Book Chat: Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

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The year is 2018 and the last millennial has finally read Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling; a series that has made more fans and more money than god. I’ve done it. I’ve read it.

If you’ve been here before, or you follow my Bookstagram (and you should) then you know that I never wanted to read this series.It’s a natural prejudice against things that become insanely popular; they don’t tend to be all that good, just easily consumed. So I went into this expecting to have a little fun but not to *like* it all that much.

Let’s see how that worked out. Now below is a spoiler free (in case anyone else has been living under that rock with me. I wouldn’t know. It was dark and cozy and full of other great books to read), and is just brief thoughts on each book accompanied by a cute little quote.

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Sorcerers Stone– 3 stars

“ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?”

This book is quite clearly a young children’s book (a bit on the young side of middle grade). It introduces us to the Wizarding World and from what I hear a lot of people have fond memories of it. I really didn’t like it. It was painful. The ending was irritating and predictable. I simply did not have that much fun reading this. Had I not already committed to reading the entire series I wouldn’t in anyway felt inspired to pick up the next book.

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Chamber of Secrets– 2.75 stars

“When in doubt, go to the

This book, for me at least, was completely forgettable. I was just annoyed by the entire thing and it, even more than the first, made me not want to keep reading. This book seemed to just be Harry not communicating and leading to every problem in the plot. That turned out to be my main issue with the entire series; Harry withholding information for no other reason than to further the plot.

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Prisoner of Azkaban– 4 stars

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

The third book in the series wasn’t just the first book I enjoyed but I really fucking loved it. In this book we are introduced to some fun and complex characters, there was a plot capable of a twist and also holding my interest, and it was the first time I started to really like our Golden trio. It’s not the best book in the series but I had a lot of fun reading it.

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Goblet of Fire– 4

“Just because itโ€™s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl”

This one was a better book than the previous one but I liked Prisoner of Azkaban just a tad bit more. i still loved this one though. Again there were some interesting characters and a plot twist that caught me completely off my guard. If looked at by itself this would probably have been a 3 star book but I really liked it as an addition to the series.

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Order of the Phoenix– 3 stars

“Give her hell from us.”

This. Book. Dragged. I hated it, I hated Harry,I hated the story, I hated having to read it. This one was another that overused Harry having a shitty and illogical personality just to further the plot and there were several times that I wanted nothing more than to DNF it. The only thing that saved this from being a 2 star was that around page 400 t kind of caught my attention. The story picked up a bit and I found myself actually *wanting* to read it. Fred and George Weasley were my favorite arc in this book and they made it enjoyable. The ending was pretty forgettable but I stayed up until 4am twice for it so it has to get at least a 3.

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Half-Blood Prince– 4 stars

Harry was left to ponder in silence the depths to which girls would sink to get revenge.

I flew through this book. Not just in comparison to the 10 or so days it took me to read the previous one but I genuinely finished it in about 2 days. This was fast paced, all of the characters were interesting, and fun, I absolutely loved it. This was the one where i truly started to be a Harry Potter Fan. it’s also the book where I became Ron and Hermoine trash. I have loved them for quite a bit up until this point but this was the book where I started getting so anxious about their relationship and wondering just WHEN they were going to finally get together. My only complaint about this book is that the ending, which I feel is supposed be emotional, just didn’t do much for me. I think Rowling has a hard time making me feel things when she wants me to.

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Deathly Hallows– 5 stars

“ARE YOU A WIZARD OR WHAT?”

This is by far the best book in the series. It veers off of the standard story line that the other books have been following and es us on a wild and emotional adventure (emotional for the characters, not for the reader). The characters arcs in this book are great and had me obsessed (Ron & Hermoinie killed me). It was climactic and a fitting end to the journey. Except for the epilogue. It was unnecessary fan service and it ruined the end of the story for me. It took away that satisfaction of the end of a journey.

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The Cursed Child– 3 stars

“My geekiness is a-quivering”

This is the 8th installment of the franchise written as a play set 2 decades after the Battle of Hogwarts. It read like fanfiction and I have decided to treat it as such. It adds nothing to the story and was only mildly enjoyable; the best part of the whole thing for me was adding Scorpious to my view of the world. That doesn’t mean I don’t think you should read it, it’s a journey. Just an unnecessary one.

