Writing

3 Perks of Being a Writer (aka stuff I discovered my last semester of undergrad)

Hello all!

As some of you know, I have graduated with my BA in English *cue roaring applause.* Thank you, thank you. Anyway, being a recent-undergrad grad, I find myself lost in a sea of post-grad depression. I’m discovering it’s very hard to be determined and focused without the familiar structure of school plus work-life. Without one half of that combo, all I do is work and come home, which leaves me a lot more time to just… think, and I have done a lot of that recently.

I call it thinking, but really I’m just drowning in a sea of nostalgia. I think it may be that it just recently happened, but I have been ruminating on my final creative writing class. It was so different, and the professor was just as different. This professor just boggled my brain. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot throughout my entire undergraduate career, but something about that final class during that final semester just really resonated with me. I talk a lot about writing, the crafting of it, the mechanics of it, etc. However, I didn’t realize there were also a set of perks that came along with the title of writer. That is what my final creative writing class taught me, and I wanted to share some of those today.

Well, enough of that. Let’s get going.

  1. Calling yourself what you are — a writer — can open some doors.
    Of course it’s always nice to have the proof to back it up, but just by claiming you are from the get-go, it can provide a huge amount of opportunities. For example, I’ve been working on a piece centered around the history of a bronze sculpture. It probably goes without saying that I know jack squat about bronze and how it reacts to certain elements and time in general. So, I did some googling and found a person that works with bronze metals and restores older pieces from various stages of wear tear. I sent him an email, making sure I mentioned that I was just a writer hoping to expand my knowledge on the subject. He was beyond helpful. He sent pictures, asked me questions about my fictional bronze sculpture, and even helped shaped my story. Just by letting him know I was writer and wanted to learn, I gained so much knowledge and ended up having a great experience I might not have otherwise.
  2. You are always building a portfolio.
    If you are a writer, you are also a creator. You are constantly creating something, and as such you are always building a portfolio. My professor always told us to attack everything we wrote as if someoneanyone might read it. That is something I never really thought of when writing, but it has become truer and truer the farther I travel from my undergraduate career into my professional one. You don’t really realize how many of the pieces you work on you can eventually use in a professional setting. I recently (and by recently I mean 3 weeks ago) I was hired by my dream company *cue second roaring applause.* Thank you, thank you, but surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly) my job doesn’t directly deal with writing in any way. Even so, I had so much to put on my resume and into my portfolio that proved I was capable of working in a professional setting. They proved to my now-employer that I could meet deadlines, that I could communicate effectively, and that I was able to complete projects effectively. I provided them with multiple versions of one piece to prove I had an eye-for-detail, that I am dedicated, and that I am not discouraged by failure. By constantly creating, you are constantly creating proof of your skills and character. We spend so much time learning to show and not tell, and by doing so, we are creating ways to show our skills, rather than just tell people we have them.
  3. You can always be a writer.
    No matter what path my life takes, I will always be a writer. If I stay on my current career path, if I decide to do something else, if 40 years pass, if pen and paper become obsolete, if we all have to move to another planet, if the world implodes… doesn’t matter. I can and will always be a writer. As long as you writer, you are a writer. A writer is someone who writes journals, who writes for a newspaper, who writes just for their mom, who blogs, who writes grocery lists, who writes poems, who writes stories, who tells stories, who records stories on a laptop, phone, tape recorder… if you believe you are a writer, all you need to do to prove it is to write. Simple as that. To prove you are a doctor, you need a license. To prove you are a NASA employee, you need references, or name badges, or check stubs… but a doctor doesn’t need a license to prove he is a writer, too. He is a writer because he writes.

Are these perks super cool? Probably not to everyone, and maybe not even that cool to many of my fellow writers. Regardless, I hope you got something out of this. Be proud, writers. Read, write, repeat.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Writing

Where is “The End”

Hello all!

I’ve made it a point to go back and look through old posts, edit them, refine them, and cringe at them. This was the first post I ever made on this blog/website/thing. How ironic that the beginning was about the end. What is more ironic? I preached, repeatedly in that old post that there is an end. You shouldn’t feel obligated to change things, to keep going, etc. Yet, here I am, going back to posts I thought were at one time finished, and keeping them going.

The reason I chose this post? I changed my mind. Simple as that.

