Category Archives: Challenges

Another Year of National Novel Writing Month!

nanowrimoMy heart thumps a bit harder, a bit faster. My stomach knots together, creating a tight little fist that would have had me doubled over with anxiety in any other situation. Now, a thousand little butterflies flutter at the edge of that fist, tickling. Waiting to explode. It’s almost that time of the year again. That time when writers from all over our globe connect, support and cheer each other on to write their 50K stories. Yes, it’s almost here. It’s still slightly out of reach but I can taste it already. My God, can I taste it already.

Oddly, it tastes bittersweet this year. For the first time in three years, I have not the tiniest bit of an idea what to write. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas. Oh boy. If that only were true. It’s more of the fact that I have too many ideas and I can’t wrap my mind around one in particular as they’re bouncing at the edge, all screaming to be heard.

Do I rewrite the story I began last year? Am I going to explore the three new worlds that’s been nagging me, revealed to me by my subconsciousness during my dreams and jumping on me while I attempt a nice, relaxing shower? Or maybe I should rekindle that fire of my two year old science fiction? 

There are so many options and yet, I feel I can only choose one. But why? Why should I abide to the boundary of only submitting and/or committing myself to the one story? This year, this one option feels suffocating, somehow. It’s confusing me. I am aware that putting my complete attention to the one story, is the best way to write a 50K story but where I am now today, with my thoughts tumbling and jumping from one story to another, I don’t think I can focus enough.

Which made me think. A lot. It included a lot of wall staring if I’m being totally honest with you. And tears. What’s NaNoWriMo really about? Is it about writing THE one novel? Or is it about writing? The “enter your novel” option certainly makes it feel as if it’s about “Writing the ONE and only novel” but is it truly? Isn’t it more about a bunch of people gathering together, inspiring each other to write, write, write (towards that novel) but who said it can’t be two novels? Or one novel and a rewrite?

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You see, the thing is, I’m an emotional writer. I write dark scenes when I’m in a dark place. I write happy scenes when I’m in a good place. So if I’m being at my dark place and writing the happy, fluffy romance…I’m bound to kill someone at some point who isn’t supposed to be dead. Or when I’m in my happy place writing my mystery, the evil guy will most likely end up being married with my mc living happily ever after. Which, would be Crazy with a capital C.

So why force myself to writing the one story when I’m not in the mood and then, possibly, face a writer’s block? That would defeat the whole purpose of “writing 50K words in one month” challenge, wouldn’t it? I refuse to let myself get cornered by the one-way option on NaNoWriMo.

I don’t know what to write about. So? Who cares? As long as I’m writing. That’s what counts! And with this spirit, I’m starting this year’s NaNoWriMo with a complete blank page – I’m going to write whatever I feel whenever I feel it. Let the words flow and fall upon my paper as they come. Will this be a series of word vomits? Probably. But I will be writing and at least, that’s one thing I’m doing more than what I did in the previous months. And who knows, maybe, as the days continue I will find my focus again. Maybe I’ll even come up with new story ideas!

To the Unknown, here I come!

Yikes, I’ve never felt this nervous before.


Are you participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo? Tell me about your choice of novel. Are you doing a rewrite? Or are you just like me, deciding you’ll figure it out while you’re writing whatever comes to mind? Let me know in the comment section! 


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#ReadThemAllThon Sign Up + TBR

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Guess what! Ooh, please guess! PLEASE? Well, fine. If you can’t be bothered to guess, I’ll tell you anyway in case the title isn’t clear. I’m going to read a bunch of books this month again! That is, if I don’t succumb with pressure, something that isn’t entirely unlikely…

As most of you must have caught on, Pokémon Go became a thing (one would even dare to say a hype) early July. It became such a big thing that there are so many challenges/book tags popping up on the great interwebz that you seriously can’t miss it. Seriously. I mean, even I noticed it from underneath my trustworthy rock.

So when I saw Aentee’s, from Readatmidnight, read-a-thon including Pokémon, I thought, hey, why not? I don’t have anything else to do in August (besides work). Et voilà, here I am!

What’s #ReadThemAllThon?

Basically, #ReadThemAllThon is a read-a-thon hosted by Aentee with challenges based on the gym badges from Pokémon. All you really have to know, is summed up in a few points:

Starts: August 14
Duration: 3 weeks
Ends: September 4
Sign-ups: until it’s over
Gym badges to win: 8

For more information, you can check out Aentee’s info post. I also want to stress out that the header and the images with badges/challenges used in this post, are all created by Aentee herself.

Earning CP

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Pokémon based read-a-thon, if you couldn’t choose a Pokémon to combat with. Each Pokémon starts with 10CP. When you reach 15OCP, your Pokémon will evolve. If you have a three stage Pokémon, it can evolve again at 400CP.

