NaNoWriMo Midway Update

Up until a few days ago, I have been right on track with writing for NaNo (National Novel Writing Month, see here for more details). Unfortunately the last few days have been unbelievably hectic, so whilst I have been writing everyday I have fallen a bit behind with the goal of hitting 1167 words every day. Still, I think I’ve been doing pretty damn well (especially compared to the first time I took on the challenge a couple of years ago), and currently my word count is at 24,000 words. To be ‘on track’ I would have to be at 28,333 words, something which I don’t think will happen today.

NaNo is such an interesting challenge to be taking part in, because part of me is itching to go back over everything – checking names, small information, edit sentences, craft a few beautiful similes I’ve thought of – but that’s not in the spirit of NaNo. It’s difficult to remind yourself that this isn’t about being perfect, because at least for me I want to just go over it again and again to fix things I think read badly or don’t work. Then I remind myself that you’re not meant to stress over these things, and really it’s far better to save your stress for your word count.

It’s amazing really, how much you can do when you change your priorities, as usually in my spare time I’m dedicated fully to reading. As I’m participating in NaNo this month, my reading for this month has been so terrible I can’t even think about it without feeling guilty and slightly sad. Every spare moment has been filled with writing, and whereas I spent a lot of my time on the tube or waiting around or on my lunch breaks reading, now I’ve had my phone out typing away. Whilst in a normal scenario I’d rather read on the tube and save writing for sitting at home with my computer and a cup of tea, it’s been fun to try it out this month.

And that’s my mid-way update for NaNo 2017. A little bit behind, but still enjoying it and having fun with the story.

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Always telling stories

I have always loved telling stories. From telling anecdotes of terrible customers at work to writing out fantastical ideas that I always dream of doing something with one day to share them with the world. There’s just something so incredible of creating a world in your head, of thinking up characters and descriptions that exist only in your imagination. There’s something special about that infinite space, and then looking at either a blank notebook or a blank word document with the cursor blinking, full of possibilities. Seeing the physical evidence of someone’s creativity is always astounding, but with books it’s even more so as the only materials the writer used were a combination of 26 letters. It’s probably why I love reading fantasy, just to see how other writer’s minds work and the things that they can imagine and create, see where they’ve been inspired and how they, in turn, can inspire me.

I’ve known that I want to one day write books for a very, very long time. In past posts I’ve gone into detail about some of my ‘early’ work, which included a very short play which was essentially Scooby Doo with a retriever (there was a graveyard, a vampire, and a witch), along with two pieces of fiction, a duology if you will, that was inspired by my seven-year-old-self’s crush who ended up moving to another country, which is what the second book deals with. Such heartbreak at such a young age, but if I remember correctly the only reason I liked him was because he was a fast runner, which probably isn’t the best thing to start a relationship for.

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So clearly I had a love for stories and imaginations as a child, but when thinking back I remember all the ways I loved stories. It seems child-me didn’t quite understand the very important difference between telling something as a story and telling a story as if it were a truth. AKA child-me lied about a lot of things, but didn’t think of them as lies, more as ‘stories’.

When I think back, a few of these little ‘stories’ come to mind, all that occurred in primary school up to the age of about nine or ten. There are minor ones, such as telling a girl that I had seen a unicorn or a friend that I had been taken from a tribe of magical warriors (though that one I blame on my brother, who I distinctly remember telling me that I was adopted in probably the most imaginative tale ever, which included our parents travelling to a tribe in the wilderness and doing some ritual in order to get me). But the one that spiralled entirely out of control, and which still makes me smile to this day, was the story that my cat had had kittens.

My cat, of course, hadn’t had kittens. Bundle was, in fact, neutered, and so would never have kittens ever, but little me (I’m pretty sure I was in Reception or Year One, so maybe five or six years old) really liked the idea of my cat having kittens. So much so, that I imagined how great it would be if Bundle had actually had kittens. All I can remember is telling a few of my friends and perhaps even my teacher, the ever-wonderful Mrs Hill – she was involved in another one of my story-related obsessions, in which I took home a lot of books from the school library, but didn’t want to give them back, and so soon collected a box-full of books, which my Mum discovered, but luckily Mrs Hill didn’t tell me off. Apparently stealing is not ok, but when it could demonstrate a child’s love of reading there isn’t much of a punishment.

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Back to the cat. So all I remember is telling a few people that my cat had had kittens, the dream of any five-maybe-six year old girl. After that I don’t remember much at all, apart from what I’ve since been told by my Mum and brother. Apparently the news of kittens spread through the primary school like wildfire, a primary school that my older brother still attended at this time, possibly in his final year there before secondary school. He found out about our cat supposedly having kittens when one of his friends asked if the kittens were for sale. Next thing I know, my Mum is telling me that it’s wrong to lie after people kept enquiring after our kittens. I’m pretty sure little-me was as confused as everyone else – I mean, after all, it had been a story, and was it really my fault that other people couldn’t recognise such excellent creativity and imagination?

