2017 · books

Gift Guide For Your Bookish Friends

It’s that time of year again! Everyone is scrambling to find the perfect gift, or maybe they’re just scrambling to get a gift. Maybe you just want something for yourself. Never fear, I have a few suggestions!

A bookish subscription box – There are hundreds of you to choose from. I’m a personal fan of Owlcrate, but it’s also the only subscription box I’ve had. I also want to try Unicorn Crate and Fairyloot

cards against muggles

Cards Against Muggles – A for-you-to-download Harry Potter themed version of Cards Against Humanity.

Anything from Out of Print Clothing. T-shirts, jewelry, pencil cases and sweatshirts galore, all inspired by awesome literature.

Candles inspired by your favorites. I love A Court of Candles first because the name is inspired by the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (I think!) and second because the designs are gorgeous. Both of these images are from the A Court of Candles site, because I don’t have any of my own yet!

Bookish Tea. There are lots of shops to choose from. First Edition Tea Co. is the first I’ve tried!

noveldestinations2

Novel Destinations: Second Edition: A Travel Guide to Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West – This literary guide takes you around the world to different places that exist in real life, but you may be familiar with them because of novels.

Even though I’d like one of all of these, I’m also trying to be mindful of my possessions and pare down what I down a bit. So I’d have to say the best gifts are experiences. Buy you girl tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, take your guy friend on a tour of Shakespeare’s house, plan a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Make memories, take pictures and enjoy yourself. I find having experiences, especially with people you love, are so much better than buying something that’ll sit on a shelf. (And yes, I realize all these experiences are very BIG. Instead you can use the Novel Destinations book you bought to find something more local and explore!).

What would you like for the holidays?

xo.
Melanie

2017 · books · favorites · melanie kristy

Stories in November 2017

I started so many novels in November, and I barely finished any. That doesn’t fare well with my Goodreads challenge, but this is the last year I’m doing the challenge for now anyone so overall I don’t think that matters. I’ve liked the books I started, too! I just couldn’t get my head in the reading game. Actually, I just checked my Goodreads challenge and even though I read 3 books in November, I’m 1 ahead for the year! That means I only need to finish 3 in December, which I think I can probably do.

I set my goal to 52 books this year. One a week. Last year I was only a few books shy of my 75 book goal. We will talk about book goals at a different time, though. Right now we are just talking about November stories.

goodbye things
Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki

I started off November reading this book. I’ve been enjoying reading about minimalist and decluttering but let me tell you, this book isn’t the book to read. The writing was mediocre and it was quick to fly through. What I really didn’t like about this book, however, was that the author made broad generalizations, used quotes a “proof” of her methodology while pulling them completely out of context, and did little research in this area. I cannot even remember the bad examples she used, aside from claiming that minimalism will make you thin. She says that no minimalists are overweight. There’s no research in that aside from her “observations” of minimalists she’s encountered. I stopped reading at that point and flipped through, skimming to see if anything else was worthwhile in the book and decided there was no anything of substance. I gave it 2 starts on Goodreads.

tower of dawn
Tower of Dawn
by Sarah J. Maas
When Tower of Dawn first came out I was disappointed to learn it was sort of a companion novel in the way that it takes place at the same time Empire of Storms does. I put it down in my disappointment by the lack of Aelin and Rowan, and didn’t return to it for a few months. That being said, the novel is excellent. I love Chaol, and I’m happy his story is going in the direction is does in Tower of Dawn. I think this novel is necessary to read as part of the Throne of Glass series, I just don’t like that it takes place with different characters at the same time as Empire of Storms. 5 stars regardless.

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They Both Die At The End
by Adam Silvera
If you read my November favorites you’ll see I marked this novel as my favorite for November. It’s about two guys, Mateo and Rufus who learn they’re going to die within 24 hours, and they don’t know how. From this comes a beautiful connection, and one last. This is a book about life, and how you should spend it.

2017 · magic · melanie kristy · Uncategorized · writing

Did I Fail NaNoWriMo? / What Happens Next?

