“mine is an evil laugh” a.k.a. favorite villains

villainy

Today we have a post about villainy. MWAHAHA! *maniacal cackle*

Once upon a time, Victoria tagged me (thank you!) for “Sunshine and Villainy” two unrelated (at the time) tags… one of which was Top 10 Villains.

I don’t know if I have ten but here at least are half a dozen villains who I love to hate or hate to love or… ya know, something like that. Either the scariest, or the ones I go “IT’S COMPLICATED” (a.k.a. I kind of wish they weren’t villains…). Because abject terror or mangled confused feels are both high compliments for villains.

I don’t think a lot about villains, preferring to focus on the heroes, but these are a few who’ve made me think about them. Which means they must be pretty impressive in their villainy.

Warning: There may be spoilers for those who have not read Entwined, Orphan’s Song, and Plenilune.

(Source) Quote in title is from Firefly, of course.

In no particular order, villains from page and screen . . .

FROM THE PAGE

Keeper (from Entwined by Heather Dixon)

Woo, boy, this character. O_O I’m the first to admit that for the first half+ of the book, I wanted him to be good. I liked this guy, and that in itself is kind of scary… Keeper is just utterly suave and smooth and dark and shadowy and mysterious and elegant. He would have made an amazing anti-hero, which meant I was rather surprised/sad when he suddenly turned all-out-villain. Of course then he was completely terrifying. I still have complicated feelings about this and am kinda torn, because yes he’s creepy, but he was also kind of awesome and had great potential to be a different kind of character… It’s probably the reason that though I loved this book a ton I haven’t re-read it yet. I’m not sure I want to revisit that right now. But the fact remains that he’s definitely a villain I’ve thought a lot about and is so well written.


Carhartan (from Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams)

Carhartan’s a bit of a mystery, but he’s a pretty scary fellow. The problem was, I started feeling like he had a shred of decency back there behind his darkness, and eventually the big reveal comes out that he used to be friends with certain good people and turned traitor. OW. The pain in my poor reader heart! Think Bucky-and-Captain-America levels of pain except worse because this Bucky is actually bad and not redeemed. Yeesh. So this was simultaneously a character that I loathed and yet felt for, a little. That takes some incredible writing skills, I tell ya. My emotions were a tangle for this book… I think I may be the only person who feels this way, but all you have to do to turn me into a wreck of emotions is say “Carhartan”. (Whoops, shouldn’t have told you that.)

Orphan's Song--Front Cover 02


(so I obviously don’t have a picture for Rupert buuut Richard Armitage can fill in for him because he’s cool like that.)

Rupert de la Mare (from Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag)

So I wanted to like Rupert. I wanted him to be a Beauty-and-the-Beast type person, but the longer I read the book, the less possible that was. He’s the kind of cold villain that literally freezes your blood. But he’s just fascinating to read about! All the scenes he’s in, they’re just freezingly fascinating. I’ve hardly ever met as well-written a villain as this guy. His personality is incredibly overpowering and I just really liked reading about him even though he was terrifying. But I really didn’t WANT him to be a villain! I wanted to love him but eventually I couldn’t… So I think I’d have been quite disappointed in the book if it wasn’t for a certain character whose name starts with D and ends with ammerung because that way I could pour all my love of a character into him and not be too disappointed that Rupert was bad. Not to mention that Dammerung and Rupert as facing off characters are magnificent together. Eeek. Rupert’s just WOW in his villainy. I’m super impressed. Definitely a favorite on-page villain.

Plenilune Cover Single

FROM THE SCREEN

Darth Maul (from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

Definitely the scariest Star Wars villain, and one of the scariest on-screen villain in the history of ever, in my opinion. I’ve been terrified of Darth Maul about as long as I can remember. His double lightsaber, always scowling, scary black and red alien with horns, his black cloak… Everything about him is creepy. Plus, as Victoria said, the lightsaber duel in The Phantom Menace has to be the best sword fight ever, so you’ve gotta give him credit for that… I don’t know, he’s just a villain you love to hate, and I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of Episode I but it’s a favorite of mine simply for the lightsaber duel. Here’s a villain done right. *shivers*

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Colonel Tavington (from The Patriot)

(THAT HAT THOUGH. O_O) This guy takes the cake for terrifying. …He would also literally take your cake. This guy is BAD. He goes around killing people without remorse and being perfectly level-headed and cool about it. He just gives me the shivers. The things he does are downright awful. Plus that British accent takes him to a whole new level of villain. Even his VOICE is creepy. He’s utterly ruthless and that makes him terrifying. Also, he’s scary with his hair both pulled back and out. Eeek. This guy’s always been my standard for villains. Nothing redeeming about him, just coldhearted ruthless villainy.