It’s safe to say that the story-telling, or ‘lying’ as others called it, died down after that, and by the time I reached secondary school I understood the importance of clarifying to the mere mortals when I was telling a story.

My only regret? That I threw away the original manuscripts for those two books I wrote about my heartbreak over this boy. Man, would I love to be able to read them now. That would be some serious entertainment right there – though I seem to remember in the second one that he moved to Australia and was bitten by a black widow spider, because apparently little-me was a spiteful so-and-so.

 

Always Love to Read…A Lot

So for many of you, this isn’t a surprise as earlier today I discovered that when you have dual blogs, you need to check which blog you’re actually posting to which is why some of you may have already seen my first post for a different site…let’s pretend that didn’t happen. (Smooth, Eleanor, smooth)

HELLO EVERYONE! There were two things I promised to you, first of all being a post about a previous job which is soon to come and also the announcement of my new project – because of course I don’t have enough to do as it is.

Alwayslovetowrite was one of three blogs that I started up as a young teenager. It was meant to be a platform where I could post chapters or odd extracts from the books I was writing at the time (some of which I look back to and what to cringe all the way to my bed so I can hide from the world).

Unfortunately, I soon realised that people could easily copy my ideas which were, to my young teenage brain, the best ideas ever, so it dissolved into a more random blog of my thoughts – like an online diary. The other two blogs, one on food and one on travel, eventually dissipated into nothingness leaving alwayslovetowrite to take precedence. It’s now a space where I can vent, complain, blog and write whatever else is on my mind. Many of you followed me – and for that I couldn’t be more grateful – but I’ve found that, in more cases than not, it’s not to see the occasional post about a book being released or to see one of my book reviews or even kindle vs print. The books I read vary considerably, so I decided that the obvious course of action was to make a book blog. So, without further ado, I’m here to announce the creation of alwayslovetoreadalot, a blog dedicated to what I’m reading, what I want to read and other bookish related thoughts.

Of course this doesn’t mean that I will no longer write on this site, it just means that you won’t be bombarded with my obsession with YA fantasy, random classics and more. Alwayslovetowrite will stay as the place it was meant to be – somewhere for me to write whatever I like without rules or guidelines and hope that someone somewhere will enjoy reading it.

So please feel free to check out alwayslovetoreadalot and if you feel so inclined, then subscribe! We’ll see how I get on over there, and hopefully it won’t be a disaster like ‘teenagefoodie1’ was. The first post is already up, as some of you may have already read it, about the book ‘All I Know Now‘ by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

That’s all I have for you today – so thanks for reading and catch you all next time! As always, feel free to comment if you have anything you want me to write about or any book suggestions you want to see on the new blog!

Support Group

Hello, and thank you for joining me in today’s support group. I think I’ll kick off discussion and start.
I have an addiction. An obsession. An unhealthy love for something that I can’t stop. I know it’s disrupted my social and work life and, honestly, it’s difficult to really care about those things when I have my obsession with me at all times. I have stashes at home, at uni, in my bag – all over the place. I know I need to slow it down and take a breather, but I just can’t.
Yes. I, Eleanor, am a serial reader.
It didn’t start until I was eight or so, when I discovered the Judy Moody books. The love for books for manageable then. I suppose it started to get worse when I found the Twilight saga at twelve, and then it went even more downhill when I decided to branch out to different books and started to criticise books as if I had superior knowledge. The breaking point was when I got my first kindle. Suddenly I just had all these books one click away for no more than £4 – most of them were 99p. Suddenly I was reading so much I had little time for anything else, and when you’re only spending 99p a time it’s difficult to talk yourself out of buying yet another novel. Some would be romances that I devoured in mere days and others would be action packed adventures that immediately imagine myself to be a part of when reality got to be too much. Just the other day I finished two books IN THE SAME DAY. It was a normal Saturday and I’d finished Adam Bede for uni and Eleanor and Park for fun and I decided to pick up my kindle – only to find two sequels from two authors suddenly being released.
I bought both. I read one between the hours of 10-6 (in which I also went to Hyde Park for a bike ride). I read and finished the other by 11pm.
I’m not proud. Neither of them will benefit me in life. Neither of them were the play I’m supposed to read for uni next week.
But both of them fed the addiction quite nicely.
I guess that’s about it. Thank you for listening and I’ll see you all next time.
27 Incredibly Clever DIYs All True Book Lovers Will Appreciate

My Two Reading Brains

I always feel that when I’m reading that I have two completely different brains. My first reading brain is the one that I use for challenging novels, such as classics like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. I’m meticulous when I read with this brain, paying attention to every word and little detail. How can you not when you’re faced with lavish descriptions, dramatic imagery and poetic language? Using this reading brain I’m an incredibly slow reader and I can only read chunks at a time before I have to leave the book and go to something else for a while to give my brain a break.

