the book tag.

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{for le blog aesthetic // not mine}

My lovely friend Eva over at Coffee, Classics, and Craziness tagged me in this wonderful book tag and I decided to do it!  (I rarely do tags, not because I don’t like them, but because I usually forget.  Keep tagging me, guys!  One of these days I’ll remember to do them.  XD)

Rules
You must be honest.
You must answer all the questions.
You must tag at least 4 people.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
I’m gonna have to go with the trilogy of E.B. White books my godfather got for me when I was a baby, or Spy for the Confederacy, which I’m pretty sure is the very first book I ever bought myself.  It was on a shelf at a homeschooling convention, and little eight-year-old me, with such a massive love of both spies and the Civil War, decided to buy it.  I still love it.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
Current read: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.  Oh my gosh, where has this book been all of my life?!  I would’ve liked it a lot when I was a little younger, but I’m super glad I found it now.  It’s about spies and forbidden teen love and it’s just so great.  10/10.
Last read: Always a Bridesmaid For Hire by Jen Glantz.  I enjoyed most of it, as it’s probably a good overview of what my life will look like for the next few years (minus the business part).  See my review here.
Next read: The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker.  The plot sounds great and I’m always looking for random books to try out.  Plus, that cover tho.  *heart eyes emoji*

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
I try not to hate books, but I really didn’t like The DUFF or Eleanor and Park (which, arguably, was only my second RR book, and I’m planning on rereading it again in the future to see if my opinion has changed).  I also greatly despise a lot of those conservative purity books that I got pulled into when I was younger – So Much More and Before You Meet Prince Charming, for instance.  (I’ll write a post about it in the future if y’all want to read my ranty opinion, but the short of it is that a girl isn’t a sub-helpmeet for her dad and should be free to decide, with guided wisdom from authorities, what to do with her life – and, yeah, that includes moving out, getting a job, and going to college if she feels like that’s God’s will for her life.  These books basically tell girls that their only biblical place is in the home, under her father’s authority, until she gets married.  I know young women aged 25-30 who still live with their parents, uneducated and jobless.  Do. Not. Like.)

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
My goal in life is to READ ALL THE BOOKS, but there are probably a few that I’ll never get around to – the other Mitch Rapp books (unless they’re made into more movies bc Dylan O’Brien tho), and various classics that I have no interest in.

5. What book are you saving for retirement?
What’s retirement???  I’ve got a few books that I’ve been stockpiling for when we move into our internet-less house, including Les MisTumble Fall, Everything Leads to You, The Unexpected Everything, Illuminae, and The Infinite Moment of Us – all of which I’ve gotten recently specifically for this move.  (Except for Illuminae, which a friend sent me.  Oh, and Les Mis, which has sat, in all it’s bricklike, unabridged glory on my shelf for about six years.  I’ll get to it.)

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?
I AIN’T ABOUT THAT SPOILER LIFE, FAM.  If the wind flips pages forward and I see stuff that hasn’t happened yet, I get all annoyed and heartbroken and achy inside and question whether or not I want to even finish the book.  Last-page-readers are sub-human and will not survive the winter or the zombie apocalypse.

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
I adore acknowledgments.  Probably because I’m a writer, but I just love seeing who has influenced the author.  It’s so much fun to also get a sneak peek into their life and the little inside jokes they have with people they thank.  Plus, it’s a great way to find agents to pester to represent my book.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Hermione Granger or someone from The Berinfell Prophecies, preferably whoever kisses Jimmy, whom I’ve had a crush on for the last eight years, with absolutely no sign of ceasing.  Or maybe Jo March, since I’m already basically her already.  (I’d say yes to Laurie in a heartbeat.  Screw whatever’s “supposed to happen,” to quote Eliza Schuyler-Hamilton, “THAT BOY IS MIIIIIINE!”)

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
Oh heck yes.  I can’t read Fangirl without thinking of the porch swing at my grandparents’ house where I inhaled it for the first time, or The Final Storm without remembering literally chucking it against a wall in my room while screaming “NO!” and sobbing, or The List without flashbacks to remembering the skiing trip where I was first introduced to Robert Whitlow (and remembering that a friend of mine gave me a signed copy of it because he met Robert), or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone without thinking of all the minds I’d blow by reading it, or The Scarlet Pimpernel without thinking, “This is a classic???  And I’m ENJOYING IT???”  Every single book holds memories for me, and sometimes I reread books just to revisit the memories surrounding them.  True story.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
Besides the previous story about a book personally signed to me by Robert Whitlow (*heart eyes emoji*), I think the next most interesting story is the story behind A Thief in the Theater: A Kit Mystery.  Yes, that Kit.  Ever since a good friend had gotten to go to the American Girl store in NYC back when I was like ten, I’d always dreamed of going.  So when my dad took me to NYC for my high school graduation, the American Girl store was one of the first things on our to-do list.  I walked out of that store with that book and two t-shirts (one for me and one for my doll, of course) with PRIDE.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
All of my books are my precious babies, but I did buy three copies of If You Find This Letter to write in and give to people as Christmas presents.  Still one of the best gifts I’ve ever given someone.  That book is literally life-changing.  Read it.

