Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Book Tag 📚

I am not participating in NaNo this year, but the awesome madamewriter did this book tag on her blog and I couldn’t pass it up. You know the drill. Grab your coffee and let’s do this!

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1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?

Five times. I’ll admit that the very first time I participated, I was not prepared, but did it anyway and found the experience to be overall enjoyable and I told my friends and colleagues about it later on. 

2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?

I can’t actually remember. Let me think for a bit…

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…nope, still nothing. Someone must’ve informed me about it, but that memory eludes me now.

3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?

Beyond Beautiful. Back then, I remember thinking that romance stories were garbage and I decided to write my own after being inspired by an Aerosmith song of the same title. It turned out to be interracial and it dealt with issues such as accepting God and learning to accept that the past shapes one’s present/future. Maybe one day, I’ll dig up the story and post it on here… although now, I’ll call it rubbish.

  

4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.

I’m not participating this year, but I am working on various writing projects at the moment including Crazy Rich French Twins which is a wealthy parody about a pair of mirror-identical French twins that breaks stereotypes (hopefully!).

5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

I’m not one to take writing advice. I just like writing and I have learned to love it even on difficult days. However, I’ll share a favorite writing quote of mine:

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Writing is a way to talk without being interrupted.

6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?

Yes, twice. The first time I had taken a year off I had no inspiration to participate and the second time, which is this year, is because I don’t have the energy to do so. 

7. What’s your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?

I always say that inspiration is all around us! I’m inspired by nature, by news headlines, by the books I read, everything and anything!

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8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.

Ridiculously rich people enrolled their privileged children at Paris High, a place for snobs to mingle with other snobs. 

So begins the first sentence of the first episode of Crazy Rich French Twins.

9. Why do you love writing?

I write because I want to read something that hasn’t been in print before. I write for the sheer fun of it and for the pleasure. I write because I express myself better with a pen in my hand. I write to get better. I write to explore my own universe. I write because it’s therapeutic and I empty my mind when I do. I write to inspire and to invoke thoughts. I write because I am in love with words.

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To those of you participating in NaNo this year, all the best with your projects! 😄

*** GIFs and images via Google Images

Books & Reviews 📚

Books #117-#120: sucky YAs

I sometimes wonder about the lifetime of books I’ve read thus far – both good and bad. Like, have I read a thousand books or more? Maybe the number is around 800 or less? How many books I loved? For lately, it doesn’t seem that I love many. 

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Eh, that’s enough musing for now. I am having fun catching up on your blogs, but I took a little break to do a couple of books reviews. 

Book #117: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

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A story about searching for yourself, clawing your way out of the dark abyss and finally coming to terms with who you truly are and how a disability does not set us back, especially where love is concerned. It is also about believing in one’s self.

Well, that’s what it’s supposed to be about, but I wanted to read it because… LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL COVER! That is cover goals to the max and I can’t resist an interracial pairing. The story (a retelling of The Little Mermaid) and characters… eh!

We have Christian, a charming womanizing playboy with a father who takes him for granted. If daddy says to jump, he’ll jump. But he is quite arrogant and cheeky and I did not warm up to him. Elyse is a Trinbagonian (the other reason I wanted to read this book is that of my island representation!) who lost her voice in an accident and heavily laid the blame on her twin sister for taking it away, although the twin (Natalie) actually saved her life. So. Ungrateful. Once, a gifted performer, she now has to take a back seat and watch as other people live the life she always dreamed of, given that she has no Plan B.

The author did not do a great job at capturing Tobago and Tobagonians. The authenticity was missing and it just did not sit well with me. If you’re going to do a book right, do your research. Aside from that, there is Sebastian “embracing and showcasing his personal truth!” I mean, come on! He’s only SIX YEARS OLD! How does a child who has an interest in chasing mermaids jump to thinking that he is in the wrong gender and wants to dress like a female? Political agenda much, Miss author? 

However, the writing was good, so 2/5.

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Book #118: I’ll Give You the Sun by  Jandy Nelson Image result for Book #118: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

When I read the blurb for this book via Amazon, I thought I’d give it a chance, and boy did I ever regret doing so! I did not like this book. Nothing about this book was amazing. The so-call chapters were too long and it was a put-off. It tortured me until I started skimming eager to get it over and done with all the while gritting my teeth and humming Daniel Beddingfield’s ‘Gotta Get Thru This’ in my head.

I don’t like the implied Biblical references. Jude is named after a Saint, Noah (Noah and the Ark), Jude relies on Grandma Sweetwine’s ‘bible’ for advice because she probably doesn’t believe in the Holy Bible. I wish the author would’ve left God out of it. An English character cursed in a church, Jude calls God ‘Clark Gable’ because her dead boring useless Grandma used to address Him as if He is a figment of her imagination. And I thought Yash Chopra had issues with God! I disliked the blasphemy and at one point, I wonder if the author was projecting her anger onto God because she is an atheist. Not saying she is, but that’s what it felt like. Like an atheist wrote this book.

The book was slow and boring and failed to hold my attention. The dialogue was no better. Whenever Grandma Sweetwine spoke, she spoke like a child. I did not get old womanly vibes from her. AND OH, THE PROFANITIES!! Then we have this…

“Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf all over the table, but I’m the only one who notices.”