P9

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Loki (from The Avengers)

Ah, Loki… Note that I’m referring to his role in The Avengers and leaving whatever his roles in the Thor movies might be out of it. (Because he’s more of an anti-hero in Thor 2…) In The Avengers he’s definitely a villain, but one that might be what is termed a sympathetic villain… He’s got his own bad agendas but he’s also being used and has his own fear and pain and that makes me feel for him (while at the same time, not being a fan of his villainous actions). He’s also got great lines and is hilarious and fabulous AND he’s literally always smiling. Now tell me that’s not really cool and creepy. XD

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How about you? Have you read/seen any of these villains? Do any make your top ten villain list? And who are your favorite nefarious types?

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Top 15 Favorite Reads of 2015

TopReads2015icon

As is traditional (last year’s is here) it’s time for a list of the best books I read in 2015! YAY! Because lists and books and favorites are all the best things ever. ❤

I read some gems this year, and though it was super painful trying to pick favorites, these (especially the ones near the top) make my heart explode in happiness just from looking at the titles, so I think they’re some good ones! My list is roughly in order of amount of loving them, and doesn’t include rereads. So here we go! (Prepare for much squealing…)

My top 15 reads of 2015

1. Broken Glass – Emma Clifton (in Five Glass Slippers)

brokenglasscoverSo… I spontaneously reviewed this awhile back. And it’s made it to the very top of my list this year. IT’S JUST SO PERFECT AND MY FIRST STEAMPUNK FANTASY AND ALL THE CHARACTERRRRRRRRRRRS!!!! Ahem. I just really really love this story! I want to read it again (and I’ve already read it twice). It’s just perfection and bursting with humor and snark and great dialog and plots and sooo many characters I love, especially Marius and Darcy and Henry, and it’s FUN but then it gets epic at the end and it’s so British AND I JUST LOVE IIIIIIIT! ❤ It makes me grin and keep grinning and unable to STOP grinning, whenever I think of it. GAAAHH! *tackle-hugs story* ALL OF THE LOVE! *gives Darcy and Marius an extra hug*

2. Archer’s Goon – Diana Wynne Jones

HOW. DO. I. DESCRIBE. THIS. BOOK. Ummm… I can’t! *flails around* It was Diana Wynne Jones which means it was pure distilled BRILLIANCE mixed up with total uniqueness, absolutely FANTASTIC humor, and just ALL OF THE PLOT TWISTS. Mind. Blown. I can’t get over it and it’s amazing and I think I need to read it again right now. I still love Howl’s Moving Castle the best of Diana Wynne Jones’ books (I mean… it’s my favorite book EVER besides The Lord of the Rings) BUT I THINK ARCHER’S GOON MIGHT BE SECOND. Maybe. Ahem. All of the characters are fantastic and the dialog and the humor and it’s timey-wimey and sci-fi and fantasy and modern and super confusing and I just love it a lot. Ack. ❤

3. The Ordinary Princess – M. M. Kaye

This was, in a word, PERFECT. ^_^ It just makes me so happy. I can’t. *beams and huggles book* It’s a sort of original fairytale type of thing, feeling like it has some hints of Sleeping Beauty and maybe a couple others, but mostly its own thing. It was just a quick read that was ADORABLE and sweet and perfect, and I loved the illustrations, and the character of the Ordinary Princess herself was awesome, and Peregrine who I loved a ton, and they were so cute together and just alskdjljlsjk it makes me happy and is a perfect little book. ^_^ ❤

4. Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

I’ve been dying to read this ever since reading Entwined. Needless to say, I pounced on it. The internet is probably still reeling with the incoherent fangirling babbles I shared on this blog about Illusionarium… Ahem. So suffice it to say, despite the creepiness, that I LOVED THIS BOOK AND THE DIALOG AND HUMOR AND EPIC STEAMPUNKNESS AND ESPECIALLY LOCKWOOD. LOCKWOOOOD!!!!! *flails around forever and a day* Basically, Lockwood. ❤ I just can’t get over that indescribable airguardsman snarky fiery epic trigger-happy roguish awesome Lieutenant Lockwood. (And he and Jonathan are a great pair. XD I love themmm.) (BUT LOCKWOOD. SO MUCH. ❤ ❤ ❤ )

5. The Pinhoe Egg – Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones books are always wonderful, but this one’s one of my top, like… four? of hers? (Howl’s Moving Castle, Archer’s Goon, The Crown of Dalemark, and this, are my favorites.) This was the conclusion to the Chrestomanci series, which I started late in 2014, and read most of this year. AAAHHH I LOVED THIS BOOK. It returned to the hero of the first book, Cat (who is great), and there were shenanigans and it had sooo much more of Chrestomanci himself than a lot of the others (which is pretty much my one complaint usually, since he usually only shows up a little in the midst of other people’s adventures). THERE WAS ALSO A GRIFFIN. AND CHRESTOMANCI AND AND AND ASLKDJFLK I just really really really love Chrestomanci and I need some fancy dressing gowns to wear around the house like he does. Except he has a castle… BASICALLY I WANT TO LIVE AT CHRESTOMANCI CASTLE AND READ ABOUT CHRESTOMANCI FOREVER. Because CHRESTOMANCI!!!!! ❤ ❤ Ahem.

