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Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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As much as I enjoy romance novels, there are surprisingly few that I can see through until the end. Most are shallow and riddled with Mary-Sues that just take you out of the moment. However, once in a while you stumble upon one that not only captivates until the end but actually makes you care about the characters in a subtle, beautiful way.

Summary as found on "Film Synopsis": 

Young and quirky Louisa "Lou" Clark moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor, a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD (put here for safety, just in case)



I'd been curious about it for a while and because I remember the movi…

All Work and No Hobbies Make the Writer Go Crazy

Listening To: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbjr13zbRuM&t=243s&spfreload=5 )


Most of my life is devoted to writing. I'm not going to lie, it really absorbs all my time. I sometimes stop to play games or read but to be honest most of whatever I play/read has something to do with my writing. If I'm writing in my Lost Angels series, I'm usually playing Saints Row or Vampire the Masquerade while reading either Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series or Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. If I'm writing post-apocalyptic I'm usually immersing myself in The Walking Dead or Dishonored or Bioshock. If I'm writing romance I go crazy over chick flicks and don't really play games much.

Same goes for the music I listen to. Lost Angels is all goth music, post-apocalyptic gets songs like Pentatonic's cover for Radioactive, and romance novels get all those sappy songs that are usually only good for making me tired.

But because o…

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Listening To: Star Wars Medley by Taylor Davis (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzQahpxucKk)


If you've heard of me at all (and I'm going to go ahead and assume you have, given that you're here and reading this post) you know I'm a self-published author. I wrote, edited, and published my own work as well as marketed it all myself. But I've also been interested in traditional publishing ever since the idea of getting something of mine published at all. For the longest time, I thought that was the only way to go about getting my work off my hard drive and putting it out there in the world. Now I know better, but I still try to do both. You know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket. Plus, I find you're most likely to succeed if you throw your hat into a bunch of different rings so-to-speak.

It's a topic that I've been mulling over for the past while and thought I'd discuss it here for those of you who are curious about the two of them…

A Summary of August

As we near the end of August, I realize how bad I've been at keeping the blog updated. Part of it is my fault. Sometimes I get easily distracted and don't realize how long its been between posts. I try to remember to do it every day, though, even if sometimes I only get as far as trying to remember.

But its also been a crazy month. Lots to do, lots to write, and a finite number of hours in the day to do it all.

Let's begin at the beginning.

Because it makes sense. What kind of crazy-ass post would begin at the end?

On the 16th, I had an event at my local geek gifts store, THE BURROW. Didn't sell much there, but that's okay! I found the place where I plan to do a lot of my Christmas shopping (Robyn, if you're reading this, you're gonna love your x-mas present.)

Then a few days later I went shopping with my mom and found an old, working typewriter with ribbons that can be found on Amazon and one that still works in the machine already. I've done a lot of …

Jaunt into the Horror Genre

In terms of getting non-writing related stuff done, today was a bit of a bust. But that's okay because, in all honesty, I didn't plan on doing anything but sitting at home in my pajamas and writing. I played a little Animal Crossing but that's because I'm weak. I also read some in my WRITING HORROR book that I bought sometime last year.

Anyway, I went back and forth on two different projects and feel pretty good about both of them. One is the cyberpunk one I worked on yesterday and the other is something new I decided to start and ended up enjoying.

The new one actually made me feel better about myself as a writer. We all have those moments when we feel like we're no good and that all is lost in terms of our career, and at twenty-four I think I'm a little too ahead of the game in that respect. Lately I haven't been feeling great about my work, but the new project helped alleviate some of that.

Anyway, here's the stats:


Project: Footprints in the Graveyar…

Of Animals and Angels

Project: Guardian Angels
New Words Written: 1369
Present Total Word Count: 12797


Things Accomplished in Fiction: A new drug has been introduced to the main cast, beginning what will end up being the overall plot of the book. I'm excited for the next part that's coming because it's going to give steam to the secondary plot. There's a character in here that everyone is going to want dead; including my friend Robyn, who sent me numerous texts about how much she hates this character just based on what I've discussed with her. She hasn't even read the stuff that's REALLY going to make everyone hate this person!

Things Accomplished in Real Life: Just the other day I found my supposedly lost copy of ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF and I'm filled with a newfound love for it. I know the time on the pictures say 8/3, but that's because last night when I wanted to post I was so tired I'd have fallen asleep right here on my keyboard. Plus, I would've posted after…

Into the Darkness--- What is Goth?

