June 16, 2017

Hello, blog! I seem to write to you at odd times of night.

What I’m Reading
Most recently, I just finished THE GLASS SPARE. It was my first Bookcon read and it did NOT disappoint. It did the exact opposite of disappoint. I completely adored it from page one. The writing was beautiful, the characters were so fully drawn and interesting, the romance/banter was 100000/10, the world had just enough slight details to make it feel rich and realized. I loved it so, so much. I especially loved the uneven power dynamics between Wil (MC) and Loom (cursed prince a la the blurb) and how that whole thing played out. It was SO good. Exactly what I’ve been looking for: complex, with Wil strong and firm and unwavering. You all must read this book when it’s out in October!

the glass spare.jpg

heart eyes motherfucker

Also, damn, what a cliffhanger!! WHAT SET UP FOR BOOK 2 I AM READY.

In other news, I’m rereading the HARRY POTTER books. It’s magical. The end.

What I’m Doing
I’m actually in class for the summer. For the month of June I’m taking Italian 3 so I can do exit level in the fall and GRADUATE! 😀 I’ll also be taking my final two English classes, and then that’s it. I will be a college graduate. It’s so weird! But for right now I’m in class for three days a week, doing nine hours of conjuntivo and condizitonale and why are there so many freaking verb tenses?

I’ve also been to the theater, recently. I saw Bandstand, with one of my ultimate faves Laura Osnes. It was a really great show–highly underrated in my opinion. Basically, it’s about a bunch of vets after WWII and a military widow forming a band to deal with their trauma. They have hopes of winning a national song competition that’s supposedly all about representing the troops–but is it really?

It’s a great show, full of honesty and emotion. There was an older gentleman sitting in the row in front of me, and I saw him sobbing throughout the second act. I think it does everything right.

I also saw CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which is basically the most fun I’ve had at the theater in forever. Also underrated, especially since critics basically bashed it. I have no idea what show they watched.

I also went to the movie theater and watched WONDER WOMAN.

What an amazing movie. I cried so much. Like, just seeing badass women kicking ass together and training hard and pushing each other made me so happy my eyes leaked. And how beautiful a character Diana was, how pure and dedicated and true. She was true to herself no matter what and that was so gratifying and important to see.

And, of course, “I wish we had more time” *slips her the watch* *CUE MORE TEARS*

Oh, so good. I’m hoping I can see it again this weekend with Jess. (side note: Jess is in culinary school now! She’s living the dream!! #BestieIsProud)

As mentioned above, I was also at Bookcon earlier this month. That was an adventure. Here’s a shameless picture of my haul.

20170604_182946

I was up at 5:30 both days and on the train at like 6 so I could be at Javits super early and have a good spot in the queue line. It’s all about getting onto the floor in the morning. What a ride.

Here are some cool people I saw! ❤ ❤

I also spotted Chelsea Clinton signing, and that was REALLY COOL.

20170604_111510

I saw Krysten Ritter too and she’s actually so tall in person??? She just seems really cool.

How many times can I use cool? LET’S SEE.

A movie filmed in my neighborhood recently. Coincidentally, it was called:

20170608_200401

No, actually, they filmed around my corner. So I need to know what exactly this is and when I can watch it because COOL BEANS. Sadly, no hot actors fell madly in love with more, nor did a producer spot me strutting down the street and demand I be an extra in the film.

My friends and I also did an escape room thingy. Guess what–we escaped!! It was HARD, man. I totally felt like the weakest link, but I did discover a secret object and found the secret compartment and was a good secretary taking notes, so I feel like I contributed a little, but those two were completely on top of it and if I hadn’t been with them, I’d still be stuck in that room. Also, look at my cute Victorian prop hat 🙂

20170526_133851

What I’m Thinking About
Getting my Pitch Wars wish list done!!! I’m so excited for all the Pitch Wars stuff to start happening. Speaking of Pitch Wars, I did a query crit earlier, which you can find here. I also might have another one coming up so stay tuned 😉 I also definitely want to do crit giveaways leading up to the sub window, but those will all be done on Twitter.

AND ALSO THE KILLERS HAVE NEW MUSIC. THE KILLERS FINALLY HAVE NEW MUSIC I AM SO EXCITED.

What I’m Eating
I present you with:

What I’m Netflixing
I started Girlboss the other day. I only watched episode 1 and some of episode 2, but I like it!! There’s something about Britt Robertson that’s magnetic in this role. I’ve known her work for a long time, since she made the movie Dan in Real Life (so good, do watch if you haven’t!), and good for her making it happen.

I also just constantly watch random Gilmore Girls episodes. Because it makes me happy and it’s light but also balances the feels right and I just want another female driven show like Gilmore Girls. SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE ONE.

