Monday Motivation: Plans for Amanda’s Nose in a Book

Monday Motivation: Blog Post Banner

It’s time for some Monday Motivation!

Monday can be hard, especially when you’ve just come out of a weekend that was much busier than you anticipated (pretty much every weekend when you’re an adult, right?). But it really doesn’t have to be. Not if you’re doing something you love. Making what you’re passionate about a career is something that so many people dream of, myself included. Monday Motivation is one thing that I want to bring to Amanda’s Nose in a Book at least once a month, to give you something that will motivate you to read, write, be creative, and do the things you love!

The past few years I have been trying to decide what to do with my career, with this blog, and just with what I want to do in general.

Amanda’s Nose in a Book has been pretty quiet. But it’s time to change that. I absolutely loved it when I was posting here regularly! It was fun,  I connected with other readers and writers, and met my two critique partners here.

I’ve decided to get “the fear” again (yes that is a friends reference) and use this space to combine my two passions: teaching and writing.

I’m an English teacher (currently a substitute) where I live. While subbing isn’t a bad job at all and I get to do something different every day, it’s not something that I am super passionate about. I love teaching. I love writing. And for a long time I’ve tried to find a way to combine the two.

In the upcoming months, there will be some huge and awesome changes to this site, and I will be starting so many other new endeavors.

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Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is the last ten books that came into my possession. In no particular order, these are the last ten books that I’ve purchased within the last couple of months.

1. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

3. Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

4. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

6 & 7 . Something Strange and Deadly and  A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

8 & 9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

10. Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict by Cheryl St. John

And there are probably ones that I missed, but this is most of them!

What are the last ten books that came into your possession, whether you bought them, got from the library, or borrowed from a friend?

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read. With so many books coming out on a weekly basis (and the hype that surrounds them) it’s hard to keep up with all of them. Here are ten hyped books that I’ve never read– most of which I’d like to in the future.

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

anna-lola-isla

Yeah, I know. I’m a bad book blogger! This book (and it’s companion novels) is/are everywhere. Continue reading

Books I'd Love to See as a Movie or TV Show

Books I'd Like to See as a Television Show or Movie

Last week, we found out that the Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi is going to be made into a TV show!

I loved this series, even though the first book was a little difficult for me to get into. The character development over the course of the trilogy was great and I think between the romance and action that it would make for a very interesting and entertaining television show. Congrats Tahereh.

This gets me thinking about some other books I’ve read since beginning Amanda’s Nose in a Book that would make for great movies or tv shows. So here’s my list. I’d love to hear what you think!

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Where the hell have I been?

56199-Doctor-Who-9-hello-gif-ydYKHello! I feel like I have to do a whole new introduction on here because it’s been far too long.

This poor blog has been so neglected lately. Since Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve thought about this blog every single day, without knowing what really to write about, but it’s past time for an update 🙂 .

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Confessions of a Book Blogger: Why I haven't finished a single book yet this year.

bloggraphicOk… this blog was originally intended to be a book blog- a place where I could review and talk about books.

As of late, my intentions for this blog has taken a bit of a turn, a veer in a related (but different) direction.

In fact it’s the end of January and I have yet to finish reading one single book this year. At first I was kind of ashamed. I am a lover of books and reading, but my focus has been elsewhere. It’s been on the book I’m writing.

I’ve tried to read a couple of books lately. And they were both very good.

But they still sit on my night stand with a book mark in the middle, abandoned. They stare at me every morning when I flip on the light and say “Oh me! Pick me!” before I roll over to go to sleep every night. I feel guilty that I haven’t finished them.

Reading slump??? I don’t think I would call it that.

For me it’s more like a change of focus. I’m having a hard time focusing on the book I’m reading for any length of time before I start daydreaming about my own novel. Sometimes a break from my own writing and the world I’ve created is a needed and welcome thing. Other times it’s difficult.

While I will still be reading books, I may only post one or two reviews a month (more if I read something that I really enjoy), until I need a break from writing.

Have any of you felt like this before?

Do you think I should change the name and such for this blog to reflect that it is more about writing now?

My writing process- Brainstorming

Lately I’ve had writing on the brain. So much so that I’ve yet to finish reading a book so far this year.

*hangs head in shame*

Anyway, since I’ve been writing so much, I’ve been thinking a lot about my process in an attempt to make it more efficient and less stressful for me.

And I thought I would talk with all of you, to see what works for you. Maybe I could take bits and pieces of your ideas and create something that helps me focus more. For most people, their writing process begins with brainstorming. I’m no exception to that rule. So let’s start there.

my writing process- brainstorming

http://www.carolinemadethis.com/2014/07/30/lets-start-at-the-very-beginning/

http://www.carolinemadethis.com/2014/07/30/lets-start-at-the-very-beginning/

For me, brainstorming is a very general process.

I usually something in mind that I want to build a story around. It starts general, and moves towards something more specific until I have a setting, character, genre, etc., that I want to build a novel or story around. Even then, the specifics don’t often come to me until later.

Mind mapping is often what helps me go from general to specific details.

Starting with an idea or two, I branch out and find/create more specific details about the idea and try to discover connections between them. What fits together? What would help create a world? What character traits can I use? Sometimes more than one mind-map is useful as things get more specific and break down into smaller parts.