There is an end, but it can always be changed. Now prepare for my anecdote as to why I’ve had this change of heart:

This fall (Fall 2016) was the last semester of my undergraduate degree. I took classes just for the sake of credits, so I had a chance to take classes I wanted, rather than classes I needed. I took an advanced creative writing class where the theme was “Ghosts.” Super cool, right? Anyway, we had to have one-on-one sessions with the professor. We were to bring a piece we wanted him to look over, and we’d spend the time talking about it. It was super generative and very helpful.

I brought an older piece that I’ve been working on on-and-off for the past year or two. He read it over, silent, for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. He stopped and said “It was fun.” I was pleased. I thought it was done. I was ready to start writing cover letters and sending it off to publications. Then, he asked me, “Why did you bring it?” I sat there for a while, mulling that question over. Why? Why not? I wanted someone with experience to look it over? I wanted someone to say “yay” or “nay,” to it? I wanted a lot of things, but I didn’t know how to respond. He clarified, “There’s a reason you’re still looking this over. If it was done, you wouldn’t bring it.”

That was so true. I wouldn’t keep looking at it if I didn’t feel there was something more. If I didn’t feel there was something I was missing, why wait to send it off? I didn’t have a good answer. Then, I remembered this old post I wrote. This post where I said there comes a time that you just need to stop. There is an end, and sometimes you have to force yourself to put it away. While I do think there comes a point where you start over-editing, over-writing, etc. I also think you shouldn’t settle. If you feel like something isn’t right, don’t stop writing. Don’t stop editing. Keep going because you may eventually find a better end than you had before.

So, I’m going to keep working on this piece. I am also going to go back and edit some of these posts because, let’s face it, they are definitely not done.

Be proud. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Be writers.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Personal Posts

I’ve Been Rejected

Hello friends, newcomers, etc. It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. Rather, it’s been a long time since I felt I had something worth blogging about. Recently, I’ve had a spurt of poetry submissions flying from my desk. As I’ve said time and time again, I never thought of myself as a poet. Yet, that particular form seems to be the only one my mind is capable of creating as of late.

Thankfully, I’ve had some good luck. I have a poem coming out in a magazine. I also have a short story being published in an anthology. Did I mention I’m also getting paid for these publications? As many of my writer friends know, it’s hard to find a paid publication, especially ones that take on new, unsolicited manuscripts.

Even though I’ve had so many positive outcomes from my publishing pursuits, and I’ve made sure to document it all on social media, there’s something I haven’t really talked about with anyone.

For every one acceptance email/letter I receive, I get about 10 of these:

Why do I bring this up? Because I almost always post on  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. about all of my accomplishments. No one sees the rejections. While, yes, it is a good bit disheartening to see a rejection in my mailbox, I am proud of my rejections. I am not ashamed. I created something I felt was worthy of being read. I put it out in the world to be judged, knowing that it may get thrown out, and my work does get thrown out. A lot.

Have I been ashamed? Oh yes. Countless times I’ve seen a rejection and instantly regretted ever sending any work out. There are plenty of rejection letters that my friends, family, and readers will never hear about. However, I wonder sometimes what my writer friends think. I know I like their posts and cheer them on for every success, but what about when they feel like they’ve failed? I feel like I fail 10x more than I succeed. I don’t want them to feel like they are alone. I want them to be proud of those rejections. I also don’t want them to be afraid of rejection because rejections do happen, especially to those who achieve success. You can’t have rainbows without rain, and all that jazz.

Be proud. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Be writers.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Personal Posts

I Went to a Writing Covention and…

20160303_122012[1]I have never been so well dressed in my life. As many of you know, I am still in college, though I just recently signed up for graduation in December (yay!), and being in college I’ve had the opportunity to join the English Honor Society: Sigma Tau Delta. This offers a wide range of opportunities for all college writers, and I definitely recommend joining if one ever has the opportunity to do so. One perk that I took full advantage of was being able to submit a piece to the national convention, which means I would get a chance to travel out of state, attend a literary convention, and present my piece in front of all my peers and colleagues for my college. Needless to say, I was beyond pumped.