6. Frederica – Georgette Heyer

After reading and loving The Grand Sophy in 2014, I wanted to try another Georgette Heyer, so this happened. I LOVED IT. The characters, just… aaagh! I loved them. LORD ALVERSTOKE. He’s one of those kind of awful fellows who’s sort of vain/spoiled, a lot like Howl actually, and yet he ends up being all noble too and just alskdjflklaskdj I love Alverstoke, he’s wonderful. And his relationship with the heroine and with her younger brothers — just YES! I don’t actually read a lot of regency historical romance sorts of things but this one was great. There’s also an airballoon and a crash and all of the DIALOG, my goodness it’s wonderful.

7. The Penderwicks in Spring – Jeanne Birdsall

AAAAHHHHH. I’ve been waiting for this ever since I read the first three Penderwick books (I even reread them this year!) and it was amazing. I was actually surprised because in a way it was so SAD but also the usual hilarious and just… I love the Penderwicks, okay. I LOVE THEMMMM. This family. Just. THEY ARE PRECIOUS. *gathers them in a hug* It was a little strange because it’s years after the previous ones and the three older girls are like TEENS and Batty’s 11 and… yes. o.o And I should have been upset, especially with all the sad, but I just LOVED. IT. SO. MUCH. Also there were like ten billion characters and the author juggled them all SO well and the writing is golden and ALL OF THE FEELS. I wish I could write like that. Basically I waited a long time for it and it did NOT disappoint. ❤

8. Conrad’s Fate – Diana Wynne Jones

This was a sort of Chrestomanci prequel because it involves him (Christopher) when he was a teen. LET ME FLAIL. Like Illusionarium, it was a great buddy-movie story (as I call them; even when they’re not movies… *cough*) and… Chrestomanci and the hero are so much fun together and I DON’T EVEN KNOW. But it was Diana Wynne Jones and I remember having so much fun and just really ENJOYING this! *flail* Chrestomanci as a youngster is just fabulous to read about, so sneaky but refined but clever and just brilliant and the dialog and I just loved it. ❤

9. Power of Three – Diana Wynne Jones

How. I. What. It. SOMETHING! *flailing* This was totally not what I was expecting and it was so DIFFERENT (something Diana Wynne Jones excels at) and PLOT TWIST! Wow. Also I loved all of the characters, especially the two who were like the hero (you’ll understand if you’ve read it), and it just had a lot of brilliance going on! It was epic. It felt rather different than her other stuff–a bit more like the Dalemark books than her “fun” ones… But I still adored it. Plus, the flashback where the fellows were drunk and met Titch was sheer gold. *dies of laughter*

10. Plenilune – Jennifer Freitag

This is here basically because DAMMERUNG!!!!! It was EXHAUSTING to read and took me from Christmas till August to read… like really heavy chocolate cake. Or the ocean. It was a little much, kind of too rich if you know what I mean, but it was totally worth it for Dammerung. He’s, like, possibly my favorite character this year. Possibly one of my top favorite characters of EVER. Like… HE’S UP THERE WITH HOWL, OKAY? Dammerung is just AMAZING and this monster of a 600+ page book of exhaustingly gorgeous poetical prose is totally worth it just for him. (And Rupert was amazing too. I have very complex feels about Rupert. Which makes me super glad that Dammerung is there to cancel those out because he just blows everything away with his amazingness). Like… he’s funny and powerful and heroic and epic and just… HE’S LIKE THE COOLEST EVER. Dammerung has a very special place in my heart. ^____^ ❤ ❤ ❤

11. The Skin Map – Stephen R. Lawhead

This was an AMAZING book. Contemporary/time-travel/fantasy/sci-fi-ish/historical… it has a little bit of everything. The writing and setting and just the entire thing is STUNNINGLY well done, not to mention the cast of characters, each of whom I love to bits! Arthur, Cosimo, Kit, Etzel, Wilhemina! (I even love the heroine!) Just. Gaaahh. It was a fantastic book, and would have been much higher up the list if it weren’t for something that happened in the last twenty pages… *cough cough* But I’ve actually gotten over that (mostly) and all I can think of is how amazing this book was and how much I want to read the sequels! *huggles all the characters* It was just a DELIGHT to read!

stonecurse12. Stone Curse – Jenelle Schmidt (in Five Enchanted Roses)

I reviewed this one on the blog and just YES. Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I ALWAYS love… And RITTER! ❤ Ritter and his heroicness and humor and just aaaahh I love him so much! And the setting and the fairytale feel and BAREND the Beast, down to loving the heroine, Karyna, a ton as well. I just… Gaaah. ^_^ *huggles all of them* The whole cast of characters and their relationships… just fantastic. SUCH A GREAT READ! ❤

13. Corroded Thorns – Emma Clifton

Aaand I also reviewed this one (more Beauty and the Beast, yay!) and it’s the sequel to my top favorite of the year, Broken Glass, and I sort of consider them one book because it’s so interconnected, sooo I couldn’t resist putting this on the list too! DARCY!!! Eeep. I just looooved this story and the characters AND THE ENDING WAS PERFECTION OH MY GOODNESS SO MUCH LOVE FOR THAT. ❤

14. Tahn – L. A. Kelly

This was the VERY first book I read in 2015, so it’s possibly a little hazy in my memory… But I know it was an exciting adventuresome read, with some good stuff, and was a little grittier than I usually like but still fabulous. And, like with Plenilune, it’s mostly here for one of my favorite characters of the year, namely the title character himself, Tahn. Tahn is the absolute epitome of my favorite archetype of characters, what I call the “dark guy”. (I’ve heard “anti-hero” used as well.) But I really really love him and his story and it was awesome.

