Music Monday 5/23/16 – Artist Spotlight: Birdy

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been rather absent lately and a bit inconsistent with my weekly memes. I was kinda busy during the past couple weeks, and as a result I’ve been a little scatterbrained and not very productive. But I will try to be more on top of things!

One bit of exciting news is that I am going to meet Maggie Stiefvater on Thursday. Omg I am SO SO EXCITED (and a little nervous because I always act like an idiot when I meet authors I greatly admire). I’ll be sure to write a post about it this weekend.

Anyway, on to Music Monday––a weekly meme hosted by Lauren at Always Me. The only rules are: 1) Every Monday, post 2-3 songs that you like, 2) Write a comment about them if you want, 3) Add a link to the post in the link-up on Lauren’s blog.

I’ve decided I want to try something a little different with my Music Monday posts, at least for the time being. I like how Lauren highlights a different artist every week, so I’m going to try the same thing.

My artist of the week is …

Birdy

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About: Birdy is the stage name of UK singer-songwriter Jasmine Van den Bogaerde. When she was only 14, she released a haunting cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love,” which made it to #17 on the UK Singles Chart. She now writes and performs her own songs and has released three studio albums.

Genres: Folk, pop

Albums: Birdy  (2011), Fire Within (2013), Beautiful Lies (2016)

 

I really love Birdy’s voice––it has such a powerful and ethereal quality to it that reminds me of other powerhouses like Adele and Florence Welch. And the fact that she recorded that Bon Iver cover at such a young age just blows my mind!

Thanks for joining me for another Music Monday! Feel free to link me to your own Music Monday post if you wrote one. 🙂

#TopTenTuesday: My Favorite Websites & Apps

#TopTenTuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog to find out about all the awesome TTT themes!

This week’s theme:

Ten Websites I Love That Aren’t About Books (you could go specific and do like top ten favorite food/travel/craft/fitness blogs I follow, 10 websites I visit daily,  10 fun websites I waste a lot of time on etc.)

Haha well, my most-visited website is Goodreads, but I guess I’ll have to leave that out! Otherwise I mostly only use social media websites, and also I’ve decided to expand my TTT to favorite apps as well as websites. So, here we go: my favorite (non-book-related) social media websites and apps!

Social Media:

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Tumblr

Hooooo boy, I’m a big Tumblr fan. It can be a crazy place, but I’ve also found it to be a great way to connect with fans of all the things I love.

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Facebook

What can I say? I enjoy seeing what my friends/family are up to!

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Twitter

I love Twitter and, as I’ve said before, it’s actually a great way to meet other writers.

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Last.fm

As someone who is obsessed with music, I am constantly on Last.fm. Honestly this website has changed my life and helped me find out about so many bands/artists I’d never heard of before.

Apps

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Duolingo

A free and fun app for language-learning! I’m currently using it to learn German and French, and to brush up on my Spanish as well.

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Instagram

Yep, I’m that annoying person who Instagrams everything. I just love taking pretty pictures and making them look nice with the filters!

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Snapchat

I’m a frequent Snapchat-er as well. And I love watching my friends’ stories to get a glimpse of what they’re doing with their lives. 😀

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Neko Atsume (Kitty Collector)

Oh my gosh this app is THE. CUTEST. THING. EVER. It’s relatively simple: you just set out cat food/toys and CUTE LITTLE CATS APPEAR. And then the cats leave you fish and you can use them to get more items/backgrounds. (And the nice thing is, nothing bad happens to the cats if you forget to feed them. They just don’t show up.) It’s super adorable, and it always cheers me up a little.

Here is one picture of my “yard:”

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AWWW.

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1 Second Everyday

This is an app where you can create “projects” made up of 1-second video snippets. For example, I started one on January 1st that’s one second for every day in 2016. It’s a cute way to capture the little moments in your everyday life.


How about you guys?

  • Do you use any of these sites/apps? What do you think of them?
  • Do you have any other sites/apps to recommend?
  • If you also wrote a TTT post, please post a link and I will check it out!

#TopTenTuesday: Childhood Characters You’d Love to Revisit as Adults

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog for future TTT themes, and to link up to your TTT post if you’ve written one.

It’s been quite a while since I participated in TTT, but I love this week’s theme:

Ten Childhood Characters You’d Love To Revisit As Adults (ie a novella or something to see what they grew up to be) — you could always just pick YA characters you’ve read recently you wouldn’t mind revisiting in 10 years or so. Or you could pick 10 characters and guess what you think they’d be doing in 10 years or 20 years. OR you could go the other way and wish for coming of age stories for adult characters you love.