Listing is usually the other way I go about brainstorming.

Similar to mind mapping, this generally consists of me writing down things. It’s not unusual for those things to make absolutely no sense at all whatsoever. Even to me. This method is often how I come up with ideas for blog posts as well as story ideas. It allows me to go through and find ideas that I can combine, or further develop.

Some people do all of this on the computer, but I find that for me hand-writing everything is the best way to organize my thoughts. There is something about scrawling ideas on paper that really helps me to focus, or find ideas buried in my mind.

 

Check out the post I wrote for NaNoWriMo on Brainstorming.

 

What is your brainstorming process like?

Do you have an ongoing (and constantly growing) list of ideas? Do you come up with ideas one-by-one (that’s usually how it works for me)?

How do you keep everything organized?

Banned Books Week

My favorite banned books

I have always wondered why people felt the need to ban or censor books from libraries and schools.

Books that are enriching, worthwhile, enjoyable, and that teach children and teens amazing lessons about life are banned and challenged by those who think they know better. They want to shelter children from subject matter that they deem unacceptable. In reality, children and teens face these things every day and it is these books that help them come to terms with their experiences. So many banned books are those that children read, remember, and enjoy the most.

Banned Books Week

www.bannedbooksweek.org

My top 5 favorite banned books:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

tokillamockingbirdThis book changed my life and I was appalled when I discovered that it had been challenged or banned by so many schools and libraries for language and was called a “filthy, trashy novel”  (ala.org). In reality, I feel that To Kill a Mockingbird is a beautiful novel that teaches acceptance and shows those who read it that doing the right thing isn’t always easy. The positive messages in this novel far outweigh any negative message that some feel it gives children.

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak_1st_Edition_Cover

http://madwomanintheforest.com/

I will never have enough positive things to say about Speak. It has been banned and even called “pornography” by a gentleman who obviously didn’t read the novel. Laurie Halse Anderson has written a novel that gives hope to victims of sexual assault and bullying. In no way is this novel ever pornographic and while some people feel that the subject matter is unsuited to the age group the novel is written for, the unfortunate truth is that this is a subject faced by many teens. This book can help save lives and encourages people who have experienced sexual abuse to speak out.

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

bkAbsolutelyTrueDiary

http://fallsapart.com/

Another favorite of mine The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been banned for “Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group” (ala.org). God forbid the words “boner” or “masturbation” are used in a book for teens. By removing books from shelves for that reason alone teaches tens that their changing bodies are dirty and something to be ashamed of. While the above stated topics are explored in the novel, it is about so much more than that as a whole. It is a touching, funny, sad account of the life of a Native American teenager. It shows what he goes through and addresses the topics of poverty and bullying among others.

4. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling

http://www.jkrowling.com/

http://www.jkrowling.com/

The Harry Potter series has been banned for  “anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence.” (ala.org). To be completely honest, I think that this is a huge crock of shit. Not once in the whole book did it encourage children to explore the occult or Satanism. While there was violence, it was the good vs. evil violence that we see in so many children’s books and movies. It is not excessive, nor is it the whole point of the series. Harry Potter teaches values about friendship, belief in your own abilites, and standing up for others (among many other things) making it a positive experience for those who read the series.

5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Banned Books WeekOne of my childhood favorites, Harriet the Spy was “banned and challenged by many parents and teachers who felt Harriet was a poor role model for children because she exhibited delinquent tendencies.” Seriously? I highly doubt that this children’s classic is at fault for my foul mouth. Harriet is a great female protagonist who is far from perfect. What she did hurt others and in turn she was hurt as well. However, she learned from her mistakes and it helped her become a better person (character). She is likable and fun and I love that we are seeing more characters like her in today’s children’s lit and YA.

 

What are your favorite banned and challenged books?

Why are they banned? How do you feel about it? Let’s chat!!!

Confessions of a Book Blogger: Pressure, Pushing Down on Me.

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Book blogging has treated me wonderfully lately. I have met so many wonderful people and have been introduced to many books and authors that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. But amidst all of the memes, weekly features I do on here, and trying to read books to review, I don’t remember the last time I chatted with you guys about a bookish topic.

All I know is that it’s been far too long.

As a blogger, I can say that I constantly feel the pressure to participate in all of the memes and read all of the hyped books to review. I want to keep my blog current and up-to date and I want my readers and fellow book bloggers to have fun while reading my blog. That being said, I still want blogging to remain fun for me. I want to feel like I can fangirl over books I love and talk to all of you about the topics that they bring up, but I feel like I need to do all of these other things too.

Back before I took a break from blogging, I felt similar. There was so much pressure to read ARCs that my list of things to do was far too long– and I didn’t get to my personal TBR list. I made a decision to stop reading ARCs (unless it was something that was intriguing to me)and that pressure has lifted. While the pressure is different now, I feel like many of my posts have been lacking personality which is something I definitely want to bring to my blog.

So, some weeks I may not participate in Top Ten Tuesday (depending on the topic) or WWW Wednesday, etc. But I do want to bring quality posts to you and have discussions with you about wonderful topics that get me excited about books and reading.

After all, we are book bloggers for a reason— because we love books and our wonderful community.

I have a couple of questions for you guys…

What pressures do you face as a blogger?

And what kinds of posts would you like to see more of from me?