15. The Book of Sight – Deborah Dunlevy

This book… I don’t know. It just made me happy. It was one of my first “random” ebooks I tried, since it was free on Kindle at the time and sounded interesting. I got so addicted that I’ve since bought all three of the sequels which are currently out (looking forward to reading The Poisoned Cure soon!) and already hoping the fifth/final book will come out soon! It’s a modern fantasy story, and it just… somehow kind of reminds me of the sort of stories I’m writing with my Kedran’s Wood series. I just enjoy it and it’s about these kids, a group of friends, in a little modern town, and their dealings with fantastical stuff that they start running into. Also, I really love Dominic. But it’s just a fun read, so… yes. It makes me think of sunshine. 🙂

***

You mayyy notice a trend*, which is that books are much likelier to be extremely loved/high on my list when there’s a particular character I really like in the story… What can I say. I’m evidently extremely attached to fictional people. But I’d say that Dammerung, Lockwood, and Chrestomanci are my favorite characters this year. THEY’RE THE BESSST!

(*Whaaat, you thought I was going to say that the trend was Howl? HAHAHA. Fooled you. XD Ahem. Sorry. Howl does whatever he likes, and apparently that includes stealing the show in a blogpost that doesn’t even involve him… *cough*)

So there’s my list! Have you read any of these? (You totally should!) Do you have any favorite reads of 2015? TELL ALL IN THE COMMENTS! ^_^

Hopefully this next year of 2016 will hold some wonderful reads in it for all of us! ❤

Happy New Year, everyone!

August Ishness {2015}

ishness

Another month has come and gone, so Ishness once more comes our way!

It was WAY too hot again, but it also rained — yay! I mean… I hear tell it was rain. I mean… there were, like, drops of water falling out of the sky. Like… lots of drops. And the weather cooled off and it wasn’t scorching and… it was… wet. For a couple of days. Like… who knew that water fell out of the sky — ISN’T THAT A MYTH? O_O (Ahem. Okay, so maybe it’s not THAT dry around here… BUT STILL.)

Of course it’s hot again NOW, so… So much for that. I WANT IT TO BE AUTUMN, FOLKS. I really do. Of course, then I’ll freeze in 70 degrees… (Seriously, it was 70 and I was COLD. :P) But OH WELL, I guess I can’t win. XD

But enough about the weather… I feel like I got a lot accomplished in August! I’m a happy little writer. ^_^

Writing

For one thing, I wrote 16,000 words in August. Which makes me very happy. 🙂

9d7f4ec3b9d76b65b071b3a86e7a5fbcFirstly… I finished writing my contemporary / mystery / slight romance short story Darkling Reflections!!!

Excuse me while I go run around in reckless circles screaming with ecstatic abandon.

I fiiiiiinished it! I’m so very very proud of me and I love it to death, and it was 11,000 ish words — which is long for a short story but still short, so I’m happy — and it’s kind of gorgeous and I’ve never written anything like it, and I NEVER finish writing stories, so I’m just happy and in love with it. ❤

CAN I JUST FLAIL PLEASE. I FINISHED WRITING A SHORT STORYYYY.

Ahem.
Sorry.
That just… called for a little excitement. >.>

I actually did write a summary for it, so here it is:

Darkling Reflections

A young heiress left alone in the world finds solace in her melancholy by nightly visiting the restaurant she always went to with her father, where she pours her overflowing thoughts into scribbles on napkins. Between avoiding the man who wants to marry her, trying to uncover the mystery of her father’s death, continually running into a mysterious young man in a trench coat, and forgetting to smile at the waiters, she’s keeping quite busy. But there’s still a murderer out there, who will stop for neither rain nor romance.

KW2coverPI also started really writing in The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2) again for the first time since… February. I feel really good about that too! All of the productive feelings!

And I roughly outlined my Sleeping Beauty idea, The Rose and the Raven (not sure if I’ll be doing anything with it yet or not…).

I started some preliminary plotting work on The Silver Forest (this year’s upcoming NaNo Novel; please tell me how NaNo is only 2 months away…), like NAMING ALL THE CHARACTERS. Yes, I’m excited about that. *huggles all the Irish-sounding names* Like, I have a Prince Finnigan. (Come on, tell me that’s not cool??) I’ve gotten a tiny glimpse of the characters I’m having in this ENORMOUS cast this NaNo and I’m ridiculously excited. I’m going to have so much fun (if I survive NaNo and can manage that many characters, of course… Eheh).