Haha, that’s a lot of options! But I’ve decided to go with the first one: that is, childhood characters I’d be interested to see as adults.

Percy Jackson

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At the rate Rick Riordan is cranking out Percy Jackson spin-offs (not that I’m complaining––I’m supposed to get The Hidden Oracle in the mail today and I’m very excited), I imagine I’ll probably get to see this someday. 😛 But anyway, I’m really curious to see what this kid’s adulthood is like. Mostly does he ever get a break?! Because I feel like every time he thinks he’s resolved everything, he’s pulled back into more shenanigans with the gods/monsters/etc. (Also I must know if he and Annabeth get married.)

Matilda

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I probably read this book like ten times as a kid, and I always wanted to be Matilda. She’s so smart and she has telekinetic powers for crying out loud! I’m dying to know what happens when she grows up. I could see her becoming a teacher or something––but also she’s freakishly intelligent and has supernatural abilities … so I could also see her like, becoming a secret agent.

Pippi Longstocking

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I always admired how adventurous, independent, and imaginative Pippi is––and also that she’s so deeply empathetic towards everyone she meets. (Not to mention, she’s so strong she can lift a horse above her head––how cool is that?) And I bet those characteristics last into her adulthood. I think it would be really cool to read a story about her as an adult, probably traveling all over the world and meeting/helping lots of people.

Coraline

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*shudders* This poor child. Part of me hopes that she never has to deal with anything scary again––but another part of me thinks it would be interesting to see her still stumbling into more supernatural things as an adult.

Alice

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Similarly to Coraline, I wonder if Alice ever has to deal with alternate universes ever again. 😛 I guess there’s some implication that Wonderland is ~just a dream~ but I always believed it was something more than that. So it makes me wonder if, ten years down the road, Alice is still getting sucked into Wonderland from time to time.


How about you guys?

  • Would you also like to see any of the characters I listed as adults?
  • What characters would you add to the list?
  • If you also wrote a TTT post, please post a link and I will check it out!

Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up (April 2016)

I’ll just cut to the chase: I didn’t win Camp NaNo. My goal was to add 15k to The Resurrectionists by the end of the month, and I got to a little over 11k.

I’m not upset about it, though. After several months of being stuck in a rut, it felt great to actually make some progress. I may not have reached my goal, but I still wrote something, and that’s what matters.

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Week Four Progress Report:

Last Week’s WC/CC: 60,156 words / 24 chapters

Current WC/CC: 61,909 words / 25 chapters

Progress Since Last Week: 1,753 words / 1 chapter

Total Progress This Month: 11,444 words / 6 chapters

How It Went:

I wrote almost every day this month, and I’m happy about that. On average I probably wrote like 400 words a day, and that’s not bad!

Unfortunately I just totally burned out in the last few days, but I think that was probably for the best. I got to a point in the story where I felt like I need to plan more. For most of the month I was basically winging it, but towards the end of the month that didn’t seem to be working so well anymore.

I think the problem is that there are a ton of important characters in The Resurrectionists, and I’ve reached a point where I need all their storylines to converge without it seeming too forced. Additionally, I think some of the characters’ motivations need to be clearer in order for the story to work––so that’s something else I need to think about before continuing.

An Excerpt From This Week:

Suspicion seeped into Jackson’s mind once again—and this time, he was fairly certain he wasn’t imagining things: This pair was acting notably strange. The forced smiles. The glittering eyes.

Clearing his throat, Jackson stopped in his tracks and faced Malcolm and Cecilia. “Thank you for walking with me,” he said, struggling through the fog in his brain and concentrating very hard on not slurring his words. “I’m feeling much better, though, and I think I can make it the rest of the way on my own.”

“Oh?” Cecilia stepped forward, her brow furrowed in a concerned expression that wasn’t quite convincing. “Are you certain?”

“Yes, quite certain.” Again, Jackson noticed how rude he sounded as soon as he had spoken the words. But at this point, he didn’t care. A dark, cold feeling rushed over him as he took in the two faces before him. The more he looked at them, the more they looked like masks rather than actual human features.

Without even bothering to say good night, he turned on his heel and started to run. His vision swam and his feet stumbled on the cobblestones, but he breathlessly forced himself forward.

All at once, there was a chilling rush of air around him––something that bit through his clothes and skin much more sharply than a gust of wind.

