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Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

Participant 180x180 (2)

Can you believe it's already that time again?
Time to stock up on coffee & snacks. Time to lock yourself away in the writing cave. Time to really procrastinate on Twitter & Pinterest....erhm, I mean, to not look at those pages ever for the next 30 days.
That's right. It's NaNoWriMo time.

For those of you who don't know what NaNo is, it is National Novel Writing Month, and it is a month of pure insanity. During November, along with getting ready for the holidays, working, families, and normal life crazy, us writers thought it would be a good idea to try and write 50,000 words in a 30 day time period.
So from November 1st-November 30th we will be attempting to write 1,667 words a day to make sure we meet our goal.
What do we win at the end of this crazy month? The satisfaction that we have a word count equivalent to The Great Gatsby. So, we have actually written a novel's worth of words. Oh! And we get a winner's badge on our NaNo page.

The point of NaNo is not to write some amazing piece of work though. It is really set up to help get writers in the habit of attempting a solid word count daily. At the end of the month your story could be a steaming pile of crap, but who cares? You wrote 50,000 words.
You should not focus on editing, rewriting, or revising...or even really that much research. The main focus should be meeting your word count daily.
There is the chance that you have will have written something that has enough potential to start revisions on. Go you!
Even if you are not a serious writer you should give NaNo a try. At the end of November you could cross off your Bucket List "write a book". How awesome is that?

There are still a couple days (2 days and 12 hours to be exact) to prepare for NaNo, so I say you should sign up and join in the madness.
Go to the grocery store and get a cart full of coffee, energy drinks (I'm partial to Red Bull), snacks (both healthy and not. You need healthy to...well...keep you healthy. And non-healthy to help keep you sane. Trust me, they really do help), and freezer meals. Then make a binder of take out and delivery menus. Grab a couple notebooks, pens, and a flashdrive. Do a quick outline of the story you want to attempt. Boom. You are ready to write.
THIS page is also helpful when it comes to stuff you may want handy during NaNo.

So whether this is your first attempt or tenth, good luck and know that I am cheering for you!
And we should be writing buddies. My NaNo page is: justso_jessica.
I will also be posting my progress on Twitter throughout the month: justso_jessica

And if that wasn't enough reason to join, here is a video of John Green (from 3 years ago) right before he attempted NaNo. John Green is the best. If he can do it, so can we.

And then one more video to send you off with:

Because she's pretty awesome.

So join in! It's insane, but so completely fun! And after you sign up, let me know, so we can be writing buddies and procrastinate together....oops, I mean we can make sure we DON'T procrastinate :p
Good luck, NaNoers!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Books to Movies {1}

Some people that I know are very anti books being turned into movies. They believe that authors have come up with "original" ideas and Hollywood needs to stop taking them and come up with something on their own.
There are two problems with this. The first being everything has been done. There really are no more so-called "original ideas".
Secondly, movie makers have been turning to book for ideas for a long long time. In my brief research of the subject I found the first movie was made around 1878. The first book to movie was made around 1896.
I used to be against it. I always felt that Hollywood ruined my idea of how the book actually went and their idea of how it should go. But, nobody reads the same book. I could be talking to my best friend about a book we both just read and we both may have taken different things away from it. So when it comes to favorite books being put on the silver screen I just close my eyes, take a deep breath, and enjoy it for what it is. A movie. My idea of the book is still in my head and will always be how I picture it when I re-read the it.

In the very near future there are some books that I am very excited to be made into movies.

Les Miserables
Les Misérables Poster

The play is one of my favorites, and the cast for the movie is pretty incredible. I get chills every time I watch preview. So I am counting down the days til this one. I'm going to attempt to read the book before the movie...but at almost 1500 pages, it's pretty massive.
Releasing December 25th.