I submitted a short story and *spoilers* my short story was picked! It was probably one of FB_IMG_1456698771494[1]the more exciting moments of my life. I received the news at around 11 pm via email after a long shift at work, and I immediately called and woke up my boyfriend to tell him the good news, along with my mom, step-mom, and grandmother soon after. I told my colleagues at work over the course of a couple of months, had them read the story if they felt so inclined, and they made me feel more confident than I had ever been. Also, my friends got together and bought me this amazing messenger bag that they surprised me with a few days before I would be travelling. I cried. I hugged them all. Little did they know, it was a huge boost to my confidence, reminded me that I was worthy of being loved, as well as assured me in my abilities as a writer. I now refuse to carry anything else.

Then began planning. I lassoed my partner-in-crime, my boyfriend, into taking the 16-hour drive with me and we were off to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Along the way we went through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois (where I paid my first toll fee), and Wisconsin. After an extended 19-20 hour drive because I just couldn’t drive anymore past 2 am, we finally arrived in Minneapolis. I read my story, met millions of authors and poets, ate at every northern restaurant I could find, got lost multiple times in the Mall of America, enjoyed hours in the underground aquarium, and countless hours enjoying the cold weather with my boyfriend. I have always said I would one day live in Portland, Oregon, despite having never been there. However, now that I’ve been to Minnesota, I don’t think I could picture myself anywhere else. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Unfortunately, our time in Minnesota came to an end and we made the extended 19-20 hour drive back through Iowa, Missouri (where I also received my first speeding ticket), Arkansas, and Mississippi. It was a trip I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It was my first trip completely on the road, completely independent of any guardian, and completely paid for by me. It was a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to take part in next year’s Sigma Tau Delta convention.

Want to read the story I presented? Did I mention I was approached by another author with an offer to publish it in anthology? No? Well, more on that once we get the details ironed out. Until then, thank you so much for reading, and I can’t wait to share more of my adventures on here.

-Lissy

Personal Posts

I’m a Binge-Eater

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When I started this blog, I started it with the goal of running a kind of “shop-talk” blog. I was going to talk about books, writing, writers, and publishing, all as I pursued my dreams of becoming an author. I wanted to meet other writers, make connections, make life-long friends that I could Skype with over hot coffee and talk about our craft. I just wanted to write about writing.

However, the longer I write on this blog, the more I realize that I really needed this to write about myself. Call me egotistical, but hear me out. For the past nine months, I have been suffering with something I’m finally ready to admit is a problem: Binge-Eating. I binge. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to end. Other days, I feel like I can stop anytime. Regardless, food is my enemy. I think it stems from this lonely spell I’ve been under. I am introverted, people drain me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not lonely.

I’m an introverted, binge-eater who cries over Little Debbie wrappers because I feel utterly alone.

I don’t want pity. Believe me, I’m going to be okay.

I’m sitting at my desk, it’s 11:25 p.m. on a Tuesday night. I have a date with my boyfriend that I’m super stoked about, but not even five minutes ago I binged on some pie. I feel absolutely disgusting. I’ve been battling this and my weight for all this time. I’ll binge for a week, then the rest of the month, I diet and exercise to lose the weight. Once it’s off, I binge again. It’s this compulsive cycle I can’t seem to shake. I didn’t want to admit it until I woke up, looked in the mirror, and realized I don’t like who I am.

Once again, I don’t want pity. Think of this as word vomit. Public therapy. I need to say it. I need to put it out there that I have a problem, hold myself accountable so I can find a solution. I’m tired of suffering in silence, guiltily stuffing wrappers and containers in the bottom of the trash can so I can ignore the problem and so my family doesn’t find out.

I started this blog so I could write about writing. Now I’m writing about myself, and it makes me happy. I want to be better, and I’m going to get better.

-Lissy

Personal Posts

The Girl Who Doesn’t Care, Cares A Lot

I’ve always thought I was comfortable in my own skin. I don’t embarrass easily. As I demonstrate in the picture below:

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I’m willing to make a fool of myself for the sake of a laugh. Here I was, at my job, wearing two tree skirts – one as a poncho, one as a skirt – and a matching camo hat just because I thought it would be hilarious. I make jokes about myself in public, a lot of the times in the most vicious way possible. I have no shame.

Most of the time.

While I like to say I don’t care what people think, there are moments in my life where I realize that it’s impossible not to care. One moment being, the last time I went to the gym.