Twelve Dancing Princesses ❤ (Pinterest)

Miscellaneous

I took up crocheting again! I hadn’t in YEARS but somehow I got it in my head that I wanted a purse/book bag combination thing and that I could make one… So I did. I kind of love it and feel like it turned out remarkably well, considering I probably hadn’t crocheted a thing in like five years, and that I made it up out of my head and kind of winged the whole thing, hoping it would turn out… Behold its beauty.

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(The blue part is actually much darker than that; my camera's flash has delusions of grandeur and thinks everything is only as it shows it, not how it truly is, and thinks it should be a bright neon blue; but it isn't.)

(The blue part is actually much darker than that; my camera’s flash has delusions of grandeur and thinks everything is only as it shows it, not how it truly is, and thinks it should be a bright neon blue; but it isn’t.)

Watching

Wow, what a weird collection of stuff I’ve been watching… Sci-fi, western, and period fantasy…

moviesaug2015I finished rewatching all of the Star Wars movies to prep for the new one, which was fun. December is soon! I forgot how much I love Obi-wan in the prequel trilogy and Han in the original trilogy. HAN SOLO. SO MUCH SNARK. I love him and young-Obi so much. ❤ (Also Chewie and R-2 are adorable and I love the lizard thing that Obi rides in Episode III. Want one, I do. Also, Yoda.)

I also watched some of this old western TV show about Jim Bowie, which was fun, and saw the BBC mini series version of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which was… interesting. (CHILDERMASS. I know, nobody’s read that book let alone seen the show, so nobody understands me when I fangirl…)

Bookish

I also got dozens of books from a friend who was moving and was incredibly nice and gave them to me. Like… how do I even express my feelings. ❤

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These are a few of the books I’m most excited to read.

Speaking of books…

I FINISHED READING PLENILUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plenilune Cover SingleYes, that requires caps-lock and that many exclamation points. It does. Seriously though, I’d been in that book since Christmas. It took me almost eight months to read it. I thought I would NEVER be done. But I was determined to finish it in August so I set myself a goal to read a chapter a day and I did it and finished early and just AAAHH I feel so free and so accomplished for making it through that monstrously large book! *happy flailing* Yes, it was worth it, in case you were wondering, simply because of Dammerung, who is a FABULOUS character, one of my favorites of ever. Dammerung is the best. That is all. ❤

I read these books in August. SO MANY BOOKS. I feel accomplished.

Aug2015books

  • A Wish Made of Glass, which I reviewed on the blog. Cinderella-ish and fey things and delicious writing! 5 stars.
  • Mixed on the Twelve Dancing Princesses Tales From Around the World collection. Fairytales are dark, y’all. 😛 Also not all of them were really 12DP but just shared themes. But still interesting, and useful research for my NaNo novel this year! Also Irish fairytales are the best because HUMOR. I kinda reviewed that on Goodreads. 3 stars?
  • Plenilune I already talked about but it gets 5 stars just because DAMMERUNG.
  • The Ankulen was… interesting. Hadn’t read anything like it before. 4 stars. (Reviewed it on Goodreads…)
  • House of Many Ways I reread, which means I’ve successfully reread the entire Howl trilogy this year and LKDJLFKJSDKJL I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. ❤ This one is hilarious and I love it. Also Twinkle. I WANT MY THTWIPEY ONETH. That is all. 5 stars (duh).
  • Loot: How to Steal a Fortune was a random YA heisty book from the library. It was enjoyable and had some fun heisty/con things but… I think something was missing. I don’t know. It was still fun though. 3 stars.
  • Enchanted Glass I also randomly got from the library because DIANA WYNNE JONES. Magical fun ensued. 5 stars (all the Diana Wynne Jones things get five stars).
  • Captive of Raven Castle. I reviewed this on Goodreads too… It was enjoyable. 4 stars.
  • Veiled Rose – I FINALLY FINISHED THIS. I started it in April so I’m so glad to be done. Of course, I’d read Heartless eons ago, so I hardly remember it so the parts that linked up with that I didn’t get as much out of as I should… But Leo and Rose Red are adorable, especially as kids, and Leo’s a mess now and laksdflkdj I need Moonblood this instant. (Also pink frogs falling from trees and I love you I love you. XD) 5 stars.
  • I read one of the novellas in Five Enchanted Roses last month, but I got around to the rest recently. It’s very convenient how there are five different star ratings and five different stories; I assigned a different rating to each. Stone Curse is still my favorite. ❤ The others were varying levels of enjoyable. *shrug* The overall still gets 5 stars because of Stone Curse (I LOVED IT SO MUCH) but the actual rating apparently would average 3 because of a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 star rating… Anyways I added review-ish thoughts on Goodreads.

Nightstand Books (September)

Nightstand Books is done monthly by Jenelle and D.J. — join them usually the first Wednesday of the month (I know, I tend to rebel and be early…) and share your own nightstand books if you wish!