The Hobbit
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Poster

If you've know me for longer than 5 minutes you will know that J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my all time favorite authors and that Lord of the Rings, the books and movies, are my favorites as well.
So I am incredibly excited for The Hobbit movies. I'm not super thrilled that for one book it is going to be three movies, but Peter Jackson is also including content from The Silmarillion and the appendices, which makes it okay for me. The world that Tolkien created is so big and complex that I am glad some more of it will be brought to life. The longer I can be immersed in that world the better.
Releasing December 14th.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies Movie Poster

While the world is decaying and people have started losing touch with their humanity, it's all this nameless zombie wants. His humanity back.
Now that is intriguing.
Still haven't read the book, but I definitely will before the movie.

There are so many book-to-movies coming soon that I am pretty excited about and it would make this post way too long. So I've decided to start this feature that I can talk about ones that are coming and ones that have already been done. Because movie adaptions of books are still pretty bookish things :p
Also, there are some books that I actually would love to see be made in to a movie and I'll talk about some of those, as well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BBW: The Incredibly Nonsensical Reasons For Banning Or Challenging Books.

When it comes to Banned Books Week I know a lot of people tend to focus on the classics that have been banned. Most people that I have mentioned BBW to don't even know that books are still being banned and challenged on a regular basis. What surprises them even more are the books and the reasons that those books get banned and challenged.
"What reasons do books get banned for other than being sexually explicit? Or having too much violence?" is a question that I receive a lot. Instead of going straight for "well this book contained so much violence, sex, and course language" I like to start with the crazier reasons for certain books being banned.
Well, here are some of those books and reasons:

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violenceMockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

Anti-family?? Really?! Did they really miss the part that Katniss volunteers as tribute for her little sister?
And of course it is's war. Violence tends to happen.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Twilight (Twilight, #1)
Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
I'm sorry, but sexually explicit? Apparently someone skipped over the part where Edward is a 108 year old virgin. There's not a lot of sex going on there.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Bridge to Terabithia
Reason: occult/Satanism, offensive language
I think by occult/Satanism they mean kids using their imaginations.

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Reasons: occult/Satanism, violence,being scary, portraying authority as "stupid", anti-family,
You know what, sometimes authority is stupid, sometimes it does need to be challenged and not followed blindly. Boo on J.K. Rowling for showing kids to look at what's going on around them and deciding for themselves if it is really ethical and the way they think the world should be.
And again, I would like to know what part of Harry Potter is anti-family. Harry Potter's family is his friends. Family isn't always blood and I commend these books for showing that.

And my personal favorite reason:
The Diary of a Young Girl
Reason: It's a real downer.
No's about the holocaust. Sorry there weren't more rainbows and butterflies in this one.

These reasons tend to drive me crazy. Though I don't believe in banning books, I can understand parents concerns on certain material being included in books and certain age groups reading them. But that doesn't mean take them away from everyone else getting the chance to read them. Especially if other parents have already given the okay for their child(ren) to read it.

What about you? Any specific book that you love that has been banned or challenged for a ridiculous reason? I would love to know so share in the comments!

Happy Banned Books Week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bookish Crafts {4}

I know there are a bunch of book lovers, that also love coffee and tea. So I searched through my craft ideas to see what stuff I had that involved those two things. Because, I know for me, reading would not be the same without a cup of coffee in my hand.

This is the first thing that I found:

Now this is love!
(Found on pinterest. Links to: mariacandelaria)

How cute is that?!
And it would be incredibly easy, too. Just take a Starbucks cup, do a few cut outs in a pattern you like, and put it on a night light. The hearts are actually drawn on to the wall, they are not cast by the light.

I need dark to sleep, but like having just a small light on in case I get up in the middle of the night (which I normally do) so this looks like it would be just enough light to not trip over something when I'm still half asleep. This craft makes perfect sense because coffee makes my days a little bright, so why shouldn't it make my nights a little brighter too ;p (that was cheesy...but that's okay).
And it also pays tribute to two of my favorite things: Starbucks & coffee (or tea if you prefer to get that from there).

Definitely thinking this is going to happen soon.

Happy Crafting, fellow book and coffee lovers!