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. --- Edgar Allan Poe ( http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/edgar_allan_poe.html )

What is Goth? It's a question I've struggled with personally for years despite how many people have said it's what I am. Probably because, like a lot of people, I like what I like without worrying about putting a label on it. But what is it, really? 

I think Rebecca Schraffenberger said it best in the following quote. 


“We’re hard-core romantics, dreamy realists and cynical idealists. We find beauty in the macabre, while seeking fairness and tenderness in our daily lives. We love all things ancient, while being modern and liberal in our social outlook. We’re intelligent and creative without being cutthroat and competitive. We’re angry yet peaceful. We’re sure of ourselves but wary of strangers. We’re funny but bitter … but mostly very shy.”-Rebecca Schra…

Packing Up and Moving Out!

In a little under two weeks, my fiance and I are going to be moving! 
We're really excited, because we're finally able to move in together and we're moving into a place with two bedrooms. Two bedrooms means we get to have an office! That's one of the main things I'm looking forward to the most. I've never had an office before, and even though I have to share it with my fiance I'm still excited about it.

My best friend gave me some boxes from her work (Subway, obviously) and I'm super grateful for it. I don't particularly feel like going out and spending money on boxes, though it starting to look like I'm going to need to. I've got a lot of stuff and the five boxes she gave me aren't going to be enough. 
Part of me wonders if I shouldn't be downsizing while I'm packing, so that maybe I can fit all my stuff in the five boxes, but I don't want to. I like all my stuff. If I didn't like it I would've gotten rid of it a lo…

Packing Up and Moving Out!

In a little under two weeks, my fiance and I are going to be moving! 
We're really excited, because we're finally able to move in together and we're moving into a place with two bedrooms. Two bedrooms means we get to have an office! That's one of the main things I'm looking forward to the most. I've never had an office before, and even though I have to share it with my fiance I'm still excited about it.

My best friend gave me some boxes from her work (Subway, obviously) and I'm super grateful for it. I don't particularly feel like going out and spending money on boxes, though it starting to look like I'm going to need to. I've got a lot of stuff and the five boxes she gave me aren't going to be enough. 
Part of me wonders if I shouldn't be downsizing while I'm packing, so that maybe I can fit all my stuff in the five boxes, but I don't want to. I like all my stuff. If I didn't like it I would've gotten rid of it a lo…

Icky Fruits--- 30 Days of Writing Day 10

Pineapples.

Pineapples are gross, in my opinion. I don't know why I don't like them. I guess it's the texture of them that I don't like. That's how it is sometimes with food that I don't care for. It very well might not be the food itself but instead the way it feels.

Yes, yes, I know this is a wrong way to feel about certain things but that doesn't make it any less true. Of course there are people with weirder reasons for not liking certain things out there in the world. It takes all types, as they say.

I think it also might have something to do with how much of a picky eater I am. It's one of Danny's biggest pet peeves about me. I'll say I don't like something when I've actually never even had it and it drives him crazy, especially since whenever he makes me have it I end up really loving it. Take Wendy's for example. For the longest time I didn't care for it, but that might also be because they've only just recently began…

Ageism-- 30 Days of Writing Challenge, Day 9

A lot of people believe that once you get old you're innately in able to do anything anymore. Beyond a certain numerical limit you're supposed to resign from life and wait for the inevitability of death.

I am not one of those people.

Personally I believe that a persons abilities after they get old is entirely up to them and the way they've taken care of themselves throughout their lives. If you lived a healthy, active lifestyle I don't see any reason why you cannot continue to do so well into your later years.

That being said there are some things that might become more difficult as you get older that has nothing to do with how you lived. Alzheimer's, for example, can happen to anyone no matter how they lived and it makes certain things impossible to keep doing.

But with the exception of things people can't help, I fully believe that people who think old people are unable to do something simply because they're old are full of shit.

A Good Book and a Bad Book --- 30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 8

Day 8 in the 30 Day Writing Challenge will be something of a review piece, since the topic is a "Book I enjoyed, and a book I didn't."

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See takes the spot as one of my favorite books. I've read it about a dozen times now and I'm absolutely obsessed with it. It's one of the only books I can pick up and have my attention held so thoroughly that I can read it straight-through without picking up another book to read in tandem. I'm not saying I've never finished another book, because that'd be a dirty lie, but it's one of the only ones I can finish in about a week without picking up another to read alongside it.