Also not what I’m Netflixing, but plain ol’ watching: I got caught up on Jane the Virgin. I love this show. I guess it’s the closest I can get Gilmore Girls. For once it didn’t end on a brutal cliffhanger! I’m excited to see what happens in season 4. Also, Jane and Rafael?? I thought I had given up on that ship happening. Can they stop playing with my feels? Also, to see them work in current social issues and the resistance is so important and legitimizing. I’m so happy we have this show and for all its success.

let me love you 3

(also omg Captain Swan got married and JMo is leaving OUAT and my heart is just full of feelings cause CS were my otp since 2×05 and that was FIVE YEARS AGO. I literally graduated hs and went to college with them and that is so goddamn special to me. This has been such an important time in my life and their story was there to make me happy and make me a better writer and make me feel things and distract me when I needed a distraction and boost me up with set spoilers of kisses and the fandom on tumblr have basically been so joyous and wonderful and I will miss you CS <3)

I also fell in love with the NBC show Timeless, which I watched On Demand. Lucy and Wyatt are my new slow burn ship and I need this to happen. It was quite dramatic when it got canceled and renewed two days later. But I’m so happy it’s sticking around, and seriously LYATT IS LIFE.

Lucy is a cute history nerd and Wyatt is an army vet with serious trauma, but on top of that he’s also a widow and he loves his dead wife so much, but then this amazing lil nerd comes into his life and she’s so bright and strong and he can feel himself wanting to move forward with his life, but he also can’t let go of this past and IT’S SO AMAZING. Also, the show doesn’t sugarcoat our history. It engages with discussions about racism and sexism and is surprisingly diverse. Timeless is just such a good show. It’s feel good, but also has moments that make you think. And the shipping. The shipping is A+.

What I’m Writing
Goddamn, this is a long blog post.

Long story short, I finished drafting and my first revision pass of a new YA contemporary called #ConcertBook (I blogged about it extensively last time). It’s with readers right now, and while I wait for their notes I GOT A YA FANTASY PLOT BUNNY I AM FULLY EXPLORING. I love it. It’s #monsterbook and I will not tell you anything about it except that it has the coolest pitch I can’t take it.

*yawns* Okay, I am sleepy now. It’s like 2am. I need to get into the blogging mood at better times of the day. Well, good night, and keep fighting the good fight, people! It’s more important now than ever.

With love,

Mic ❤

Advertisements

october 26, 2016

Hi all! Today’s post is gonna be a little different. Last night I went to see Nova Ren Suma and Courtney Summers because I adore their words, but I also was using the event for one of my response papers for a class I’m taking this semester called Feminism and American Poetry. Like the nerd I am, I’m ridiculously proud of what I wrote, so I thought I’d share for anyone that missed the event and wishes they could have attended.

feminist-rant


 

Suma and Summers Talk Their “Beautiful and Brutal” Novels at McNally Jackson

New York Times Bestseller author Nova Ren Suma and ALA Award Winning author Courtney Summers were at the independent bookstore McNally Jackson last night, October 25, 2016, to promote the paperback releases of their latest novels, “The Walls Around Us” and “All the Rage,” respectively.

Events at McNally begin the same way. You step into the store, the roar of the city behind you instantly fading, sneak a peek at the crowded café and long for a warm cup of tea, marvel at the tables of books and resist the urge to touch each of them, and then you make your way downstairs. You meet strangers, readers, and bloggers, and editors all mingling. Eventually, the booksellers will appear to transform half of the lower floor into an event space. It’s a magic trick. Bookshelves disappear, hundreds of books vanishing with them.

Listening to Suma and Summers is no less magical. One would think these two talented women have known each other for years, as just a glance at Summers’ second book “This is Not a Test” yields a powerful blurb from Suma calling the at-the-time fledgling author a “ferocious talent.” However, there is a twist in the story. Suma and Summers had only just—finally—met in person the day before the event. Their relationship began online. They connected through Suma’s blog, on a post she had written about rejection. Summers could relate. She left a comment, and their friendship followed from there. Suma read pieces of the original post, laughing and grimacing at the purple prose and overdramatic “the rainbows have turned grey” sentiment of what rejection makes one feel.

They have been online friends and critique partners for ten years, a support system for each other. When asked what the best piece of advice one has given the other, Summers said simply that when Suma tells her she “can do it,” she can keep going, Summers believes her. I’ve seen female authors do events together before, but it is always different when the authors have worked together, and battled the hardest parts of writing—the doubt, the anxiety, the frustration—together. There is a special bond there. When recounting their meeting at the hotel the other night, Summers and Suma were both laughing, describing Summers’ elevator opening as Suma walked into the lobby, like a romance from a movie.

