and planets and lots of geeky space things.
2. Everyone is obsessed with finding new information and uploading it to, like, a giant inter-galactic Wikipedia. This is kind of sad because creativity isn’t really valued. 😦
3. I need to desperately do worldbuilding… *coughs*

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

I’ve flitted a lot between who actually is the main focus of this book, and I feel like it will probably change yet. It used to be Eleanor, and her goal is to achieve the respect of her people and live up to her parents’ legacy. But now it’s more about Junjie and he…kind of needs a goal? I guess that is his goal at the start. But then I think he comes to realise that he needs to escape and find his own life. And the main thing standing in the way of that is that THERE IS A WAR HELP.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Are we going with Junjie for this? Yeah, okay, let’s do that. At the end he’s learning that it’s okay to express his emotions instead of repressing them — and how to care about people and things again.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

I’d like to think that the main themes are what it means to be human, how people value information in a digital age, and self-acceptance, I guess? Those sound really cheesy… I promise it’s better in the context of the book ahaha. The end that I currently have planned is a very strings-heavy epilogue. (As in, violin strings.) I slightly constructed it around Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die; if you listen to that song really loudly then it will give you an idea.

Okay, this exercise has DEFINITELY highlighted for me some things that I need to work on. It makes me a little nervous to write so much about this idea, because I’m kind of scared? And I do actually want to finish it. But PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIVE ME YOUR FEEDBACK. ❤

are you doing nanowrimo this year? if you plan your writing, how do you go about it?

Beautiful People: Writerly Resolutions and Goals

beautiful people

I swear that I’m trying to be a better writer this year. So I’ve decided to — finally, I know — link up with Cait and Sky for Beautiful People! I realised halfway through writing this that maybe it would have been better to go in with an actual functioning WIP, but STUFF CONVENTION. I did it anyway. I have to start somewhere, right? 😛

what were your writing achievements last year?
The Glass Kite Anthology workshop over the summer was awesome. I got longlisted for a poetry competition as well, which was pretty nice? Yeah. *nods*

tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
*manic laughter* WHAT WRITING PROJECT? No, seriously, I don’t really have anything I’m working on right now. (Though I wish I could say I did.) It was fun to get out my NaNo idea, but I’ve been working on that for ages and to be honest I just want something new. Maybe one of those many space opera retellings that I’ve been thinking about. (Guys. SO MANY THINGS ARE IMPROVED BY SPACE, okay?)

list 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
1. FINISHING STUFF.
2. Writing frequently and not just going crazy during one month a year.
3. Making actual plans with actual plot.
4. Thinking at least a tiny bit about what I’m writing and not going mad just to reach my daily goal. sensing a trend? pfft
5. Yeah. Just generally be more organised in the how and when I write.

are you participating in any writing challenges?
Um, not right now? I DON’T KNOW. But I’d like to. (Is NaNoWriMo a writing challenge? Because despite the complaints of literally everyone I know, I’ll probably be doing that again because I can’t write in any other situation.)

what’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I don’t have either of these, although it would be pretty cool! This year I’d really love to become more involved generally in the writing community — and to actually produce something decent to show you all. I’m hoping those two things will go hand in hand… I can provide you with many virtual cookies & hugs if you can nag at me to write!

do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
Pfft, every book is research. 😉 No, actually: I jus downloaded a copy of Henry V because I got some awesome ideas from seeing it on stage. I mean, I generally think it would be fun to read Shakespeare when it’s not being slaughtered by English lessons. But that one in particular.

pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
Hmm, doing this link-up with basically no WIP might have been a silly idea. But I want to make sure that I get to know all of my characters, not one or two. I always intend to write with a really small cast of characters, and then realise halfway through that it’s not going to work and adding some stupid filler ones. To be honest all elements of my writing in their current state need improvement in their current state. XD

do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
I might go back and edit my NaNo novel. Who knows. Yeah. I’m hoping to get a chance at editing… I think I need to let go of my perfectionism, since I always end up rewriting rather than editing the original. (I think it has got better, in all fairness, but I really do want to start something new.)

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
HAHAHA. Filling the gaps in my reading material is my basic writing motivation. It’s very self-gratuitous. The things I most enjoy reading about are a) dark storylines, b) revolutions, and c) girlkissing. (Okay, it’s possible that those aren’t actual holes in the market, but there you go.) On a more serious note, I also really want to see more diversity in fantasy and general friendships happening.

what do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
If you haven’t grasped this already: AN ACTUAL FINISHED MANUSCRIPT. An idea that I reasonably like. Yep. And some more poetry would also be good, though preferably not tacked on as an afterthought like it appeared to there!

do you have any 2016 writerly resolutions? what would you like to see more of in books? just here for the cookies? oh well, here you are… *hands plate* 😉