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Hogwarts Library– 3 stars

A compilation of “Fantastic Beasts and Wear to Find Them”, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard”, and “Quidditch Throughout the Ages”, this is a cute addition to the Wizarding World. Maybe not something you’d want to read unless you, like me, get giddy about world building.

 

The world is by far my favorite thing about the Harry Potter series. I said above that Rowling didn’t do a great job making anything all that impactful for me so there wasn’t much attachment to the characters so much as the story itself. If these books hadn’t been part of a massive series or if i hadn’t binged it over the course of a month i don’t know that I’d have had such strong feelings about it.

Though I will say that for the lack of emotional impact this series somehow had one of the best romances I’ve ever read. I know Rowling herself says she regrets Ron and Hermoine’s romance and I can’t for the life of me think why. It was amazing to read and I adore them.

In all my rating for the entire series comes to 3.52 stars out of 5 and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I wouldn’t be opposed to rounding up to an even 4 stars and calling it a day. So yes, I admit it, I *liked* it. Hell didn’t freeze over but the government did shut down.

 

 

 

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Hamilton Book TAG

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Let me explain you a thing; I avoided listening to Hamilton for years because I hate listening to musicals without having seen them. Sometimes it’s hard to follow along and I get spoilers for when I do see it and ugh. Can not. But then my good friend insisted and hassled, he begged, borrowed, and bartered to get me to listen to this musical with him. The next thing i know it’s several months later, my entire friends group only communicates in song lyrics, the baby’s favorite song is My Shot, and two of my friends are seriously considering naming their next beb “Lafayette”. I think this is the natural progression of things. We’re Hamiltrash and proud.

Let’s jump right in to the question though. I found this tag over at The Book Loving Nut, the only thing I changed was that I ordered the questions in the order the songs appear in the soundtrack. Spoiler warning for everything below.

 

My Shot: A Character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anything get in their way.

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Beatrice Lacey from Wideacre by Philippa Gregory. She is the best villain protagonist I have ever read. She knows what she wants and simply destroys anyone between her and those goals.

The Schyler Sisters: An underrated female character.

This may be a cop out but I’m going with two classic fairy tale characters; Ariel and Cinderella. Cinderella is a strong woman, she survives neglect and abuse and still doesn’t succumb to despair. Ariel is curious and strong willed; she’d willing to risk everything for what she wants.

You’ll Be Back: Sassiest Villain.

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I can’t really think of any but I turned around and spotted Peter Pan by so, yeah, Captain Hook is hella sassy.

Right Hand Man: Favorite BROTP

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Jean Tannen and Locke Lamora are #relationshipgoals af. If you believe that The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is not a love story you’re wrong. Wrong.

Helpless: A relationship you rooted for from the start.

I honestly couldn’t remember many couples. I’m stuck between Scarlet and Wolf from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and Meridon and Will from Meridon by Philippa Gregory. I just love them all so much.

Satisfied: Favorite book with multiple POVs.

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I was going to say ASoIaF BUT I was recently reminded how much I love the book Little Bee by Chris Cleave and it deserves a shout out.

Stay Alive: A character you wish was still alive.

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Super spoiler warning ahead: Zacharia Ferrer from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This isn’t even a character that I loved or missed, just a death that broke me. I just had to go back and check the spelling on his name and opened right up to the scene and then I cried. i just cried.

Ten Duel Commandments: Favorite fight scene.

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I don’t read many books with fighting that stands out to me so I’m cheating and saying the high stakes card game from Meridon. Holy hell. It’s one of my favorite scenes in a book.

What Comes Next: A series you wish had more books.

The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. ASoIaF by George R.R. Martin The Gentleman Bastards Series by Scott Lynch. Looking at you guys.

Non-Stop: series you marathoned

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I shot through A Song of Ice and Fire in 22 days. Twenty. Two. Days.

What’d I Miss: A book or series you were late to.

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Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling I’m only 2 decades late. Oops.

Say No to This: A guilty pleasure read.

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer are my favorite books. I love this series. I’m total trash for this series and I super should not be.