Then there’s my other brain – my teenage brain, as I like to think of it. I use this one when I’m reading those wonderful books you can get on a Kindle for £2 that require very little attention. They’re books that don’t make me search for deeper meanings or question my existence – these are the books that I can read in a couple of hours without difficulty. In all honesty, these are also the books which allow me to completely loose myself and forget the rest of the world for a while.

I was thinking about my two different reading brains – or mindsets or however you want to call it – when I was thinking about the book that I’m in progress of writing at the moment. It’s no secret that I want to write novels one day (be that tomorrow or in 15 years) and I’ve been writing since a very young age. My first ‘book’ was written in primary school when I was so angry that a boy I liked moved away that he got bitten by a spider in his new house (Don’t worry, he gets better in the sequel and buys me a pony to say sorry which I ride off into the sunset on). 

The book that I’m trying to write at the moment is a book that I would choose to read when I just want to loose myself again. It isn’t serious – it’s just a bit of fun; your typical teenage, fantasy, romantic-y type that doesn’t need you to focus. You don’t need an extensive education to grasp the meaning of it or need someone else to offer up different interpretations; it’s straightforward and, most importantly, readable. Well, I think it is anyway. I’m sure someone else will disagree, but then when is there something that nobody disagrees with-

Sorry, getting too deep for a Saturday evening now. Hope you lot are well and catch you next time ~El

Trust In Me

I am very excited and lucky to announce that Jennifer L Armentrout is releasing ‘Trust In Me’, a sequel to her fantastic ‘Wait For You’ which I adored. I’ve been a fan of Jennifer’s ever since she released ‘Obsidian’ – the Lux Series has been probably my favourite series of books I’ve read in a long time. ‘Wait For You’ was incredible and to find out about the sequel early to tell all of you is just amazing!

So, cover time:

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Description:

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

 

 

EEP. So it’s from Cam’s POV and is sure to be another great read – I highly recommend it! There are also several giveaways floating around (unfortunately I can’t add them in this blog as my laptop is throwing a bit of a temper tantrum, so make sure you keep an eye out). To be released October 22nd! 

Thanks for reading as always ~ El

Escaping Reality

OK so it’s no secret that I love books and I thought I’d talk about them some more with the very few people who actually take their time to read this. 

As a proud owner of a Kindle, I spend a lot of time looking up books on Amazon. I was skeptical of Kindles at first, being a lover of that old/new book smell and the feeling of turning each crisp page, but I absolutely adore it. In the long run, I think I -and my parents – have saved a lot of money with it. The most expensive book I’ve bought on my Kindle was at £4.99, but they usually range from 99p – £3 for me. I even have had a few freebies. 

I do miss my days in Waterstones, searching for a summer read, but I have to admit that using Amazon is so much easier even though I do feel a bit lazy. As I want to publish my own books some day, I’ve realised some pretty important ‘musts’ if i want to publish. As you can now self-publish on amazon for kindle, it’s vital you hook anyone browsing. First of all, a nice title goes a long way and also the picture! Today I was looking at some books and, for some, I spent so long trying to figure out what the picture was all about that I grew uninterested. For goodness sake, if you have a romance novel I don’t want a picture of a girl dramatically crying and screaming, looking more as if she’s giving birth then losing the love of her life. 

I admit, I am guilty of spending a lot of time in the romance department with fantasy a close second. At this point, I think I am safe to say that I am an expert in the typical romance books out these days. They either feature a love triangle (usually with one good boy and one bad boy), or they feature someone who is ‘unattainable’ OR it’s about a bad boy who suddenly falls head over heels in love for a quiet, shy good girl who is smart. 

Don’t get me wrong – I like the message that it isn’t just the beautiful, vain people that end up with other beautiful people and the rest of us normal people have a shot, but come on. So what if he’s good looking and is a rock star in a band – I want something a bit more than ‘each look he gave me made me swoon’. If there’s some guy who is known to be a bit of a sleaze and is looking at me, I don’t care how good looking he is – tell him to bugger off already. The whole ‘wounded’ part of the lead guy who is just really understood isn’t always realistic in some situations. I’ve found some authors just throw in a death in the family of the guy just to give him that emotional edge, but it isn’t enough to just have that. Death is such a devastating topic that you can’t just brush over – you have to explore it and actually talk about it instead of just having the female character think ‘Ohmygosh he’s so deep so now I love him’. 

Right, so what was I talking about again? Actually, to be honest, I’m not sure I know exactly where I’m going with this. But ou know how in romance novels everything centres on one guy and you just know that the girl will get him in the end or that he will abandon everything because he loves her? Well why can’t real life be like that? Why can’t you have a spotlight that suddenly shines on the one that you’ll end up with so that you don’t just look past them on your search for the one

On a side note, I’m trying to branch out to some other genres and have read a couple of science fiction books. I have got through a few action and adventure novels as well, but can’t find anything really gripping. If you have any suggestions, I’d love them ^_^

Anyway, thanks again for reading and drop a comment below to let me know your thoughts. ~El