“I breathe in dramatically. Jude breathes in dramatically. Everyone in California, the United States, on Earth, breathes in dramatically.”

We get it! EVERYONE breathed in dramatically. Heck! Even Batman and Superman must’ve breathed in dramatically! I can’t rate this book. I’ll Give You the Nothing.

Fail

Book #119: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

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YumYums. 

Fries obsession.

Saint Bathilda, patron saint of the children.

An abandoned carousel in the woods.

Loopholes.

Loopholes.

It was fast.

It was slow.

It was in-between.

It was meh.

Like what happened to Margaret and Jenn after Jenn’s birthday party? Did Chris even like Jenn? I felt nauseated almost after every page because everyone was pigging out in this story. Adults and teenagers alike were always shoving something in their mouth.

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The story didn’t exactly knock the socks off my feet. It felt like déjà vu. Like I’ve read this story somewhere already before. The characters were mediocre, but sometimes we need them, though they did nothing for me in this story. The dialogue was rubbish and I wonder if the author has family issues.

The ending was quite disappointing. 2/5.

Book #120: Paper Towns by John Green

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The name of the novel could’ve easily been called Margo Ruth Spiegalman, the girl Quentin was pining after. Since the beginning of the story, I’ve been acquainted with the name and it was beginning to wear out by the time I reached the third chapter.

Q and Margo have two things in common: hatred/jealousy and the tendency to annoy. They set out on this night trip to take revenge on Margo’s boyfriend who was cheating on her. They participated in vandalism, breaking and entering of people’s homes and even SeaWorld. Margo is an airhead. I started speed reading soon after Part 1, but I just couldn’t finish.

There is nothing magnificently adventurous about Margo. This was a waste of ink and paper. I did not feel a connection with any characters. Q was too dense, his friends weren’t any better and Margo was too self-absorbed and selfish. Marcus AKA Radar was sort of my favorite character. His eccentric parents were pretty weird, though! They collected black Santas. Giving characters annoying quirks is not a substitute for character development. It’s plain lazy writing.

Terrible book, idiot dialogue, thin plot, no character development. I won’t read another book by this author. 

Those horrible books out of the way, let’s hope I find some treasures in the heap of books waiting to be read this summer!

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Books & Reviews 📚

Book #75: Don’t Bring Home A White Boy. And Other Notions That Keep Black Women From Dating Out.

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In Don’t Bring Home a White Boy, writer Karyn Langhorne Folan debunks the myths about interracial relationships. Drawing on real-life testimonials, she boldly tackles this difficult subject with warmth, humor, and understanding, as she explores stereotypes of black female sexuality and white male perspectives on black female beauty.

Folan goes beyond statistics and offers firsthand insights on her own interracial relationship and attempts to tap into a woman’s desire to have all that they deserve instead of restricting themselves, simply because they want a “good black man.” Frank, authoritative, and universally relevant, her message to women is to look beyond skin color, accept themselves for who they are, and seek a man who truly loves them, regardless of race.

Author: Karyn Langhorne Folan 
Publisher: Karen Hunter Publishing (2010)
Pages: 248

But I like white boys! They’re amazing, they’re beautiful, they’re funny, they light up my world, they’re life!

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via CoolChaser

Oh, right, this is a review. 🙂

When I took this book to work, people looked at the cover and then at me judgementally. Some simply went, “Oh,” while some looked me in the eyes and slyly grinned, “I never knew you liked white men!” I then had to point out the rest of the accompanying title that didn’t stand out so much to the judging public. I had fun with this book cover because I enjoyed the public’s reaction.

This book was written with the black American women in mind. The author encourages the reader to keep an open mind when it comes to exploring relationships and debunked the myths of black women. The author tackled issues such as domestic abuse, racism, sexism, multiracial children etc.

Karyn also talks about black women doing it for themselves especially Michelle Obama and Beyoncé. Yes, sure, Bey be doing it as a black woman, but then she takes her clothes off and becomes an object of sexual gratification just like everyone else all in the name of girl power. I’d rather be a Proverbs 31 woman than a sensual gyrating siren whoring out my body and soul in front of millions all in the name of the girl power agenda.

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Some of the interracial couples shared their stories with the author and I liked that. Some met online and they’re still going strong. I don’t like online meetings given out most of them turn out in the end, but I’m glad that I read happy accounts in this book and I support interracial couples. ❤

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The author also touched on how a European man sees a black woman *rolls eyes* sorry, I meant the black American woman: an American first, a woman after, black last.

Women who shared their stories encouraged other black women to travel especially to Europe. I’ve always wanted to visit Paris, well, the whole of France and although I’m saving the money it’s never enough and then something pops up and I have to dip into the savings. I keep chanting, ‘One day Paris. One day for you and me.’ So I read every book there is on Paris; mostly travel accounts and I am learning French… well, I am always learning the most beautiful language that ever existed!

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We will not conquer racism in this time and age. Just look at football! We can fight it, but conquering it fully is still a long way off. For every racist sentiment we fight, there is a racist out there making things triple times worse.

So yes, in a sense, the book was written with the black American woman in mind, but every black woman can learn a thing or two from it. Just keep an open mind when it comes to relationships outside of your normal brother for you never know where love is waiting for you.

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the author and her husband 🙂

VERDICT:

3

NEXT UP:

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The Hit by David Baldacci