Every semester, my boyfriend and I make the valiant effort to go to the gym regularly. We’re already on campus, it’s free for students, so why not? Usually, it’s just the two of us. Then, the day came where he invited his friends. I didn’t care about the strangers seeing my obese body boldly bouncing around the basketball court, but, boy, did I care about my boyfriend’s friends seeing me.

When he said they were coming, I cried. I couldn’t hold them back, even if I tried. In that moment, I realized that the girl who supposedly doesn’t care, cares way too much about what other people think.

I was right back to that middle school version of myself who would hide in the gym bathroom, sobbing because I knew those girls and their boyfriends would start calling me a dike or a man the moment I walked out in my gym uniform. That’s when I developed my defense mechanism – making fun of myself before other people could. If I call myself a fat dike before others can, then they can’t hurt me. I’ve let the world know about my insecurities as if I’m confident about them. In reality, I’m just trying to protect myself from someone who might try to use them against me.

I have no shame because I’m ashamed.

That’s right, I’m ashamed of myself. “Why?” my boyfriend asked when, after fifteen minutes of hiding in the rec center bathroom, crying, I emerged to let him know why I was self-conscious. I knew those guys in middle school. They weren’t the ones who made fun of me, thankfully, but it took me right back to that place when I didn’t have any way of defending myself. I was a jolly green giant target of a pre-teen, lumbering about just waiting to be picked on. I lived everyday waiting for a snide remark, which was always followed by the vicious laughter of those who were just happy they weren’t the ones being picked on.

I’m still that twelve-year-old girl who finds solace in gym bathrooms and weeps at the fear of people finding out she’s not as confident as she may seem, or that she is actually insecure about being overweight, masculine, tall, or all of the above.

And I don’t write this because I want people to feel bad for me. That’s the exact opposite of what I’m doing. I realized that just because I act confident on the surface, doesn’t mean I actually am. I have insecurities, just like everyone else. That person you may be jealous of because they are confident, funny, and everything you may think you’re not is actually just as insecure as you are.

Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.

Watch your words, and always do your best to be kind, especially to yourself.

-Lissy

FanFic, The Forest of Drizzling Rain

The Rain, It Pours ch. 5 – A Forest of Drizzling Rain Fanfic

– 1st Chapter –

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Suga’s eyes widened ever so slightly, and his already thin lips pursed tighter together until they were as pale as his face. Shiori couldn’t be sure, but she thought he looked somewhat… disappointed? Even so, she didn’t get a chance to ask as he turned his face away from her view to stare up at the blinking neon sign. It looked like the “B” was about to fade out soon.

“A… date?”

Shiori bobbed her head, though Suga wasn’t looking to see it.

“Yes. If you plan on speaking to an entire counsel of strangers, you’re going to have to get used to speaking to at least one stranger, right? What better way than a date?”

Shiori could barely make out the shift in his gaze from the sign to her as his dark eyes lost the reflecting green shimmer.

“I won’t be… dating the counsel… though.”

Shiori sneered,

“Oh, I don’t know. The mayor seemed pretty intent on seeing you this morning.”

Suga let out a terrified gasp before turning away completely. Shiori laughed louder then and poked his shoulder.

“Hey, you know I was just kidding. It’s just a joke.”

He turned his head to peer at her over his shoulder.

“Is… the date a joke?”

Her hand fell away from his back, and she stared into his eyes. They were dimly illuminated from the word “Mountain,” but that only intensified the shadows lurking at their edges. She couldn’t tell if he was being serious or naïve again. She hesitantly took in a breath.

“No.”

He stared at her a few seconds longer, all in silence except for the occasional laughter escaping the tavern. Finally, he sighed, and turned back to fully face the entrance. She eyed his chest as he took in a long breath.

“Well… let’s get this over with.”

He sounded pained, and she couldn’t help the sudden stinging in her chest.

Upon entering the bar, Suga and Shiori were immediately enveloped by a cloud of smoke. At least five smokers sat at the main bar, taking long drags, as if in long conversation with one another. Shiori fanned her hands and wrinkled her nose in distaste while Suga hacked and turned his face away. One of the smokers, a man with burly arms and a beard eyed the pair from across the room. He stared for a few seconds, then took another long drag.

Shiori swallowed, now suddenly regretting the idea. Then, she looked at Suga, saw the horror in his face, the uncomfortable squirming in his hands and body, and immediately took his hand. Shocked, he jumped, then eyed their clasped hands.

