You’re a Terrible Writer- And Other Things I Tell Myself Late At Night

“You suck at writing.”

“You’ll never get published.”

“I hope you like folding t-shirts forever, because you’re never going to make it.”

Over the past year, I have been trying to write a book, and even though I’m halfway done with the first manuscript. I have this annoying voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me, that I’m not good enough, and that I should give up.

This voice can get very loud and obnoxious at night, especially when I’m trying to write, and I could say that I ignore it, but sometimes I can’t.  It can get very discouraging, almost to the point where I want to give up. I work, I go to school, then come home, write for a few hours, and go to sleep. Maybe I’m so discouraged, because it’s been a year and the first manuscript still isn’t done.

There are so many nights when I just lay in bed, and wonder if I’m ever going to finish this book. Or if I will ever be published. I just feel like, I’m chasing the wrong dream.

But I know deep down inside that I’m not, and if I just push past that stupid little voice in my head that I can, I will, be a successful published author one day. When I close my eyes I can see it. I walk into Barnes and Noble, and there it is, my book, sitting on the new releases table. Then I’ll know all my hard work paid. I just have to be patient, and who knows in the next year or two I could be a New York Times Bestseller.

I know this wasn’t a review, but it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I might make this into a series to chronicle my journey to getting published. If any of you have any tips on the writing process, and how to get through it, feel free to comment below. You can also always e-mail me at jayrreads@gmail.com9

Advertisements

Laure Eve, The Graces Review

Author: Laure Eve

Title: The Graces

Synopsis: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on? (Source: GoodReads)

Disclaimer: These are my opinions about this book, and I mean no harm to the author or the fans of this book.

I was originally drawn into this book, because at my local Barnes & Noble’s there was a recommendation card that said that it was a mix between Mean Girls and The Craft. I’m hear to tell you that was a blatant lie.

I would consider The Graces to be more of a Twilight/ Single White Female fanfiction. That idea sounds way cooler than the actual plot of this book.

But The Graces was just so…corny. I found myself rolling my eyes all the way through.

Not only was it corny but it was confusing. Like is her dad dead or is he missing? Are they witches or is she witch? And why the hell is she single white femaling this  family? I need answers!

It took me awhile to connect with the main character, River, and when I did I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like her. She was only friends with The Graces based off of looks alone. She said they were best friends, but if they were really best friends she would have been comfortable enough to open up to them. She wanted to know everything about the Grace family yet she didn’t offer up information about herself one time. And she was only friends with Summer (the youngest Grace) just to get to her brother.

But what really disturbed me about River is that she kept saying how much she wanted to be a Grace. At one point she even said that she was a Grace. No, sweetie. You’re a stalker.

Another thing that turned me off about The Graces, was how long it took to get to the climax. At some points I would think I was there and then I wouldn’t be and then I would think I was there again and I still wouldn’t be it. And then it finally did happen, and it fell flat. With how many hints and cliffhangers there were leading up to that point I expected it to be bigger, and it just wasn’t.

I wanted to like The Graces I really did. But it just wasn’t for me. I read on GoodReads that there is a second one and a part of me wants to read it just to see if it’s any better. Don’t know if I will or not, but if I do I will definitely post a review.

Jason Rekulak, The Impossible Fortress Review

Title: The Impossible Fortress

Author: Jason Rekulak

Genre: Young Adult/ Fiction

Synopsis: The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine…The year is 1987 and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys—Billy, Alf, and Clark—who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan—they’ll swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience store by seducing the owner’s daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy’s mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn’t your average teenage girl. She’s a computer loving, expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden, big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary’s affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends. (All Stats from GoodReads)

When I first picked up The Impossible Fortress I didn’t think much of it. I just thought it was going to be a short, easy read, which it was, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

The story is told from the perspective of fifteen year old, Billy Marvin, and it took me a while to warm up to Billy. He’s young, impressionable, and all he really wants to do is create video games and see Vanna White naked. Not really my type of guy.