And heeeere is my Nightstand Book(s) of the month:

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YES! I’m only in the middle of ONE book right now and I feel so happy and accomplished that I finished all those books I was in and wanted to read in August! *happy flailing* I happen to be on page 50 and Percy only FINALLY arrived so I assume the story will pick up now. It’s fun and funny though, and has that “classics” feel that usually means I don’t have a CLUE what’s going on but I assume it’s probably brilliant and over my head. (Robert Louis Stevenson does that to me ALL the time and it’s fascinating.) I plan to finish The Scarlet Pimpernel ASAP and then to leisurely decide what to read next and try not to be in the middle of ten dozen books at the same time ever again. (Ahem. We’ll see how that goes…)

In other news, I seem to have re-discovered my addiction of parentheses. Sorry ’bout that. 😛

***

So! That was my August. No idea what September holds, yet, except that it’s going to be insanely busy. It’s rather a frightening thought…

Also! I’m going to be internet-less this coming extended weekend and very busy beforehand, so… if I’m not around, that is why. But I have something super fun and (hopefully) exciting coming up on the blog next week on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

Ishness of July: Otters, Hummingbirds, Retellings and Skyships

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It’s AUGUST! Guys. Guys. Did I hear myself correctly? August. AUGUST?

Sorry, I tend to repeat myself when I get confused.

Half of me is freaking out that we’re so far into the year (wasn’t it April yesterday??), and yet the other half is staring at the new calendar page in a sort of delight of new-month-itis, which is what makes me really happy when I get to write “August 1” in flowy script in my writing journal and reading log, ready for a fresh start. It feels nice, I tell ya.

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Yes, I’m a confused being.

(Plus, I always get June and July mixed up and tend to  think of them as vaguely one really long month, so it’s nice to be back to a month I can actually keep straight. Maybe that’s just me.)

But look: July is over! I don’t have the tiniest inkling of how THAT happened, since last I knew it was the Fourth of July and I still had big plans for the month… *cough* Yeah. That clearly didn’t happen. I think this last month was gone in record time, which is freaking me out.

But! You’re obviously not here to watch me freak out (or ARE you…? *wriggles eyebrows*) but to see what ishness I’ve been up to this past month! So let’s see…

July Things

I’ve been up to summery things like:

  • Celebrating Independence Day
  • Swimming
  • Going to the zoo (OTTERS. OTTERS ARE THE BEST THING EVER. OTTERRRRRRRS! ❤ That is all.)

(from pinterest)

And let’s not forget the most important one:

  • Dying of the heat because SUMMER

Seriously. It is so so hot. *steals Alaska to wrap round self like the opposite of a coat* (Because coats are for keeping you warm…? Okay, that analogy ran away from me.)

Oh! And I finally got to see the movie Epic! Oh my goodness, it was so adorable and fun and pretty! I kind of loved it to bits — aaahhh! And Ronin is so so fabulous (and I want his accent. And his awesomeness. And his hummingbird. Basically I want to be Ronin). AND THE HUMMINGBIRDS. HUMMINGBIIIIIIIIIIIRDS. I wanna ride a hummingbird so much. ❤

(from pinterest)

Writing

I wrote a pitiful 3000 words in July… Half of that was for my Kedran’s Wood short story Return to McAllistair Mansion… AND I FINISHED IT. I’m very proud of me. I finished a short story! Yayyy!

scrnshotrmm

(Okay, so it’s technically not too short-story-ish, in that it doesn’t have a plot but is just three related scenes about Tare between books 1 and 2, and also featuring a character I’d never written before, which meant I spent most of it trying to figure out what said character was like. BUT STILL.)

The other half of the  3000 words was miscellaneous snatches of five other stories. Yup. Scattered, this month.

But this was, primarily, the month of brainstorming. All of my stories exploded in my head, which caused a mess but was fairly awesome. (Okay, that may be exaggerating. Maybe not ALL of them. But several.)

  • I’ve been doing a ton of brainstorming for The Silver Forest, my upcoming Twelve Dancing Princesses NaNo… I still need a more concrete plot, but I have ideas, which is a start, and I got around to naming the oodles of characters I now have. It’s going to be awesome.
  • rrpinterest

    (from pinterest)

    Also, my old idea for a Sleeping Beauty retelling, called The Rose and the Raven, finally clicked, so it has a plot now, which excites me a ton and makes me want to write it. Seriously, some delicious plot twists. Bwahaha! I kind of adore it a lot. ❤ [PINTEREST BOARD]

  • I also had breakthroughs on The Invisible Mask and Heartseeker! So, yay! That’s kind of exciting. My problem childs these days. (Hush, childs is totally a word.)
  • I also had an idea for a new story. Yay. (No, I don’t actually know if that was sarcasm or not.) It’s a modern Cinderella story about a writer, set during NaNo. I’m kind of super excited about this one too. But it will probably not see the light of day for a few more years, especially since I’m still half pretending it doesn’t exist… (I HAVE TOO MANY STORY IDEAS OKAY.)
  • And miscellaneous stuff on some other stories.
sspinterest

(from Pinterest)

But mostly, my new idea for a Steampunk retelling of The Little Mermaid exploded in my face.