He didn’t have time to cry out before he felt something squeeze tightly around his throat.

That’s all for now, folks! Week 4 is over, and so is Camp NaNo for this month.

As for what I’ll be working on in May, it’s up in the air right now. I’ve been thinking it might be a good month to just catch up on research/planning, since that’s something I need to do for … all of my WIPs, really. Whatever I end up doing, I’ll certainly keep you all updated. 🙂

How about you guys?

  • Did you participate in Camp NaNo? If so, how did it go?
  • What are your writing plans for May?

Infitiny Dreams Award

Lauren at Always Me nominated me for the Infinity Dreams Award! Lauren is incredibly nice and awesome, and you should most definitely check out her blog. 🙂

Rules:

1. Give 11 facts about yourself.

2. Answer the 11 questions set to you by the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate up to 11 bloggers to receive this award.

4. Ask the bloggers you have nominated to answer 11 questions (bonus points for those who answer in a vlog).

11 Facts About Me

  1. I’m the oldest of 6 kids. 🙂

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2. I’m a bit of a coffee addict
. I started drinking coffee when I was 10 years old (it was only in small increments and only like once a week, but still) and my addiction has only grown since then.

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3. Probably related to the above: I’m a terrible insomniac.

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It’s kind of a miracle if I can fall asleep within an hour or two of lying down, and I usually wake up pretty early, too. There are some nights I don’t fall asleep until like 4 or 5 am even if I’m lying there with my eyes closed the whole time! Lately I’ve been trying to cut back on caffeine in the afternoon/evening though, and that generally seems to help. 😛

4. I love earrings. And any other kind of jewelry, really––but especially earrings. I’m always buying new ones, even though I already have a zillion pairs.

5. Also I have a nose piercing!

6. I used to dye my hair funny colors. It started out just with red, but then I moved on to pink, blue, purple, green, etc. I really enjoyed having dyed hair, but it was kind of a pain to maintain it. Also after I stopped, my hair was a weird greenish/blondish color for months and months. I still kinda miss having wacky-colored hair, though!

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7. I’m a little obsessed with animated things––movies, TV shows, you name it. I even have an animation blog on Tumblr, shh.

8. I love to draw! Mostly I do fan art. 😛

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9. I briefly did stand-up comedy. Last year (when I was still in college) I did a few stand-up shows! It was kind of surreal because I never thought I’d have the confidence to do something like that. But actually I really enjoyed it! I’ve been meaning to try it again … eventually. 😀

10. I really love going to concerts. They’re a little overwhelming, but it’s worth it––I just get unbelievably excited to see my favorite bands/singers perform live. Most recently I went to see Magic Man, The Griswolds, and Panama Wedding, which was one of the most fun concerts I’ve been to! Up next, I am seeing CHVRCHES in June and I can’t wait. *screams*

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11. I have a hamster (or well, my family does). Her name is Lilo! We adopted her from an animal rescue shelter last year. She likes to climb on top of her wheel, and then jump up and grab the bars at the top of her cage and swing around … it’s very weird. But she is so cute. LOOK AT HER.

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So that’s it for my 11 facts! And now for my answers to Lauren’s questions … *drumroll* in a vlog! (Excuse the lengthiness and my general awkwardness.)

Hope you guys liked the video (if you watched it)! I had a lot of technical difficulties but I’m glad it finally worked, and I had fun doing it. 🙂

My 11 Questions:

  1. Do you like to re-read books? If so, what book have you read the most times?
  2. What are some of your hobbies?
  3. What is the last movie you watched, and what did you think of it?
  4. What is/was your favorite subject in school?
  5. Do you have any pets?
  6. How many languages do you speak?
  7. What’s a book that really surprised you?
  8. Do you believe in aliens?
  9. What’s something that made you laugh recently?
  10. If you were a superhero, what power would you most like to have?
  11. If you could meet any author (alive or dead), who would it be and why? (Or if you’ve met your favorite author, who was it?)

I tag:

Of course, if you guys are too busy or don’t want to do the tag, no hard feelings at all! Or if you want to do the tag but you’d rather answer my questions in writing (rather than in a vlog) that’s totally fine as well. 🙂 Also, as always, if anyone else would like to participate then I’d be happy to add you to my tags!

Upcoming: Tomorrow I will be posting my WIPMarathon post for April, which will also be my Camp NaNoWriMo wrap-up. See you again soon, my friends!