The women also talked about writing “beautiful and brutal” books about teen girls. Summers, while wearing a shirt that said Unlikeable Female Character, spoke about the large number of female characters in literature that have been written by men. They are portrayed as “objects,” as “mystical” perfect girls. Summers’ said she feels women read this work and have a disconnect to it, can’t recognize themselves in it. The crowd laughed in agreement, as if all remembering a moment they read a woman in literature written by a man who was more a goddess than a human. Summers ended with the notion female characters are different when women write women. Suma agreed, talking about teen girl culture, which she said is beautiful and brutal, to recall the earlier words of the moderator, and that “the teenage girl is so feared, powerful, and misunderstood.”

Suma also raised an interesting point when asked what her favorite scenes to write were. She said, without pause, she liked the violent scenes. “The Walls Around Us” certainly is a violent book, set in a juvenile delinquent center for teenage girls, with ghosts and murderous ballerinas. She self-deprecatingly said she does not know what that enjoyment of violent scenes means about her. But I think it raises the point Summers made earlier about men co-opting women’s stories and female characters. In the same way, men have controlled the rhetoric around violence in literature, and many times, women are victims of usually sexual violence. Men tend to be heroes, punching people in the face, handling a gun deftly, and skilled with knives while they save the girl. Or, they are the perpetrators and get to unleash every urge and desire they have. Women, when they do have the luxury of being a hero, tend to be sexualized, or she is the single one in a group of men. So there is something revolutionary of women writing violence, of taking control of the narrative around blood and letting teenage girls be more than victims, but terrifying.

While “The Walls Around Us” is an exploration of girls and violence, Summers’ “All the Rage” is about rape culture, sexual violence, and trauma. Summers was not able to talk much about rape culture, but she did say briefly that it was hard to write a book about these topics and look around at the world around her and see it mirrored so closely.

Feminist poet Anne Sexton also got a shout-out by Suma, when asked what books she loved as a teen. Suma said she loved “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as well, and those two writers tell you all you need to know about what Suma was like as a teen.

To close the evening, Summers said about writing, “It almost feels like magic.” It does, just like a crowd of strangers gathered in the basement of an indie bookstore over words on a page, or two women meeting each other after ten years of kinship online, or the notion that girls can be beautiful and brutal.

2016-10-25-19-05-01

 

july 18, 2016 (basically a blog dedicated to ACoMaF)

Hello!

What I’m Reading
So I just read A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury and it’s fine. It’s all fine. I’ll be fine. Totally fine.

I’m just gonna lay here on the floor until 2017.

i'm fine friends

Basically what I knew going into this book:
hp suffer but happy

 

 

 

And now I’m done and I don’t know what to do and what even was this perfect perfect book of wonder and pain and awesomeness? 1. It was feminist af. 2. It was dark and hard and complicated. 3. It was heartbreaking and gut stopping and filled with love and life and friendship. 4. It was filled with swoon I can’t even process.

I’m gonna try to sum up my overwhelming feels with some gifs.


Okay so this GIF is basically Tamlin the entire book fight me on this:
i'm in a rage 2

And this was Rhys and his crew who are actual #SquadGoals:
that's my mate ouat

That’s also coincidentally the image in my head when Lucien went “You’re my mate.”

Speaking of Lucien, this was my relationship to him the entire book:
expected more from you

This book in general:
feminist-rant

Me anytime Rhys and Feyre were together:
just kiss

Me anytime Cassian and Nesta were together:
that's my ship

Feyre when dealing with dumb dumbs:
punch you in the face ouat

Feyre to Tamlin (the biggest dumb dumb):
feminism

Everyone to Tamlin:
what are you doing sassy gay 2

Tamlin to Tamlin:
parks staying angry relaxes me

RHYS AND FEYRE OTP FOR LIFE WHAT EVEN IS AIR IN OTHER NEWS FIRE IS HOT AND STARS AND PAINT AND HALP there you are. i’ve been looking for you what’s that oh it’s just me dying forever I want you to know that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you seriously i’m fine why do you ask Because you were breaking. And I couldn’t find another way to save you nope no I’m not byeeee:

IN CONCLUSION:
read the book

It’s so awesome, you will die.

What I’m Doing
Languishing in my book hangover. I’m not a functional human being. Also, I’m coveting this:

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 12.01.49 AM

https://society6.com/product/the-night-court-nhk_bag#s6-4668814p29a26v197

Okay, no, I have done some things.

