The Ebony and Fire Writing Club: What Projects are you Working on?

Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Ebony and Fire Writing Club! Phoenix wrote up this amazing post that you all should check out on her writing projects here! For those of you who don’t know me and Phoenix have joined together to bring you a fun writing club to inspire you all on your individual writing journeys!

Also check out our club page here to check out all our posts and notices on what’s to come!

If your interested in joining leave your name below and a little bit about your current project!

I’m so excited because today I’m going to be talking about my project a little bit more and adding a little bit of my favorite advice I take as I move forward in my own writing adventure.

My Current Writing Project

At the moment I’m working on a young adult paranormal romance horror. It’s about two girls who meet and go into the woods and realize that the dangers one of them has known since childhood may not be as false as she once thought. Through it the pair starts to fall for each other and must navigate the sweet feelings they are coming into along with the dangers of a dark evil that’s brewing in the forest.

At the moment I’m in the drafting stage and I have 3,003 words written. I’m doing my best to start a daily system that works and at the moment I’m brewing with inspiration about it!

In the next week I hope to write 500 words a day toward this novel and I will update everyone on June 1st if I’ve succeeded in my goals for the following week!

A Favorite Piece of Writing Advice

For all you aspiring authors out there I got to say this instead of aspiring to be the next Stephan King, Anne Rice, Sarah J. Maas, or J.K. Rowling, aspire to be the first you! All those stories that have become so dear to our hearts started well before any of these authors made a name for themselves. They start in your heart poured out into the page word by word and letter by letter. Write what fills your heart with passion and never stop! The rest will fall into place. Never give up!

What are you working on?

I would love to hear all about the amazing things you all are working on. What are you writing about?

Also if you have any questions about the club or if you are looking for support, advice, or tips feel free to contact me or Pheonix.

Pheonix’s Contact page

My Contact Page

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Why I’m Not Doing Nanowrimo This November

Every year I try to pursue Nanowrimo and every year I fail. I fail because of life. I fail because I have so many things I want to do. I fail because I can’t seem to sit myself down and write 1,500 words in one sitting. One year, I swear I will pursue and complete this challenge, but now is not the time.

I have a lot of things going on in my personal life. I have a lot of obligations I have to fill. I also, have this urge to watch some movies. Plus, I’ve had the feeling of wanting to binge all of Shane Dawson’s You-tuber documentaries. I’m also working a lot trying to make some extra money for Christmas. I simply don’t have the time.

This does not mean I won’t be writing at all. I’m currently writing a new book idea that has required no outlining what-so-ever and basically just lives in my brain waiting to be written. This book would have been perfect for Nanowrimo, but still, I have a couple of other obligations I’m working on on the side.

Sometimes, you have to look at your life and say to yourself that your not going to pile up a billion things. I have a tendency to do that to myself. To say I’m going to do this thing and that thing and adding too many things till I burn out. So for now I’m just going to stick with what I have.

This month no doubt is going to be a productive one. However, writing a whole book is not going to be in the cards. That’s fine by me for now. I’m going to try and balance some enjoyment and productivity this month. I think that is a good goal.

Nanowrimo is an amazing thing. So many amazing writers go on and tackle their stories and make them real. I’m going to continue on that same path, but I’m taking a slow and steady approach to it. I have so much I want to do. I think it’s not so bad to try and balance everything out a bit.

Thanks for reading! Are you doing Nanowrimo? I’d love to hear your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

The Luck of the Irish: Books Set in Scotland and Ireland 


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

  1. I couldn’t get through this day without making a Saint Patrick’s day post and so this evergreen mini-piece was born! I hope you enjoy these wonderful ya novels that take place in Scotland and Ireland. These are definitely all novels I hope to read in the future!

A Swift and Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd

Ireland 1984.
After Shell’s mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, who is charming, eloquent, and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the center of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.
This is a story of love and loss, religious belief and spirituality—it will move the hearts of any who read it.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean

“Everywhere I go, I leave a trail of dead bodies. My parents died fighting to stop the darkness. I’ll keep fighting too, even if it means I have to die. Dying’s not half as hard as being left behind, anyway…
Evil is real. We are at war. Anyone you tells you differently is lying.”
Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.
With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

Hush: an Irish Princesses Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

Melkorka is a princess, the first daughter of a magnificent kingdom in mediæval Ireland — but all of this is lost the day she is kidnapped and taken aboard a marauding slave ship. Thrown into a world that she has never known, alongside people that her former country’s laws regarded as less than human, Melkorka is forced to learn quickly how to survive. Taking a vow of silence, however, she finds herself an object of fascination to her captors and masters, and soon realizes that any power, no matter how little, can make a difference. 
Based on an ancient Icelandic saga, award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli has crafted a heartbreaking story of a young girl who must learn to forget all that she knows and carve out a place for herself in a new world — all without speaking a word.

Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon 

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?

When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.

Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson 

Who knows where the time goes?
There never seems to be enough time in Kinvara, or anywhere else in Ireland for that matter. When J.J.’s mother says time’s what she really wants for her birthday, J.J. decides to find her some. He’s set himself up for an impossible task . . . until a neighbor reveals a secret. There’s a place where time stands still—at least, it’s supposed to. J.J. can make the journey there, but he’ll have to vanish from his own life to do so. Can J.J. find the leak between the two worlds? Will a shocking rumor about his family’s past come back to haunt him? And what does it all have to do with the village’s new policeman . . . ?

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Edinburgh, 1844. Beautiful Aileana Kameron only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. In fact, she’s spent the year since her mother died developing her ability to sense the presence of Sithichean, a faery race bent on slaughtering humans. She has a secret mission: to destroy the faery who murdered her mother. But when she learns she’s a Falconer, the last in a line of female warriors and the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity, her quest for revenge gets a whole lot more complicated. The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller blends romance and action with steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

That’s a wrap! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post. I hope you all have had a wonderful and safe Saint Patrick’s day and that you will have a wonderful rest of the week. There seems to be a major lack of ya novels set in Ireland, let me know if you have read any that I didn’t get to mention in this list. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

-Till next time!

The Best We Could Do: A Review 


The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

My Rating: 5 brilliant and shining stars ✨ 

Publisher: ABRAMS

Publish Date: March 7th, 2017

Received: Ebook Arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Pre-order: Abrams Books/ Amazon 
About: 

An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.

 

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

 

At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

 

In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

Musings: 

My God this book is gorgeous! The second I started reading I could not put this down, which has honestly been something of a rarity for me recently. The illustrations were in a single word, breathtaking, and they told the story with more depth then would have been possible in words alone. I had never heard of a memoir being written in this way before and this book has convinced me that graphic novels can be a perfect avenue to tell a personal story and to tell it well. 

However, this book is not all just beauty, I can’t stress enough how important this novel is. Thi’s story is the narrative that we all need to read about in America and around the world today. It is a story of one families journey from Vietnam to America, but it is also so much more. This book breathes out the true history of what it was like in those times for those living in Vietnam and it is done with grace. I felt utter horror at some of the atrocities that occurred during that time. In America, you get such a narrow view it is disgusting, but this, this can take that view widen and deepen it until you realize that there is so much more to it than you could ever hope to know. It creates a humility in the mind and a tenderness in the heart for those immigrants and refugees that out there in the world today. It is unapologetic in its truth. Something that garners my full respect. 

This novel also has to do with being human. With dealing with family relationships and trying to find where your meant to be through the past that has colored your present and future for better or for worst. It is about mothers and the strength a woman has regardless what is happening around her to do what is necessary. It is also one of the most honest representations of pregnancy and the fears a mother may have prior, during, and after that I have ever read. 

One of my favorite parts of this novel is how Thi writes about her father. In a way this book was an outlet through which she began to truly understand her father and as she spoke of her talks with him built up their relationship and released a fear. Her father is a voice that is troubled yet so full of strength. The things he had seen and the troubles he went through created a huge impact on me. 

Thi’s mother had the same importance with a totally different perspective on how life was like. Her privileged beginnings at a what was a prestigious French school with a father who loved her dearly painted a beautiful yet almost hard picture of who she was. On many points her mother inspired me. She is the embodiment of a strong woman, who does all she can for her family. 

The one last gift this book gave to me was the reminder that no matter who you are, where you came from, or what your dreams, you have a family and a life that is human and at the core not so different from my own or anyone else’s. Love is love no matter the form. Every person has a right to be here. All humans have a right to a place this world. 

Thank you all for reading! I urge you to take a look at this book, it is such an important novel during these and all times. I am in such awe with this book and it is quite possibly may be the best book I have and will read this year. Let me know what you think of this book down in the comments. Also what graphic novels would you recommend for me to read soon? 

Till next time!

I Read to be Shaken Up


I feel as though I have been enlightened to a truth about myself that I hadn’t ever thought about, but feels so right. I have thought about why I read before and I thought I had answers, but nothing encompasses my reason why more than the quote above from Jennifer Donnelly’s “A Northern Light” 

What I live for in books is to be shaken up. To see the truth of things. To live in the life of someone different. To understand another’s perspective, but also for the enjoyment and contentment the fantasy and the reality combined. 