This thing is so big and epic now that I may have a panic attack from all the awesome. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEE* I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I almost considered switching to writing it for this NaNo instead of The Silver Forest, but I decided ultimately against it because I’m going to want to take my time with The Siren and the Skyship (which is its title) and just have wayyyyy too much fun with it.

The Siren and the Skyship is kind of my favorite thing ever right now. I’M JUST RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED AND LOVE IT SO MUCH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

(from Pinterest)

[Pinterest Board for The Siren and the Skyship]

So, yeah. Not much actual writing but SO much awesomeness in the brainstorming department. I think it was more of a brainhurricane.

Reading

july2015read

Yeahhh, that was a fairly slow month of reading for this year. I was mostly reading things for review.

  • I obviously reviewed Chasing Shadows and Corroded Thorns on the bloggy.
  • Castle in the Air was a reread, sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle. HMC is my second-favorite book ever (after The Lord of the Rings), and Castle in the Air is also a delight — aaahh! ❤ So much hilariousness! It was awesome getting to read it again now that I know all the plot twists and secrets. >:D
  • I also read all of Five Glass Slippers, which I’m proud of me for accomplishing. I just reviewed it on Goodreads in case you’re curious what I thought of it; Broken Glass is still my favorite, followed by The Moon Master’s Ball! (Scatter the white mouse. SCATTER THE WHITE MOUSE. I LOVED HIM SO MUUUUUUUCH. *incoherent squeeing fangirl noises mixed with sobbing*)
  • And it doesn’t count because I haven’t finished reading Five Enchanted Roses but I DID read one novella from there to review it, namely Stone Curse.

So I kind of read 7 novellas and 2 novels this month. *nod nod* That doesn’t sound quite so bad, I guess… 😉

August Nightstand Books

I know, I know, I’m early on this again. But I can’t help it! You can join in on the Nightstand Books blog meme the first Wednesday of every month along with Jenelle and D.J. 🙂

Here’s mine:

AugNightstand2015

You may recognize a pattern by now…

  • I’m going to finish Plenilune this month if it KILLS me. (Look for a figurative obituary soon starring yours truly… *cough*) BUT I’M GOING TO. I WILL I WILL.
  • Yes, I’m still in Veiled Rose too–I’m determined to finish it as well!
  • House of Many Ways I’m going to get to reread, so I’m excited for that!
  • And I still need to finish The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I like the three chapters I’ve read so far… XD

And we’ll just ignore the five ebooks I want to read or finish as well. *shifty eyes* Yeah. They’re not on my nightstand so they don’t count. 😉

(And we’ll also ignore how busy I’m going to be and the fact I might have even less time for reading than last month… *cough*)

August plans?

I don’t even know… I feel like I really have to get EVERYTHING done this next month because September and October look to be insanely busy and we’re not even going to SPEAK of November… So if I don’t catch up on certain things I’m going to be behind the rest of the year. Heh. Wish me luck! XD

So! There’s a (very long) update on my life!

(Basically, I want a hummingbird to ride and an otter for a pet and an intelligent loyal white mouse for a friend.)

How was your July? Any plans for August?

Did you do Camp NaNo? How did it go?

Junishness

Happy July, everyone! I’m just sitting here trying to comprehend how the year can be
half over… Can anyone tell me what happened?? O_O

For me, at least, June kind of vanished in the blink of an eye — summer is flying, peoples! But here’s an update on some of my doings…

I can’t think of a single non-writerly/non-readerly thing of interest, besides doing a phenomenal amount of blogging in June including catching up on all my tags. Which I am extremely proud of myself for. Basically I’m an ecstatic blogger at this moment. But! Writing and books! And lists. Let’s have some lists because lists are awesome.

Writing

I did wriiiting! I’m so excited. Most of this year has been a slow arena in the writing world. I say arena because I halfheartedly wrestle my stories and they easily best me and then go sit in the shade and sulk without me. Which makes for a lonely writer… But! That changed in June because I was super inspired and ended up working on five different stories and pounding out 11k words! That may be small potatoes to some of the big writer folks out there, but for this little weakling, I find myself quite unusually proud of me.

  • 5k of that was working on a couple of lesser stories in the Kedran’s Wood series, messing with Tare backstory which is fun (Son of Kedran’s Wood [0.5], and Return to McAllistair Mansion [1.5, short story]). Like 500 words of KW2, The Secret of Kedran’s Wood… yes, that’s slow right now. But happening! Which is still good!
  • And between a random snippet and that writing dare I posted that I’m leaning toward fitting into The Other Half of Everything somehow… that’s about 1500 words on that story. It’s still in the snippet stage, but hey, I won’t complain if it gets some of itself written already. 😉
  • And most of all, I’m very excited about getting about 3.5k words of my short story Darkling Reflections written! I diiid hope to finish it in June but at least I wrote the middle part and now just have the final third to do. So. That’s kind of awesome.