The story focuses on two Chinese girls, Lily and Snow Flower, who become laotong-- sworn sisters for the rest of their lives. The plot follows them through growing up from seven year old girls getting their feet bound to perfect lily shapes, to their teenage years when they get married, into adulthood wh…

Tattoos! Tattoos! Tattoos! ---30 Days of Writing Day 7

Boy I'm really just dropping the ball on this whole "30 Days of Writing" thing. It doesn't help when you just get busy doing something else and the whole thing just slips your mind, but here I am making up for what I forgot!


Day 7 is about tattoos. The challenge is to talk about a tattoo that I've got and if they have meaning, but since I don't have any tattoos I think I'll adjust the challenge a little.

I grew up in a family that, for the most part, doesn't give a crap about tattoos. That being said, my mother hates them. I know that if I ever got a tattoo I'd have to do it without her knowledge because all I would hear is about how I would look with them when I get old and all that jazz I'm sure everyone has heard from someone in their own lives.

The thing about this is I personally don't care about how I would look after I'm old if I've got tattoos. I think worrying about it something that the current and future generations will…

Someone Who Fascinates Me and Why--30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 6

Day 6 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge is upon us! Today's Topic: Someone Who Fascinates Me and Why.


This is a tough one because a lot of people fascinate me, and a lot of the time I don't know why. But I guess if I had to pick one I'd say Norman Reedus.


If you've been following the challenge up to this point you'd know that he's my celebrity baby-daddy, and that I have so much Daryl Dixon stuff that my best friend thinks I should wear the helmet of shame.

But aside from being in love with him, he just fascinates me as a person. For example, the entire reason he has an acting career is because he yelled at someone at a party.

I know, right?!

Apparently he'd just gotten fired from a job and a friend invited him to a party, but he was still pissed off. When someone at the party did something that made him angry, he just let loose and screamed at them. A casting director for a stage show was at the party, saw him react, and told him to come audition for a play …

A Place I Would Live, But Never Visited-- 30 Days of Writing Day 5

Like Day 4, I am a bit late on Day 5. In my defense, though, I'm late because I was on the phone for so long last night and was too tired to do it by the time I got off. Either way, it's being done today. I don't know if it still counts as writing every day if I write three times in one day because I didn't write for two days in a row, but I'm going to say it does because it keeps things good.

Okay so Day 5 is "A Place I Would Live, But Never Visited."

Hands down: Ireland.

More specifically, the Irish countryside. Where it's green and wide everywhere and near a little village that looks like it's out of a fairy tale. Where is this place? No clue. Dunno if it even exists. But it's the kind of place I'd love to live.

This works out in more ways than one because my fiance, being both Irish and Scottish, would by no means be against living in Ireland. I think he'd enjoy the countryside aspect of it too because he'd be far enough away f…

Ten Interesting Facts About Me --- 30 Days of Writing Day 4

Okay, I'm late with day 4 but I have a VERY good reason:

It was May 4th.

May the 4th Be With You.

I had to get on Star Wars The Old Republic and play to celebrate. Ironically I only played for like ten minutes before losing interest (partially because I hadn't updated it in like six months so I had to wait two hours for it to update, and I've got the attention span of a goldfish so by the time it finished I was like "nah." ) so I guess most of this was out of being lazy.

Anyway, Day 4 is Ten Interesting Facts About Me.

So here we go!


I'm insanely introverted. The simple act of TALKING to people, especially ones I don't know well/at all, is a whole thing. I'll be the first to admit it's kind of ridiculous, but I can't help it all the same. I love Nickleback. They're not my FAVORITE band, but I don't understand the hate so many people have for them. They've got some pretty good songs.I think "Hey There Delilah" is the most r…

My First Love and my First Kiss ---- 30 Day Writing Challenge Day 3

I almost forgot to do today's writing challenge! I was so invested in reading the last bit of this book I've been working on that the time totally slipped my mind.

Okay, so day 3 is "My First Love/My First Kiss."

To be honest I'm still with my first, actual love. Being with him has taught me so much, and with him I've changed more than I ever imagined possible (and for the better), and with all this in mind I don't think any of the guys I dated before could be counted as someone I loved. Truthfully I didn't love them. I thought I did but those were the romantic fantasies of a teenage girl who sustained herself on the idea of finding the perfect love, but who later realized she'd been starved of it.