The books I carry with the deepest of affections in my heart carry important truths. They have shown me what fractions of the world is like (I say fractions because the world is larger and more maltifaucted then I ever could understand). They have inspired me to think. 

I am only half way through “A Northern Light” and it has shaken me up. These words have reminded me why I love “Tess of the D’Ubervilles” by Thomas Hardy,  a true tragedy I love for how it makes me feel. It shook me. It gave me so much hope and so much dispare and the feelings felt so raw and true. 

“A Northern Light” has made me fall even more in love with books, reading, and writing. I didn’t think that was possible! It has reminded me of why I feel so much joy at reading a book that makes me feel, well, any emotion really. If a book plays me like a fiddle and inspires terror, hope, sadness, joy, wonder, loneliness, sorrow, peace, or even anger, I will probably defend that book to the dear and say how much love I have for it because it shook me and made me feel, because it made me fall in love with the character, the world, and the well-being of those who do not exist and that for me is what is so powerful and amazing about books. 

Books have changed my life. They have opened up my mind and heart to so many different people and ideas and understanding just by not being afraid to be written as they are, full of truths, the worlds truths, the individual persons truths. I read because it reminds me that the person sitting next to me has their own life, and dreams, and sorrow, and hope. Every human being has their own book in life, and everyone deserves to have it written, should they want it, to be understood, if they wish for it. 

I read because it makes me feel connected to others on a visceral level. It has inspired in me more compassion and want to do good than any other thing in my life ever has. Books have helped me see who I am by igniting a fire in me for words, for people, and for humanity. 

I realize now that because of books and authors and being shaken, I can never be as I was before I had books. I wouldn’t regonize a me without books, because I don’t think there is a way that I could have grown as much without them. I wouldn’t care as much as I do, and life would feel grey without it. 

I believe with all my heart that words are a beautiful power. A power that changes those who allow it to touch their hearts and to be understood. 

-Till next time.

Nanowrimo 2016: Plan of Action 

Nanowrimo is almost a week a way and I couldn’t be more excited. About a week ago I took the pledge to join in, but now, it is time to reveal my project. 

The name of the novel I have decided to write is……

Drum roll please……

…..

……

…..

…..

Dark Amnesia! 


For this novel I have the idea, but I don’t have a real plan. The only thing I know is some of the characters and some ideas for what the story will be, but nothing is concrete. 

However, there is a reason for my madness. This is my first real attempt and I wanted it to be as open ended as possible. I wanted to turn this project into a sort of experiment to see if I can go through and write a novel almost from scratch. 

This may work out great, or it may crash and burn, but I am determined to see where this story takes me. 

The major issues will be figuring out how to juggle my novel project and my college classes. I am in college for professional writing and it requires a lot of time and work for me to keep up with. Not to meantion, my decision to create this blog. 

The important thing that I will keep in mind during this time, is that the reason I decided to create this blog, join Nanowrimo, and go to college for professional writing is that I have always wanted to make writing one of my priorities. I wanted to prove to myself that I could live my life doing something that I love to do: write! So, even if it will be a difficult road ahead, I will do my best to make time for all the various writing adventures I choose to take. As well as give time to my family, myself and my friends along the way. 

That said, I hope you join in on this journey with me. I want to see where our stories go. What can we create in a month? I hope to share the experience with everyone along the way. 

Nanowrimo 2016!

Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing month is a time for writers to set aside their inhibitions and write 50,000 words toward a novel in the month of November.

This year is the year that I make my first true attempt at writing a novel by becoming a participant in this years Nanowrimo!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

Now’s the time to write endlessly. Typing word after word, letter after letter, till finally, I have 50,000 words towards a new novel!

I have tried Nanowrimo once before and failed miserably. I had typed myself into a blank wall of misery. I did not like the story any longer, I was not happy, I gave up.

This time, I am determined to complete the task of writing 50,000 words in a month without fail. No matter what misery I run into. No matter what I have to do. I will write my novel.

In order to keep this promise to myself, I am giving myself some accountability. If I give up once more with no real effort, you, the reader, will have the ability to keep me in check.

I am making my passion a priority. I am forcing myself to develop a brand new habit. I am giving myself the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do. To write books.

So dear reader, I ask of you one thing, please join me on this quest of madness. Dedicate yourself to something you love this November. Achieve something that you have always put off. Work on a new project. Be creative. Be the person you have always wanted to be.

Let me know in the comments what you are passionate about? What do you wish to achieve this November?