The Room Where it Happens: A book world you would put yourself in.

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Absolutely Wonderland! Such whimsy! And one of my favorite stories.

The Reynolds Pamphlet: A twist you did not see coming.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of my favorites in this series and I super was not expecting Mad Eye Moody to be the villain. That genuinely fucked me up. Also Crookshanks actually being a cat in the previous book caught me off guard.

Burn: The most heartbreaking end of a relationship.

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Remember what I said about Beatrice Lacy way back at the start? Her and her first lover Ralph. Just. Read this book. It’s an adventure. Okay.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: A book series that would be remembered throughout history.

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Definitely A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. It’s not my *favorite* series but it’s amazing and more popular than god.

 

And there you have it! My Hamiltrash TAG! What’s your favorite Hamilton moment?

 

 

 

 

2018 TBR

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In 2018 I am making a resolution to stop setting so many fucking goals for myself.

It’s super common in the book community, and for myself, to set monthly TBRs, reading challenges, writing challenges, Instagram challenges, Goodreads goals. etc. etc. etc. It’s ridiculous and the reality, for me at least, is that it’s impossible to keep up. So this year I’m setting reasonable goals and instead of monthly TBRs I’m starting with a loose list of books I want to get to for the entire year. Les Go:

GoodReads Goal: 70 books. This is almost double what I read this year but 5 less than I’ve read in 2015, and 2016 each. It’s a doable goal.

Writing Goals: Write for 45 minutes every day. Last year was supposed to be the year I finished my novel and ahahaha nope. Didn’t happen. So this year I have a more specific goal.

Blog Goals: 1 post a week. I have a full list of blog posts already pre-planned for every week of the year, plus a few extras. Get organized is also a general goal I’ve had recently.

Instagram Goal: 6 posts a week, plus interact with the community more.

2018 TBR: So this is split into three categories. There are the books I already own that I want to make sure I get to this year because come on. I can’t keep just collecting these things. They aren’t for show. Then there are books I’ve been hearing about and/or are by favorite authors that I know I absolutely want to pick up soon. Then finally there are new releases that I’ve just heard a thing or two about and think would be nice. There’s 21 of these books. Buckle up.

On My Shelf:

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: I don’t actually know much about this other than it’s a contemporary thriller and I saw it in a Little Free Library.

 

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: This is historical fiction and I think it’s a Biblical story? Or something? I don’t read blurbs but this book looks right up my alley and I’ve been seeing it in my favorite shoppe forever and finally grabbed it a few months ago.

 

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Moloka’i by Alan Brennert: I have had this book for YEARS. It’s about a girl who get’s leprosy. I think. I could be looking these up but I like going into things blind.

 

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American Gods by Niel Gaiman: I have zero idea what this is about but everyone wants me to read it.

 

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Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters by Jason A. Ramos & Julian Smith: This is a memoir by two firefighters in California? I found it in a free library and it’s pretty and I love it.

 

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Know Your Beholder by Adam Rapp: Oh! I know this one. It’s about a man with agoraphobia whose mother has just died and his wife has just left him. He rents out rooms in his house to a colorful cast of characters and his life is slowly crumbling. I’m into it. Just picked it up on New Years Eve and I want so badly to read it.

 

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Incendiary by Chris Cleave: All I know about this is that I LOVED his book Little Bee and the covers of that book and this one

 

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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: Again. i have no idea what this is about but I know I have to read it.

 

2018 New Releases:

 

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Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles: This is about a boy whose brother, Tyler, is murdered in a police encounter. I’m all about reading about police violence in the new year. I am from the US and live in a city were racism and police misconduct are the every day.. Also can we TALK ABOUT THAT COVER. Black boys and softness? Here for it.

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Wires and Nerves volume 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer: This is the second in the graphic novel companion series to The Lunar Chronicles, one of my ely favorite series.

 

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A Reaper at the Gate by Sabaa Tahir: This is the 3rd book in the Ember in the Ashes series. I’m not excited about it. The first book was one of my favorite books of the year but the second one was so bad that I just…I just don’t care. But I will read it because why the hell not.

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The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch: This. Book. Is. Coming. Out. This. Year.