I met my first real love in my senior year of high school in our world literature class. That year we had three classes together: World Literature, Creative Writing, and some journalism class I can't remember the name of. For the longest time I didn…

My Earliest Memory--- 30 Days of Writing, Day 2

Today is Day 2 of the 30 Days of Writing Challenge! And number two is (drum roll) my earliest memory!

This was a hard one since I literally have the memory of a goldfish. Someone will say something to me and more often than not I'll forget, or I'll work so hard to remember that I'll end up mixing up information and still won't be able to do it. Memory and I will always be strange bedfellows--sometimes together and sometimes each other's dearest companion, but more often than not we come and go from one another without any commitment. Which is why I rarely use my hair curlers when I know someone won't be in the house for a few hours, and if I do I take a picture of the unplugged outlet so if I start to panic about burning the house down I can check my phone and reassure myself I won't be homeless when I come back.

That being said I still have a vague idea of when, I think, my shitty memory and I began to come together for the first time. I was a real little …

5 Problems with Social Media---30 Days of Writing Day 1

Currently Listening To: Viva La Vida--Coldplay


So I'm partaking in a 30 Days of Writing challenge I saw on Facebook. I'll post the picture here.


So now, if you want to partake in the challenge, you can!

Now, because today is Day One of the 30 Days of Writing challenge, let's begin with #1 on the list: 5 Problems with Social Media.

I like social media. I do. Well, okay, SOME social media. I'm always on Facebook and lately have been more active on Instagram, but hardly am I ever on Twitter. As much as I like being a part of the whole social media thing there are some parts of it I definitely don't like.

Like first of all (and we're looking at you, Facebook) sometimes the platform will only let you see what it wants you to see. Half the time I'm not sure if anyone sees my posts from my professional page and if I get to a point where I'm pretty sure they do because my engagement number is high and my page views is high, it only takes a few days to drop into…

"Marie Antoinette--The Journey" by Antonia Fraser

For years I've admired Marie Antoinette. I know, I know, you're all thinking "lets eat cake!" (wrong queen, bee-tee-dubbs. THAT was said by a Spanish queen, and was attributed to Marie Antoinette by those who hated her) and the queen who spent France into ruin (actually true). But there's a lot more to her than you might think. 
First of all, she was the youngest daughter of Maria Therese, ruler of the Habsburg Dominions. The book even says that she was pretty much ignored throughout a lot of her childhood because she was the youngest daughter and therefore not a lot was expected of her. Not nearly as much as her brother Joseph, who was fifteen years older than her and who ended up taking the throne after their father died. So because of this fact, she was never given the same tools to rule a country as her siblings. 
On top of that, she took the French crown when she was around fourteen years old. Now, I don't know about you guys, but if I'd been given …

A Day of Work!

Okay! Here's my progress on THE GILDED CAGE, a post-apocalyptic steampunk story I've been toying with for the last few months. I've started over on it twice now, and this is my most current draft. So far I think it's going really good and I've decided that this is the last restart I'm doing. I'm seeing this to the end, then worrying about the details. I'm already making mental notes on things I want to try and do better when editing time comes around and I'm actually really excited to implement them. After all, I'm still in the "laying down bones" stage. I don't really need to worry about the meat until later. 


Project: The Gilded Cage New words written: 1806 Present total word count: 74325


Things Accomplished in Fiction: After taking about four days off (seems like a lot longer, but it wasn't, now that I've thought about it) I finally got back into the swing of things. I was hoping to have done more than 1800-ish, but hey, tha…

Welcome to the New Blog!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the new blog!


Up until now I've been using "Webs" to host my blog, but have recently begun to realize they may not be suiting my needs anymore (since APPARENTLY its too much to ask to put up my own pictures instead of ones with URLs) so I've moved on to blogger! If you're reading this, it means you've moved here with me, and I'm happy to have you!

I've never been very good at blogging up to this point, but I plan to improve on that. I promise to be more prompt and consistent with my posts, and I encourage anyone who reads to leave me a comment! I love hearing from people!

Recently I've come into possession of a couple of really good marketing books. They are:

Social Media Marketing All-in-One for Dummies (I LOVE the "For Dummies" series. They're really good and easy to understand (shocking, right? A series that promotes itself as something so simply a dummy could figure it out is easy to understand!)
Guer…