But I ended up enjoying his character very much. Though I found myself cringing at some of the stupid decisions he made. Billy turned out to have a good heart, and most fifteen year olds make stupid decisions. His and Mary’s relationship threw me through a loop towards the middle, I was not expecting what happened at all. I’m not going to spoil it, but Mary is not as innocent as she seems. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Overall I really enjoyed, The Impossible Fortress, it was a sweet coming of age story. It’s very short so it was easy to get through, and it took me on a journey through Wetbridge, New Jersey in the spring of 1987. And I learned a little bit of code in the process. You can find The Impossible Fortress in your local bookstore and online.

Blog of the Month- Twin Reads

It’s the end of April, and that means a new Blog of the month! I skipped last month, because I hadn’t found any new blogs that I liked. But this month I’ve been reading Twin Reads, and I’ve really enjoyed their posts.

Twin Reads is ran by twin sisters Meg and Leah Bruce, and they post YA fiction reviews, hauls, and book tags.  They currently attend Belmont University in Nashville, TN, so we’re basically neighbors. (Photo Source: Twin Reads)

I’ve been following them for a while, but they hadn’t been posting very much. But this month they have been posting some great content. Recently they posted a list of new YA summer releases, but one of my favorite post of the month was their April Book Haul. It’s something about a good haul that I just love (I’m a bookaholic).

Seeing other book bloggers being consistent and producing great content for their readers always makes me want to work harder. I can’t wait to read more from Meg and Leah in the future. I’ll have their Instagram link down below, and check out their blog for some great reviews.

Follow them

Instagram: @twin_reads

Twitter: @twin_reads

How I Stay Motivated

 

With the school year coming to an end and finals being right around the corner, I know how hard it is to stay motivated when all you can think about is summer vacation. But I have made a list of things that keep me motivated and productive. Even if you’re not in school. I hope that these tips can help you become more motivated and productive as well.

Creating a Vision Board- At the beginning of every school year, I create a vision board with images of things that I want to have/ accomplish. I separate the images by short term and long term goals.  Whether there fitness goals, educational goals, or financial goals; I put them all on the board. When I can see my goals I feel like they are easier to achieve.

Keeping a Planner- I find the more organized I am the more motivated I am to get up and get my work done. When I create a to-do list for the day, I’m not satisfied until I check off every task. This helps me stay productive and organized

Daily Affirmations- When I was young my mom taught me that what you put out is what you get back. With that she would encourage me to say daily affirmations. Now that I’m older I try to incorporate this into my nightly routine, so before I go to sleep I say “I am rich in in opportunities, love, and friendships. I am a successful writer/author. I am financially stable and able to support myself. I am a homeowner.” This helps me stay motivated and focused on my long term goals.

Listening to Uplifting Music- Whenever I’m working or I just need a little extra motivation, I like to listen to uplifting music. Uplifting can be whatever gets you the most fired up for me it’s Beyoncé and recently I’ve been listening to the girl group, Little Mix. My music choice depends on how I’m feeling but I strongly suggest this whenever you feel down or unmotivated. Also check out, 8tracks.com , for some cool playlists.

Having a Clean Work Space- One of my biggest pet peeves is having a dirty work space. Not only is it hard for me to be productive when my desk is a mess, but since my desk is in my room it’s hard for me to wind down.

Try Changing Workspaces- I prefer to do my work at places like Barnes and Noble or the library, because when I try to do my work at home I get distracted. I love working in places like the library and Barnes and Noble, because it’s quiet and no one bothers me. I can be there for a few hours and get all of my work done.

Sarah Nicole Lemon, Done Dirt Cheap Review

Title: Done Dirt Cheap

Author: Sarah Nicole Lemon

Synopsis: Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel. (Source for synopsis and photo: GoodReads)

Rating: 5/5

Done Dirt Cheap was exciting, dangerous, and quite heartwarming. Lemon takes you on a wild ride with characters, Tourmaline and Virginia. As they learn to grab ahold of their own destiny when they realize that the only  people they can count on is each other.

I would be lying if I said the cover of the book isn’t what drew me in. I mean look at it, it’s gorgeous, and it looks even cooler in person. But Lemon’s writing is what truly captivated me. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it worked out pretty well for me. This book was awesome.