I saw Ghostbusters yesterday, and it was SO good. Really fun, really well written, and just a marvelously ‘feel-good’ film. Much recommend. I’d recommend it with the same vigor I’m recommending those Maas books above. Coincidentally, I watched the movie while in the middle of reading…

It was totally worth it. I was high on amazing storytelling already, so the film had a lot to compete with, but it was really good. It had 4 amazing female characters at its core, Chris Hemsworth being ridiculous and dancing, and captured the feel of New York.

I also did 2 Pitch Wars critique giveaways! One was 5 query critiques, but I ended up doing 7. Then I also did 5 query and first 5 pages critiques. I posted a few writing tips on Twitter after the fact, so those are there for any writers that may be following me. I’m doing one last PW giveaway with my friend Michelle Tran that’s running until Wednesday, so get involved while you can (info all on Twitter).

I really wanted to do these giveaways because Pitch Wars helped me so much last year. It’s a big part of why I’m agented now. + the community around Pitch Wars is so phenomenal and supportive. I was also feeling a little weird about a whole new class of mentees being chosen this year and the whole process starting over without me. Maybe part of me felt like I was being left behind while new writers filled our shoes. But doing these giveaways helped me get over that and connect with prospective mentees. I found my new place in the community. Good luck to everyone entering Pitch Wars–it really is a magical experience. 🙂

What I’m Thinking About
Look I’m just a pile of feels right now and I can’t process anything other than how perfect A Court of Mist and Fury was. It did so many things.

It didn’t romanticize abusive, controlling, overprotective behavior.

It showed that relationships are built on more than just sex. It showed that your first love isn’t always your true love. And that people can change and who you were once were, or what you once needed, isn’t what you’ll always need.

It didn’t vilify ambition. Too often we swoon over a man in a position of authority he doesn’t want, feels trapped in. But here we had Rhys who loved his power, had a vision for his land and people, and was working hard to create a better world.

Rhys was never just one thing. He was sad and broken and angry. He was loving and kind and fierce. He was gentle. He was brave and scared. He saved others, but was also in need of saving (mentally and physically). He brooded and lived and fought. He was shrewd and calculating, and apologetic and naive. On the same note, literally everyone was full of different sides, and grew and developed and stomped on my heart.

We had sisters. I can’t get over Feyre, Nesta, and Elain, and I never will.

It explored trauma with all its hard, dark places. I loved how Tamlin and Feyre dealt with their trauma differently. The same experiences are never the same for different people. Feyre’s nightmares and guilt, her flashbacks and slow and quiet withering away were artfully done. Tamlin was agitated, aggressive, closed off, and controlling.

The way Feyre gradually comes back to painting, to her creative outlet, was beautiful.

Rhys’ feminism was everything. He saw Feyre has his equal, treated her as his equal, put her first, wanted her to embrace her power and control her own fate. He treated the women around him with nothing but respect and saw their worth, giving them high ranks befitting them.

Feyre’s arc was never about Rhys. She didn’t grow because of him, or become stronger because of him. Their epic beautiful love story isn’t responsible for the epic beautiful lady Feyre became.

I can’t even with this book.

heart eyes motherfucker

What I’m Writing
Apparently love letters to this perfect book.

And I’m working on this fantasy idea, but slowly, letting the pieces come together in their own way. Brittany and I had a writing date at Breads last week where I brainstormed some stuff for it.

What I’m Watching
I showed my mom the 2006 mini series of Jane Eyre last week. I love that version so much. They capture the characters and essence of the book so well. But other than that I don’t think I’ve really been watching stuff… my mind has been preoccupied with books.

Oh, Jess did come over last week and we finally watching The Scorch Trials. I wasn’t really into it, but then THAT ENDING. Jess and I both had overwhelming feels. So, um, I guess I shall be watching The Death Cure (whenever that happens) (get well soon Dylan <3) (#SaveMinho2k16).

I want A Court of Pain and Feels movies.

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤

may 10, 2016

Hello!

What I’m Reading
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson! I think I first found out about this book last year from my friend Alwyn, and it immediately piqued my interest. I ended up ordering it online after it came out in a mini book haul since the opening sample pages hooked me. That was last September or October… I know! For shame! I’m so bad.

20160510_165336

It sat on my shelf, and around the time I bought it, I actually just started a class called Genocide. So I’m sitting in class and one of the first topics was genocide in the Americas, and we talked all about the colonial era genocide and mass atrocities committed against Native Americans. Our lesson focused a little more on the east coast (because of our location) and Northern California (because an officially recognized genocide took place there), while ghosting over the Plains Indians.

I was fascinated by all this buried history that happened right here. When it came time to pick a term paper topic, I knew right away I wanted to research more about the Native Americans. I wasn’t sure how to narrow the topic, but once I realized the Gold Rush coincided with the dates of our class, everything kind of snowballed from  there.