 

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Red Clocks by Leni Zumas: This is about a world in which abortion is illegal and that’s as far as I got in the blurb before deciding I wanted to give it a go. It caught my eye because I am a birth worker and this looks like a vulva and I seem o just be attracted to things that look like vulvas.

 

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas: This does not have a cover yet. I don’t know what this is about except that I really enjoyed Angie Thomas’ last book The Hate U Give.

 

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Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women and Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe: This is an anthology about women and witchcraft. Go figure.

Misc:

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Renegade by Marissa Meyer: HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WAS COMING OUT? 2017 was a trash year for me and I didn’t know this was a thing. I don’t know what it’s about but I adore Marissa Meyer and want to own and read all of her books

 

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New People by Danzy Senna: This is the newest book by one of my favorite authors. I don’t know or care about the synopsis, I want to own and read all of her books.

 

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You Are Free by Danzy Senna: Again I do not know what this is about but I love me some Danzy Senna, her book Caucasia is one of my all time favorites.

 

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Dear Martin by Nic Stone: This I have been seeing all over bookstagram and it is about a teenage boy who is trying to understand the institutionalized racism he’s living and so starts writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King. Again. I’m about it.

 

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The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline: This is about a future in which First Nations people are being hunted for their bone marrow. Kayla from BooksandLala talked about it a couple of times since reading it and I’m really interested in it.

 

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The Boy on the Bridge by M.R.Carey: I only want to read this because I loved The Girl With All the Gifts. Also apparently they are a part of a series!!! I didn’t know that!!!

 

And that is my 2018 TBR and goals. It was a long ass post without very much info on any of the books because I’m trash but let me know what your goals are and if you want to or have read any of these books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Reading Wrap Up

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Well. The year has changed and goals were not met. Who is surprised? This blog has been several years of me not doing the things I said I was going to do but let’s not focus on that right now. Let’s focus on the positive.

First positive is that you should definitely look at the sidebar and check out my Bookstagram because there’s books and cats over there. Bless.

The next positive is that I read 39 books! Granted several of them were the Kingkiller Chronicles several times over. Oops.

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So what DID I read? First we’ll see by genre, then by author gender (because i wonder about it), and finally by star rating. Afterwards we’ll see my Top and Bottom 3 reads of the year. Boom. Let’s go.

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Boop. There you are. NOW. The main attraction.

#3 Worst Book of 2017

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. It was horribly disappointing, problematic, and not all that well written. This is a book about a teenager girl with SCAD, that illness where she is allergic to everything. Then she falls in love. To put it mildly it is a gross concept that someone put glitter on.

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Favorite Book of 2017 28449257

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue was am unexpected bookstore find. I recognized the author from the novel Room and she does not disappoint. After a long reading slump this book had me enthralled. It is about a Nightingale nurse set to watch over a young girl who claims to have survived 4 months without food. It’s fucking fascinating.

 

 

 

 

#2 Worst Book of 2017

34861894Just Like a Caucasian by Odera O’Gonuwe. This is an indie author new release that I found on Instagram. It’s about a group of people coming together to make a documentary about race, oppression, and privilege. I bought it right away and it’s trash. That’s harsh but the reality is that this novel is not even edited, it reads like a rough draft, an idea. I don’t like it. At all.

 

 

 

 

#2 Favorite Book of 201721288872

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. Oh this must be the birth nerd in me but I adore the TV show Call the Midwife and the memoir it is based on was golden! It is a true story of a midwife in an impoverished area of London in the 1960’s. I loved the writing, I loved the honest look at the subject matter. I adored it.

 

 

 

#1 Worst Book of 2017

92319The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa. This one was almost #2, and Just Like a Caucasian would have been #1 but what decided it for me was that The Girl Who Played Go ate my entire March. I had to BRIBE myself to read it (funnily enough my bribe was that if I read it I’d be allowed to by Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon). I honestly can’t remember much about what it’s about, it’s a struggle that’s for sure.

 

 

 

 

#1 Favorite Book of 201735098761

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Who is surprised? This book is a masterpiece. You can read my review for it here but if you want to skip that then let me just tell you that this book made me cry constantly. I did. Not. Stop. A book about Black women prospering? Yes plz. Thanks. I love it.

