Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Onward

Hey! So I'm actually working on writing lately (and a million other projects, if you're interested in one, go ahead and request to follow me on Instagram @asherlockwrites), so haven't had a lot of brain power to devote to blogging. I always have such high hopes to make this thing BIG! Alas, I just do whatever I want like I usually do, share a little slice of my love of reading and writing with a handful of you.

So let's do this!

Writing

As I've said I've been writing! Well kind of. I've been working a poem project thing (see my Instagram), thinking of editing a short story, aand working on some not-writing writing work like character worksheets and other world-building stuff. I'm curious if you're into writing, how do you block out time for that kind of writing extras - research and world-building and all that stuff? That stuff that feels a whole lot like procrastination to me a lot of the time, so I avoid it because I'm not getting word count. Which is really dumb because that kind of stuff is really important. Thinking through stuff is actually a huge part of writing, it's just that if that's all you do then you're in trouble. It's a balance, I guess. Why does this writing stuff have to be so haaard??

But I'm actually waiting on feedback from a couple of people anyway so don't want to dig in to another rewrite quite yet, so this is the perfect time to spend on all that extra - excuse me, essential - stuff. And it's fun! I even have Pinterest inspiration boards for my made-up town and a bunch of my characters. 

If you are writing, researching and world-building all at the same time though, how do you divide it up? Or do you do one before the other? Go back and edit later? Tell me your secrets!!

Reading

I finished A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers like two weeks ago and I'm STILL NOT OVER IT. It was so much fun. My review of it made both of my parents immediately buy the ebook so check it out! I did manage to finish Banana Heart Summer by Merlinda Bobis after which is a beautiful, delectable story that made me crave aalll the Filipino food, but now I'm in a reading slump. I think I might DNF the book I'm trying to get into now and skip on to the next one.

Life

 

What else has happened recently? Well, in April I graduated university, in May a friend and I started to talk about booking a trip for the summer, and in June I quit the part-time job I've had for the last year to travel for the summer, and my last shift is in two weeks! Crazy. It's been fun not doing school and working part time and having more time to spend with friends and to write (or avoid writing with other things, let's be honest). I have no idea what the future will hold past the end of August but I'm feeling okay about it for now!

What have you been up to? What have you been reading? What are your best writing tips?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I finished reading this book a week ago and I am STILL suffering from a book hangover. Nothing will ever be as magical and wonderful as this world and these characters, I'm sure of it... every other book and potential book has a grimy sheen. Life will never be the same.




The title of this book is basically what the book is about: it's a fantastic sci-fi romp about a multi-species crew on a ship on a long journey to a small, angry planet. And it was SO GOOD. Hands down the best book I've read in 2018 so far.

The Long Way isn't really an action-packed adventure until closer to the end, but the rest of it is filled with everything I could have ever wanted. Packed with excellent characterization and character development, intense and mind-blowing world-building, and, one of the most important aspects of science fiction, a sly commentary on our world as we know it. A lot of the book's theme focused on cross-cultural (or cross-species) interactions and how we learn from other cultures, and as a Cultural Studies major I was LOVING IT.

The characters though were definitely the best part and I wished I could spend all my time with them. They were so interesting and didn't play to type which was awesome. There’s the soft-hearted and pacifist space captain Ashby (I love the idea of a pacifist captain rather than the typical hard-hearted egotistical-but-loveable loose cannon), the nervous newbie but ultimately super strong and confident clerk Rosemary, the friendship between two techs Kizzy and Jenks that is so intense but never romantic (there's a scene at the end between them that was the cause of crying), a cool lizard pilot, a Navigator that thinks on a different plane, and a cook-slash-doctor who is one of the last of his kind. And they all obviously love and support each other so much. The whole book is pretty much about this misfit found family, and I am so here for it. 

The best books make you laugh out loud, cry, AND question the universe, and The Long Way managed to expertly accomplish all three.  Go read it right now. I promise you won't regret it.

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