She smiled.

“Dance with me.”

Suga’s eyes widened.

“I-I don’t…”

But she didn’t give him a chance to finish.

Already, she was dragging him to the dance floor… if you could call it that. It wasn’t a very large tavern. It had actually once been used for town meetings. Then, the museum was built up, and with it came the tourists. With tourists came money, and with money came a need for more entertainment. So, the town hall was retired, and the tavern was born. The dance floor had once been the waiting area. They knocked the wall down to put in a bar and open up the meeting area for the drinks and the coolers.

There was no place left for a stage, so they simply marked off the performance area with police tape. It gave the entire bar a grungy feel that turned most of the older, more proper folks away. It drew in the young people and the grunge like flies, though. The stage brought in all the dreamers in the town. Of course, most of the dreamers were just kids who brought their guitar to class and liked to tell their friends they would be leaving for the city once they heard back from their “record label.”

Then, there were the real ones. The ones that you’d see once on stage, then gone the next. Little blips of talent that sparked in the small town, only to be swept away by life and responsibility the next. It was just another sad fact of the small town life.

Unfortunately, there would be no dreamers at all tonight. In their place, the tavern owner had set up a stool with a static-y boom box resting on top. It was currently playing an ad for car insurance.

Shiori swallowed as she stood awkwardly holding hands with Suga at the center of an empty dance floor. No one was looking at them. Sure, there was the occasional glance from a questionably young youth at the bar, but it was only with minor curiosity. It wasn’t long before he turned back around to nurse his questionably dark drink.

She looked up to stare at Suga. He was mindlessly tapping his foot, and she wanted nothing more than to drag him off the dance floor. Then, she saw his smile.

He was looking around the bar just smiling. He was just happy to be there, and she barely took note of him squeezing her hand.

Her face was burning. She had never been so happy to be in the dim lighting of a bar. Soon, a song began. The static was too much to make out the words, but there was plenty of beat. She swept in front of Suga, led his held hand to her hip, then wrapped her arms around his neck. His other hand easily found its way to her other hip.

Even with such a natural move, his eyes were so wide they were bugging out of his head. Shiori couldn’t help laughing.

“Calm down. We just have to get the ball rolling. It’s science. Start the pack behavior. We dance, others will come out and dance, and you’ll be dancing with a fine lady in no time.”

She could see his throat working as he swallowed.

“You’re… a pretty fine lady.”

Shiori frowned, but didn’t respond. Instead, she got them moving. With a gradual step forward, their bodies were pressed together. He still stood, lost and frozen. She growled and trailed a hand up his neck, into his hair, and pulled his face down to hers. They weren’t kissing. They wouldn’t be kissing, but you wouldn’t know any better looking on from the outside. Their breath was hot, steaming, and it wasn’t long before Shiori had him moving back and forth along the floor. His steps weren’t fluid, but he was at least moving in step with her.

He didn’t have a choice, Shiori was running the show. They took a few more steps before Shiori whispered,

“Now, dip me… but don’t get too far from me.”

He went to ask her,

“What?”

But he never got an answer as she jerked back away from him, but kept her hand dug into his hair. They leaned together, his face leaving hers, but his lips and breath trailed down her neck until it heated her collarbone.

There was a low gasp in the crowd, and now Shiori could see a few of the patrons had found their way to the floor and were dancing around them, including the questionably young drinker who was thrashing around in his own corner. Shiori smiled, then Suga pulled her back up so they were face-to-face again.

“W-what… is this?”

His voice was throaty and rough, more of a growl, but still labored by his stutter. She smiled against his mouth,

“Fun?”

She could feel him smile back.

They danced around a while longer before they were both sweating due to the sheer amount of body heat surrounding them. Suga begged her to go back to the bar, and she eventually relented. The people around them were absolutely suffocating. She aimlessly wiped at her forehead, trying to keep the sweat from stinging her eyes. Suga held her hand, and they waded through the ocean of bodies to the less inhabited bar.

There, Suga ordered two waters, which earned him a long stare from the bartender. He didn’t notice, and when the bartender met Shiori’s glaring gaze, he apologetically ducked behind the bar to fix their glasses. Suga met her gaze, and she smiled at him. He smiled back and greedily sucked on his water.