 

 

And that, dear friends, is that. I shall see you next week with my 2018 TBR.

 

May Book Haul

Well hello friends!

I moved again, and plunged into a pretty back reading slump because of it, hence the long absence.

Kinda hard to be in a reading mood when your books look like this

Bookshelves or no my book buying has not let up in the slightest. Book buying is stress relief. Book buying is adventuring. I refuse to stop. You can’t make me. Fight me.

1. Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth: This is the memoir of Jenny Worth, a midwife in London’s East End during the 1960’s. I impulse bought this from Book Depository early in the month after I binge watched the BBC adaptation not realizing it had been based off of a book.

2. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood: This should be obvious, the show is blowing up all of my feeds everywhere and I want in. This was also a part of that Book Depository haul; funnily enough they were the last ones I received last night.

3.Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon: I have been wanting to read this book since it came out, and since The Sun is Also a Star has been popular it’s been more like a need. For one reason or another I just haven’t picked it up until I found it the other day at a local record shop. Shop small and all that.

4. Just Like a Caucasian by Odera O’Gonuwe: This was an impulse buy that i stumble upon on Instagram. You can find the author and her book here. I like to support an indie author so ‘m super excited to read and review this one!

5. Infant Massage by Vimala McClure: I found this in the Little Free Library. I’m studying a variety of birth work and infant care so I figured I’d check this out and see what’s up; i haven’t looked up any reviews on it yet so I don’t know if it’s a good resource or not.

6. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois: Also a Little Free Library find that I’ve always kind of wanted to check out and have in my library.

 

Only six books but that’s six times as many books as I’ve started in the last two months :/ I WILL finish this anthology though, and then I will chip away at this stack of new reads โค

 

Writing Prompt Challenge Week 10

My friends and I are challenging ourselves to write something every week of 2017 using random writing prompts from online. I have been sharing all of the ones I complete here and simply skipping the week’s I don’t do mine. 

This week I’m not sharing what I wrote but I wanted to make this post anyway because I did write something. I wrote a new prologue for my novel. I think I’m going to give this whole writing thing another shot. 

I got so caught up in my NaNoWriMo draft and how terrible it was that I stopped seeing my story. I tried to rewrite it scene by scene using my NaNo as a guide but I think I just need to give it a quick reread and then start writing again from scratch. This new prologue is from scratch and it’s the most excited I’ve been about this story in a while. 

In high school I used to write school papers all in one go, then come back later and indiscriminately delete about half of it and do it again. I can’t try to fix a first draft, I just gave to start from scratch and I’ll be fine. 

For anyone curious the prompt was to write a myth explaining why the Sun rises and sets. 

Next week’s prompt is to write a myth explaining tsunamis. 

Happy writing! 

Giving Up

I won NaNoWriMo last November. At the time I was excited and proud of myself; I saw it as the push I needed to just get my story out. From that point I could use what I’d written basically as the notes to write a real first draft and then go on from there with as many rewrites and edits as it took to create what I’ve been dreaming about for years. 

I was wrong. I was horribly wrong. 

NaNoWriMo was not good for me or this novel and now I do not know if I can fix it. I do not know if I even care to. NaNoWriMo didn’t just force me to get my story out, it forced me to put on paper the worst possible version of my story. Instead of feeling like notes I can use for a real first draft I find myself looking at these 50,000 words and feeling as if this is really all I am capable of. I feel paralyzed. I feel like my story will never be what I want it to be. 

I am 16,000 words into my real first draft now and I hate it. Yes, first drafts are supposed to be bad, I know, but it’s not the quality that is bothersome most of the time. I don’t feel like I’m telling the story I want to tell. I don’t feel like I’m telling an interesting story at all. I’ve seen the worst I can do and it makes me not want to write this any more. 

I want to give up. I am not getting enjoyment out of this any longer. I see no value in this story I’m telling or any story I have floating around in my head. 

This is me giving up. I’m putting down the proverbial pen and joining the ranks of writers who crashed and burned. After all these years I’m putting this story away, it was never very good anyway.