Here’s a list on how to earn CP:

Finish a book: +20CP
Write a review: +20CP
Every 10 pages you read: +1CP
Photo of book + Pokémon Go Pokémon: +5CP
Tweet under #ReadThemAllThon: +2CP/tweet
Evolving: +50CP

Fennekin, I choose you!

I had to think long and hard for my Pokémon. I immediately knew I wanted a Fire type one though. I’ve always considered that my element (never have to fear of being cold!). For a long time I considered Eevee but…I wanted something different. And tadaa, enter Fennekin! It also helps (s)he is a fox and I happen to like foxes! Besides, doesn’t (s)he look adorable?!

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Name: Fennekin

Type: Fire

Species: Fox Pokémon

Stages: 3

Next evolution: Braixen

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I’ve chosen Starters by Lissa Price. This book was sent to me by Yureka Books and it looked so good that I kind of needed an excuse to read this asap!

Genre: Dystopian, YA
Pages: 336

 

readthemallthon-badge02-cascaderOne of my best friends was reading this book, telling me how it destroyed one of her friends and when asked if it would make me cry, the answer was, yes, it might. Oh goodie! Or saddie. Hmm.

Genre: Historical, Mythology
Pages: 352

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Each time I come across a new bookblogger or booktuber, Maggie Stiefvater’s been mentioned. I’ve always been curious but felt reluctant to begin, afraid that the hype would ruin it. Despite of being scared of the cover (birds, brr – raven, even worse!) I thought, why not?

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 408

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From the entire bunch, I’m looking most forward to reading this one. My copy feels so good in my hands and I love how the summary intrigued me. I have to admit I couldn’t restrain myself from reading the first page earlier this week and why does it feel like this person is ME?! Not sure if that’s a good thing, considering the first few sentences! Ah well, we’re all a bit nuts in the head, aren’t we? Otherwise life would be so dull!

Genre: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 444

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I admire Carrie Hope Fletcher. She’s young, energetic and goes after her dreams. So when the challenge said to read a book with an epic romance, and the cover saying how it’s “a love story like no other…” I figured this might as well be the excuse to indulge myself into her first fiction!

Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 340

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For this one, I decided on reading a book I have had on a loan for quite a while now. *coughs* two yearsdid you say something? No. Good. Anyway, I’d like to see what the hype is all about and it’s supposed to be good, having dragons and everything.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 441

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This was so hard! Apparently, I don’t have a lot of books with yellow on the cover (booktube-a-thon thingy) nor with red! The one book I had with a red cover was Me Before You, which, if you’ve read my previous post, is something I already read in July. AH. So I had to buy a new book. And since Yureka Books helped me to go wild with The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, I thought it wouldn’t harm to buy the second book in the series. And she’s wearing a red dress on the cover. It’s a win-win, really. Something tells me the purpose of read-a-thons is to kill that TBR pile. Not to supply yourself with more books. Shut up.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 400

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Oh my. I thought I had NOTHING to add to the “post-apocalyptic settings” challenge of this read-a-thon but thankfully, I have yet another book on loan – and yes before you say anything on how long I’ve got it, it’s just as long as Eragon – and I vaguely remember how the world had been taken over by Rabids-slash-zombies in the first book of the series and it contained vampires and the mc had to break into abandoned houses and find food in tins. If these zombies aren’t  post-apocalyptic, then nothing is. Just saying.

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 434

What are you reading in August? Have you joined any challenges? 

Summer of Series: June

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve challenged myself to read one series a month for Summer of Series hosted by Danielle and Lili and for June, it was The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Although I already knew that I would struggle with the series (after reading the first book last year) I didn’t expect it to continue, believing that once I got into the story, it would be fine. At some point, and to some extent, it was fine – but that doesn’t erase the general “this-is-not-my-thing” feeling that I carried along throughout the series.

What’s The Iron Fey series about?

Continue reading Summer of Series: June

The Summer of Series Challenge

The summer months have arrived and I’m preparing myself for my three weeks holiday in July. Reading will be a huge part of my break and of course, reading is so much more enjoyable when joining a challenge (or two/three/four?). I’ve decided to join the Summer of Series challenge this year, hosted by Danielle from Love at First Page and Lili from Lili’s Reflections.

This summer challenge is to encourage us readers to finish those book series that have been on our TBR shelf for as long as we can remember. The full explanation and requirements can be found here. What’s even more fun, it’s open to everyone! Even tiny Belgium can participate. I’ve experienced quite a lot of bumps on the ride being not a UK/US citizen this year (boo) so I’m thrilled I can join the fun for a change. My gratitude to the ladies!

All I need to do is read and complete a series with a minimum of three books each summer month and if I feel like adding more books that are part of a series to my TBR pile, I can. So without further ado, let me talk you through the series I’ve chosen to read this summer.

Continue reading The Summer of Series Challenge