Shiori was just beginning to nurse her own drink when a bright voice piped over the crowd.

“Hey! Those were some sexy moves!”

Shiori spluttered when she caught sight of the busty blonde sauntering up to them. She didn’t look to be from the village, much less anywhere in the country. She was a foreign sight to behold, and her accent was strange and only made her that much more alluring.

She smiled brightly at both of them, though when she spoke, she solely focused on Suga.

“What a show, and what a lovely couple. How long have you been dancing together?”

Suga went to speak, but Shiori slammed down her glass, catching both of their attention.

“Not long. We’re not together, actually.”

The woman perked up.

“Oh? I wouldn’t have known. Name’s Charlie- well, Charlotte, but that sounds old, ya know? I prefer Charlie. I’m from the states. No dance partner to speak of… here or there, ya know?”

Shiori smiled while listening, but when she turned away to get a sip of her drink, she couldn’t help rolling her eyes. Suga, on the other hand, seemed intrigued.

“Hello… I’m Suga. This… this is Shiori. Do you… like to dance?”

Charlie released a burst of laughter, which had Shiori spluttering her drink again.

“Do I? I’m no good alone, but I can still cut a rug.”

Suga’s eyes widened.

“You… cut… rugs?”

Shiori reached out to take his attention and explain the expression, but Charlie leaned in and took hold of his shoulder.

“Not literally, duh. It just means I just… ya know, dance pretty well, I guess. If that makes sense?”

Suga’s face was blank, but he nodded anyway. Shiori knew better, but she didn’t say anything and continued to slurp down her water. She bitterly stared at the clear liquid, wishing she had ordered the drinks.

“So, I was wondering… I know you just cut the rug up yourself, already, but I don’t have a dance partner myself, and I’d really like a dance. So, mind if I steal your partner?”

Shiori looked up, shocked to find the pair of them staring at her. Had she just asked Shiori for permission? To dance with Suga? What did it matter what she thought? She met Suga’s eyes, but he was somewhere else. He was there, but it was like he was looking through her, rather than at her. She didn’t know what to say.

So, she nodded.

Charlie squealed and grabbed Suga’s hands, knocking the glass of water to the ground without so much as a thought.

“Come on! I love this song!”

Suga looked back at Shiori to say something, but she couldn’t hear his soft voice over the crowd swallowing them on the dance floor. She tried to catch sight of them and sat for just a few seconds longer at the bar, idly sipping away at her drink.

But eventually, she grew tired over the stale smell and the creeping sense of dread weighing down her chest. She wanted to tell Suga goodbye, but she would never find him in the crowd.

So, alone, she walked in the darkness. The air smelled of rain, and Shiori couldn’t help missing Suga.

To be continued…

– 1st Chapter –

Next Chapter >

< Previous Chapter

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

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Personal Posts

Why I love to read?

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When I was I bored, I read Junie B. Jones and laughed at her antics.

When my sister was sick and away in the hospital, I could pretend she was staying with Amelia Bedelia and would be coming home soon.

When my parents were divorcing, I realized it wasn’t as scary as the Goosebumps books stuffed beneath my bed.

When I was angry, I could calm down in the arms of my favorite teen heart throbs (Tamani from Wings and Dimitri from Vampire Academy, I’m looking at you).

When I was alone and felt like the world may crumble around me, I could run and run and run forever with the characters in Stephen King’s Cell.

Even today, when I don’t think I’m going to make it, I can pick any book on my shelf and escape for awhile. That’s what books are – glimpses. Glimpses into worlds I will never see. I’ve made friends that I can’t talk to, met people that don’t exist (or did, but don’t anymore). I’ve had adventure after adventure – I’ve had a life full of impossibles made possible by words on a page. I’ve lived so many lives, all while never leaving the comfort of mine. Why I love to read?

Reading has made my life richer than any job or promotion ever could. Reading is happiness.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

P.S.

And parents, please read to your kids.

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: Wool by Hugh Howey

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This was completely out of my comfort zone. I have lurked in the YA fiction section for what feels like my whole life. Then, one day, I stepped out of that isle in Barnes & Noble and saw this beauty.

Why did I pick this book you may ask?