Um… and such nitty-gritty details of what-I-wrote-and-words is probably is of no interest to anyone but me. Ahem. But ANYWAYS. I basically wrote 11,000 words of awesome in June and feel extremely happy and inspired. I also had a couple of epic ideas for fairytale retellings I plan to write and got some plotting notes down. So THAT’S always fabulous. 😀

I will totally have to post some snippets because AAALL THE WRITING.

Reading

jun2015books

I wanted to read way more than that, but apparently I got a goodly amount of reading done all the same… Huh.

  • The Hobbit is a reread, naturally… and just as awesome as always.
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (finally), as well as Stargirl and Love, Stargirl (totally random), were all small and rather mixed-feelings books that kind of left me a bit torn going “meh”, though they did have their merits I suppose.
  • Perfect Scoundrels — I finally read the last Heist Society book! Which as always was awesome. Cleverness and Hale. Yes. The author totally must write more…
  • Wildwood Dancing and Illusionarium — I had complaints for both, but were generally amazing. Another Twelve Dancing Princesses book (still working on those!). And my first steampunk, so yay! …I feel like all I’ve been doing on my blog lately is talk about Illusionarium (without even talking about it really or reviewing it or anything. O_O). I will stop, I promise! Ahem…

Anyways, that’s the reading I got done. A fairly good month, I guess?

July Nightstand Books

Aaand it being the first Wednesday of the month, not to mention first DAY of the month, I can’t resist posting the stuff I hope to read in July — so here I am, linking up with the Nightstand Books meme as started by Jenelle and D.J. It’s usually the first Wednesday of the month, I thiiink…

Here’s what I want to read… though I have no illusions (arium or otherwise har har) about actually getting them all read this month. BUT I CAN TRY.

nightstandjul15

AREN’T THEY SO PRETTY.

  • I’m STILL in Veiled Rose… I can’t believe it. But I’m trying to finish that soon. Poor Leo. *pets him*
  • Plenilune… Erm… Yes, I started it on Christmas, so I’ve officially been in this book for half a year now. IT’S. SO. BIG. I’m only 137 pages in, out of 659… I may cry. Ahem. However, it’s kind of delightful so far in its way, just verrry slow to wade through. *puffs and pants and puts on little-engine-that-could mentality* I think I can, I think I can!
  • And yes, I’m finally going to read The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because my bookclub is reading it. Every single person I know seems to have read and loved it and I’m always being told to read it. So I finally am going to, yay! I love stuff like that so I hope it will be awesome.
  • I don’t know if I’ll get to Out of Darkness Rising and Mist of Midnight, but I’ve been dying to read both of them for so long that hopefully I will… They just look so delicious.

Aaaand also some ebooks.

nightstandebooksjul15

See, that’s the problem with ebooks, they don’t fit beautifully on stacks on nightstands… *cough* BUT THESE ARE AWESOME ANYWAY, SO.

  • Yes, I’m ashamed to say I’m STILL in Chasing Shadows, which I do need to finish and review, but despite my slowness it’s kind of awesome anyways (WILL IS FABULOUS) and I’m working through it but it’s super long and I’m a very slow PDF reader, I fear…
  • Same with Five Enchanted Roses, which I’m SUUUPER excited and grateful to get to be an influence reader for Jenelle Schmidt’s entry, Stone Curse! *flaiiiil* Lookit that gorgeous. I can’t WAIT to dive into this. I’m very very excited. Expect a review on that sometime later this month too, hopefully!
  • And then of course there’s still that Twelve Dancing Princesses Collection I’m working through. So many! They are mostly super dark, whodathunk. XD

Random Bookish News

I just need to flail a bit about this: there is an official cover for Jill Williamson’s next fantasy book, King’s FollyRead the post. It’s the first book in the Kinsman Chronicles, which are kinda-sorta prequels to the Blood of Kings Trilogy (which I love. A lot).

BloodOfKingsTrilogyButton-1024x625

She’s been writing sci-fi and dystopian and contemporary spy stuff for awhile now, which are great but not FANTASY if you know what I mean… So the fact that there’s another Jill Williamson fantasy book coming out (albeit adult instead of YA) just kind of excites me. Now I just have to wait till next spring. Whyyy. The life of a bookworm is tough, you guys, let me tell you. *falls dramatically across couch*

Anyways enough of my babbling — Coverrrr!! ❤ (Books just become REAL when they have covers, you know what I mean?)

***

Basically this whole post was about booooks. With a small side of writing. But what can I say. I’m very bookwormy these days. IT’S SUMMER AND SUMMER IS FOR READING RIGHT. I think I’m also now addicted to blogging. This may be a problem…

So that’s what’s up with me!

How about you?

Did you have a good June? Have plans for July?

Are you doing Camp NaNo??

(I’m not. *hides shamefully behind a tapestry*)

Also. IT’S ONLY FOUR MONTHS TILL NANOWRIMO. *drops bombshell and calmly walks away as if nothing happened*