(These aren’t even the books I ended up using for most of my research, ha. Side note: I really recommend Murder State: California’s Native American Genocide, 1846-1873 by Brendan Lindsay.)

I really wanted to read Walk on Earth before I wrote my paper, but that just didn’t work out. I saw it getting shortlisted for awards, and would be like, “I need to read this. I need to read this. MAN, I need to read this.” Well a full semester later, I am finally reading it!

I’m almost done too, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a journey book–Leah does a lot of traveling, and for a good portion of the beginning, she does it alone. It’s a survival book. I thought this book would center more on California and Leah actually in the Gold Rush, but it’s not about that (at least not yet–book 2, maybe?).

There’s also an adorable sassy horse called Peony (and  love that Leah’s horse has such a feminine name while she’s pretending to be a guy) and complex Mrs. Joyner who I’m very intrigued by. I love all the subtle ways Leah notices how life is different for her now that she’s a boy. I super love that she deals with how to hide her period, and I love the mix of kind and shitty people Leah meets while traveling. “Henry’s a poet” cracked me up haha.

I’m really happy I’m finally reading this! I think I’m having a better reading experience because of what I learned last semester and the independent research I did. And it’s also giving me flashbacks to Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky, so now I really wanna reread it!

What I’m Doing
My last final was today! I’m so HAPPY.

I’m looking forward to BookCon and my trip to Chicago. I leave Friday, so I guess now I’ll be focused on checking the weather and packing and narrowing down plans with my friend Mel, who I’m so excited to finally meet in person. I’ve also evaluated my BookCon schedule too many times, but I think I have something close to a final product. It’s so hard since most things are at the same time. Figuring out what to prioritize is tough, but I’ve been thinking about it long enough that I kind of know what I want to get out of BookCon (and I don’t just mean physically, I do mean emotionally too haha). I had a great time last year, so I’m excited for my second experience.

Things are a little stressful at home, though. My dad is in the middle of trying new antidepressants and he doesn’t think they’re working, so he’s not sleeping and anxious and generally all over the place. I hope he’s able to feel better soon.

Mother’s Day was this passed weekend. My mom and I went to see The Jungle Book. Not gonna lie, I basically sobbed through the entire movie.

Main theme started? Cried.
Something remotely cute happened? Cried.
Something remotely sad and feelsy happened? Cried.
A remotely beautiful shot? Cried.

i need a moment hook ouat

Something happens to me with Disney movies! I just can’t control myself. It’s like a pungent overwhelming sense of nostalgia, maybe? I don’t know. But on the whole, Jungle Book was a good film! It was beautifully done, if a tad episodic. Lupita and Idris have the best voices. Oh my goshhhhh. Ha, look at me, Idris and Lupita like we’re such good friends.   Anyway, my favorite though was Bageerha, just like he was in the Disney animation. I don’t really know why. It’s probably a combination of loving cats, the color black, and Bagheera’s total exasperation with everyone (and his good kitty heart). But, oh man, Wolf Mommy was precious. AND HER BABY CUBS. Okay, so, long ramble short, I saw Jungle Book and it was good!

What I’m Thinking About
-I still need to vacuum.

-I really hope I don’t get lost in Chicago.

-People seriously freak out before exams. I always feel like the odd one in a classroom right before an exam sitting there calmly, while everyone around me is asking each other questions and generally panicking. I mean, with the exam in five minutes, it’s either you know it or you don’t at this point. And besides, it’s just words on a page. I don’t know, it’s something I started noticing in high school, and I’ve never gotten used to it. I try to tune everyone out as much as I can, and try not to let what they’re saying influence my own ideas.

What I’m Writing
Ugh, I’m the worst. Progress is not my friend. But now that exams are done, I’m gonna get right back to work.

What I’m Watching
I just started The Man in the High Castle today. I haven’t finished the first episode yet, but it’s intriguing. One of my favorite books in the entire universe x999999999999 is Wolf by Wolf, so if this show can somehow conjure a tiny fraction of the amount of love I have for that book, I will be satisfied.

Other than that I continue with my Pokemon rewatch. I just watched the episode in Cerulean City with Misty’s sisters and I wish their femininity wasn’t presented as ditzy and blah. I mean, I like that they showed their love for Misty in the end, but I would have wanted to see them be awesome synchronized swimmers and also epic gym masters. Not awesome synchronized swimmers who seemed to have no interest in Pokemon. How can you be gym masters and lose your last 3 matches in a row? Meh.

What I’m Listening To
Arctic Monkeys FOREVER.