With a Thelma and Louise like bond Tourmaline and Virginia take on a corrupt lawyer, Tourmaline’s mom’s drug dealer ex, a state detective and forbidden romance.

I liked that Lemon decided to make this book girl power driven, instead of making Tourmaline and Virginia damsels in distress who just waited for someone to come and save them. Don’t get me wrong I love me some romance, which there is some in this book, but sometimes I just want to see some kick ass female characters who can do it by themselves.

It took them a few tries, but at the end of the day they saved themselves. And Tourmaline and Virginia’s friendship is actual friendship goals.

They went from mowing lawns together one second to climbing up a mountain to plant a gun in an ex-cons house together, and neither one of them abandoned the other. Talk about ride or die.

If I would have had the time I’m sure I could have finished this in a day or two, but with school and work it took me about a week and a half (only two more weeks of school and I’m finally free). The chapters are very short, and Lemon’s not very wordy with her writing, she’s straight to the point, an ability that I wish I possessed.  I still can’t believe this is Lemon’s first novel, I hope she comes out with more books.

Done Dirt Cheap is a phenomenal coming of age story about friendship and taking life into your own hands. This would make a great summer read, it’s fairly short and action packed, I highly recommend picking it up at your local bookstore.

 

13 Reasons Why I Love 13 Reasons Why

  1. Diversity

The whole cast was so diverse, and representative of different lifestyles. I was amazed that there was more than one black character and none of them were sidekicks to anyone.

2. The Actors

The whole cast did a phenomenal job. They acted so well that while I was watching the show, I genuinely hated them.  But then I had to realize that there just actors, but their characters were the worst. No joke.

3. Nice Pacing

There were only 13 episodes (for the 13 tapes), and they were all paced well. None of the episodes seemed rushed or too slow, but they were quite long, at an hour an episode them it gave them long enough to go into detail during each tape.

4. Drama. Drama. Drama.

My jaw was on the floor during every. single. episode. I never read the book, so I had no idea what was going to happen. But there was something new at every turn, when I thought it couldn’t get worse. It always did.

5. Character Development

Usually characters go from bad to good, but not in 13 Reasons Why. But the characters just got worse and worse, except Clay and Tony.  Every time a new character was introduced I looked at them with a side-eye because I just knew they were going to be the worst.

6. Left Me With Questions

The last episode left me wanting with so many questions. What happens next? Will there be justice for Hannah? How are they going to go on now that the tapes are done? When is season 2 coming out?

7. It Made Me Think

It made me think about how I treat people, and what I do when I see others being mistreated. It made me want to pay more attention to the people around me, my friends, my family, my classmates. I never want them to feel so alone, that they have to make a drastic decision like suicide. This show really makes you think about others.

8. It Showed Me Something

It showed me that Film/TV adaptations can actually be like the book. It showed me that when the right producers and writers and directors come together, they can do a book justice. I had given up hope on film/tv adaptations, because they’re never good enough for me. But 13 Reasons Why was phenomenal, and I’m excited to see what comes next for the series.

9. It Made Me Appreciate My Friends and Family

This show made me appreciate my friends and family so much more. I’m glad I have friends and family that love me and support me, and that’s always there for me when I need someone to talk to. Because there are people that aren’t so lucky.

10. Great Writing

Whoever wrote the script for this series did a great job, I have an immense respect for anyone who can keep the integrity of the original work.

11. Representation

I love that they included the LGBTQIA community into the high school narrative, because so many TV shows and movies try to count them out. But in reality there are gay people in high schools.

12. It’s Amazing

This show is amazing, and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s well-written, has great actors, and an amazing plot. It deserves all the great feedback it’s getting plus some.

 

13. And Last but Not Least….It’s Important

This topic is so important especially when there is a new story every day about kids killing themselves because of bullying. Girls and boys get raped everyday and get no justice. Kids are bullied and get no justice. These things happen and people turn a blind eye to it, because society is too uncomfortable to talk about it. But this show is starting the conversation, and hopefully this influences others to join the conversation. So we can get justice for the people who need it.