First, check out that beautiful cover. The colors pop. Then, I remembered hearing about this author and this book. He self-published, much like myself. Finally, this book is super hyped. At least it is on my Google+ page, anyway. So, I figured I’d hop on the hype train and see what it was all about for myself.

I’m so glad I did.

Wool is actually an omnibus of a series Howey wrote based in the walls of an underground silo – a single marker in the vast, desert landscape surrounding it. The people within are a memory of what humanity once was. These people live on separate floors of the silo, and each floor has its own purpose. There’s a floor for the hydroponic farms, a floor for maintenance, IT, ranching, butchering, etc. As one might imagine, there is also a hierarchy built within the confines of this silo. The middle floors would be considered middle class, the upper floors are higher class, and the bottom floors are- Well, you get the picture. Ultimately, everyone functions within the same guidelines everyday. If one doesn’t, he/she gets sent to do the cleaning.

The story starts by following a man who has elected himself as a cleaner. The cleaning is essentially someone leaving the silo and wiping off the cameras outside, which are covered in grime from never ending dust storms outside, so that the people in the silo can see the outside world on the giant wall screens on the top floor. People get anxious when there hasn’t been a cleaning in a while. They suit him up in a very astronaut-like garb and send him outside. However, when he makes it out, he sees that the world around him is lush, green, and very much alive, unlike what is projected to them through the cameras. The man, joyous with this discovery, cleans the cameras in sympathy for those who will never see the outside. Then, he makes a run for the hills. However, before he can reach the top, the screen in his suit goes black, his oxygen tank stops working, and the wind outside rips the very suit and skin from his bones. The world around him is dead.

And this is only the beginning of the story. The remainder follows a young mechanic named Juliette (or Jules, as she prefers). That is where the story really takes off as she discovers hidden truths within the confines of her silo.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. There was never a slow moment, and I couldn’t seem to turn the pages fast enough to see what happened next. Definitely one for the bookshelf.

Purchased? Oh yes.

What do you think? Will you be adding this to your TBR pile? Have you already read it? What did you think? Let me know, and comment below!

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Want to review my books? Click here!

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass someone in the name of reviewing.

Thank you for your understanding.

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: Ico Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe

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As I’ve written before, Ico is one of my favorite video games of all time. Video games and books have taught me so much about myself and about writing, it would be foolish to try to separate one from the other. When I discovered that an author had been given the rights to write a book based on the story and world of Ico, you can imagine my excitement. My favorite video game in book form? What is there not to love?

Well, let me tell you, this book is nostalgia goodness. I felt like I was playing the game again. A lot of the puzzles showed up in here, and even the descriptions of the castle mimicked a lot of the stages of the video game. The lore she layered onto this world is an absolute treat for anyone who has played the game and wants to strengthen their immersion while playing.

For those who don’t know the general premise:

Ico Castle in the Mist (and Ico the video game) follows a young boy, born with horns, as he traverses the mysterious castle he has seemingly been sacrificed to. There, he meets a girl by the name of Yorda who is unable to speak to him. She has been trapped here in a giant metal bird cage, and, once freed, she is too weak to travel alone. Ico must take Yorda by the hand and lead her through the castle to save both himself and her. Fighting off shadow creatures with horns much like his and solving strange puzzles, Ico learns the secrets of the castle and of Yorda, all while trying to find his way home.

Will people enjoy this who have played it or who are playing it?

Absolutely.

Can people who have never played the game still enjoy it?

… meh? Is that a good answer? It’s hard for me to say since I have played the game. So, I read it from the perspective of a gamer playing a game. This isn’t like reading a walk-through, but it’s got a few moments where it feels like I should be playing while reading. There were moments where I thought the author might be playing as she was writing certain scenes. Those sections would probably drag to those who haven’t played the game. While it helped me immerse myself in the world again, and it tickled my giddy, nostalgic self, the stage descriptions and puzzles may seem trivial and unnecessary to newcomers.

I think you could enjoy it if you like high fantasy writing without the high fantasy elements. Otherwise, you may get bored.

Even so, this is definitely one that goes on my “favorites” shelf.

Worth the Purchase?  Most definitely.

What do you think? Based on this description, would you read it? Have you read it? Have you played the game? Let me know, and comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-Lissy

Want to review my books? Click here!

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass or completely wreck someone in the name of reviewing.

Thank you for your understanding.