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November is over. There is no more National Novel Writing Month. We are on to holidays and shopping and drinking hot chocolate and driving around looking for Christmas lights (at least, I am), and moving on from our awesome or disastrous attempts at writing 50,000 words of a novel in November.

So tell me. How did you do?

 

I wrote 3,000 words in the first week and then stopped because life got in the way.

I’m here to tell you, though, that just because you didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo, doesn’t mean you failed. That art of writing is not a win/ lose situation. There’s no competition for great art. So maybe you didn’t get enough words. Maybe you gave up half way through. Maybe you couldn’t get past the first 3,000 words. It doesn’t matter, it’s all great.

Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish something, and that’s what is more important. If you’re a writer or want to be a writer or used to be a writer and you participated in NaNoWriMo even for half a day this year, you accomplished something great. You accomplished something that most people will not do in this life time. You imagined a plot, you thought up characters, you dug into the dusty areas of your mind and committed to writing something. So be proud of yourself for that.

What happens next?

Well… you keep writing. You revisit what progress you’ve made so far. You give yourself more goals, and maybe think about figuring out what kinds of goals are realistic to you, and you keep on going.

For years and years I’ve passively thought about finishing a novel. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written something to completion. All those goals were so passive, that I never even visited my novels or started fresh. I wanted to make certain seasons “the one where I write a book”. And then I’d put that idea back on the shelf and move along with my life.

First off, it’s okay to not write a novel. It’s okay to not publish anything. It’s okay to only ever write for yourself or your friend or your lover.

But if that’s not enough for you, I suggest you do something different.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to spend December thinking about the novel I started. I’m going to figure out where I really want to go with it – I realized that PLOT is my main issue with this current work, mainly that it doesn’t have one – and I’m going to figure out how to get there. And then I’m going to make 2018 the year I write and complete a novel. I’m telling you all now. I’m not going to table this idea. I am going to make it happen. I’m going to be responsible for birthing an entire YA novel.

And that’s what happens next. For me, at least.

Tell me what’s next for you. Tell me how you did. And we can figure out where to go from here.

xo
Melanie
2017 · favorites · Uncategorized

November Favorites 2017

album: Finally It’s Christmas by Hanson. Of course a Hanson album would be on here, especially if it’s a Christmas one in November. This cd came out in last October and I waited until my birthday to listen to it. My friend Erin and I blasted the album and tried to talk over the songs while driving down to the Cape for birthday lunch and mall wandering. Watch the nostalgic music video, too.

book: They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera. I just recently (finally!!!) started reading Adam Silvera’s books, and I’m kind of sad that I only have one left. Both books that I’ve read have been amazing so far. They Both Die At The End follows two characters – Mateo and Rufus – who got the Death-Cast call just after midnight on the day this book takes place. This means sometime in the next 24 hours they’re going to die, but neither one has any idea how. Join them as navigate their last day together.

television: I’m revisiting Boy Meets World, a long time favorite, on Hulu and I’m really enjoying it. It’s just the right combination of old time nostalgia paired with awesome characters and fun episodes that I pseudo remember to keep me interested.

podcast: I’ve downloaded way too many podcasts lately, and I haven’t really gotten into the rhythm of listening to them consistently, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Straight and Curly (A Podcast for Self Improvement Junkies).

videos: Gala Darling started a 6 week series called the Wonderland Sessions and I am loving them so far. There are two videos up and she hardcore talks about real shit, feeling awesome and how your vibration affects other peoples’ reaction to you. Watch the first video here

youtuber: Jessica Out Of The Closet / Jessica Kellgren-Folzard This girl has so much style! I randomly found her as a suggestion on my YouTube homepage, and I subscribed immediately. She discusses disabilities, chronic illnesses, clothes and much more, and she always has an amazing and upbeat attitude. Her vibe is infectious!

essential oil: lavender is my standby favorite scent. It makes me feel calm and happy, and I use a roller ball all the time just to force me to stop and change my vibe & recenter my mind

app: ibotta has helped me earn money back on certain items that I buy. It can be fun to scroll through and see what promotions are happening at the moment. Use my referral link to sign up and we both get paid https://ibotta.com/r/vmeuhhd

What did you love in November?

x.
Melanie