12. Which book has been with you most places?
Probably Fangirl or The Martian.  When I was reading them (and then rereading both), I couldn’t put them down.  Even when I wasn’t reading them, they had to be by my side, in my “mommy purse.”  Other than that, I’m gonna have to go with Eva’s answer and say my Bible.  It’s been on almost all of my vacations, plus all over Charlotte when I did summer missions.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
I was never a classics person when I was younger, which I’m not ashamed of, especially since I’m able to come to them now, for the first time, with an adult mindset that I didn’t have when I was younger.  For instance, a friend and I were talking the other day about girls who got into Austen when they were teenagers and loved them purely for the romance – which is fine, but I’m so happy I’m able to see past the romance and enjoy Jane for her satire and wit, not to mention her feminism and the fact that she was so far ahead of her time.

14. Used or brand new?
Used that looks brand new.  I prefer cheap books, and if I can find a new copy of a book for $5, I’ll absolutely get it.  I like my books in pristine condition and will pay a few extra dollars to get a new book over a used one, but I’m blessed with knowing a few different places to get cheap, beautiful used books.  (*cough* 2nd and Charles, where I got 2 books, a movie, and the first season of Graceland for $14 the other day *cough*)

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
Nope!  I’m vaguely interested in The Da Vinci Code, though!

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
Mockingjay.  I thought Part 2 did a great job of fixing the problems in the book.

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?
Are you kidding; every book makes me hungry.  There are a few books that make me especially hungry, though, including The Little Women Letters and Harry Potter.  (One word: BUTTERBEER).

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
Cait (Paper Fury).  I adore her.  Plus, she’s so incredibly sweet and friendly – it seriously feels like we’re friends whenever she replies to my comments on her reviews.  Read all of the posts on her website.  She’s hilarious, too, and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?
Classics are a recent pleasure, thanks to the Lit courses I took in college (how is that past tense already it feels like i just started college i can’t evennnnnn) that made me study quite a few classics.  (we’re talking 50+, 12 of which I read and wrote essays on in two months.  college is hard, y’all.)  I’ve also started really enjoying memoirs, thanks to Unbroken and If You Find This Letter.  People are fascinating.

Alrighty, I tag all of my followers who want to do it either in the comments or on their own blogs, especially Jessica and Katelyn.  ❤

The June Crusade Tag!!

This tag looks like a fun one!! Anne gave me questions to ask my characters, and they’re going to answer. (Let’s see how crazy this gets….)


I’m going to do this with my two main characters (yes, you CAN have two main characters – “I believe I just did.”), Nikki (15) and Alec (17).


(FYI, they’re brother and sister. Clearing up a little boyfriend/girlfriend rumor that’s going around…..)


Do you want a hug?
Nikki: Yes, please. All of this nonsense you’ve put us through has made me feel in need of a hug!
Alec: You? Hug… me? A writer hugging a character?! Talk about weird… I think four thousand words in three hours made you a little… um…. Oh, look, a shiny quarter!


Do you have any kids?
Nikki: No way!
Alec: Silly girl. You should know – you invented me.
Me: Heehee… that’s true…


Have you killed anyone?
Nikki: No… unless hating counts…
Me: I don’t think that’s what Anne-girl meant.
Nikki: Then no. And I don’t plan on it. Even though I feel like seriously wounding Liam and Kylie…
Me: Watch it, Nick. Alec?
Alec: Nope. Next question.


Love anyone?
Nikki: Besides Alec and Dad? No. Although… you’ve made Dylan start being friends with me and that’s totally weird.
Me: I’ll make him leave for a Christmas vacation.
Nikki: Thanks.
Me: Alec?
Alec: That’s a personal question.
Me: I already know who you love.
Alec: That’s because you’re the writer. Duh!


What is your job?
Nikki: Oh, great. Um, I don’t have a job. I’m a sister and a competitive ice dancer… very competitive.
Me: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
Nikki: Just wait til Nationals. *rubs hands gleefully* Liam and Kylie are in for it.
Me: I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow…. Alec?
Alec: My job? I don’t have a job, either. I’m Nikki’s brother.


What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Nikki: I think you had me going to Natalie’s house. Or… um… something else. I was talking to Kate.
Me: Yeah, you were. No idea what you’re doing next.
Nikki: Oh, great. That’s just perfect. So I have to decide for myself?
Me: That’s about it. Yeah.
Nikki: Then I’ll take a nap.
Alec: I’m going to talk to Dylan. (Purple shotguns, heehee…)
Me: You can’t talk about purple shotguns yet! That’s later! With Nikki, remember?
Alec: How am I supposed to remember it if it’s later?!
*crickets*
Me: Good point.


What is your greatest fear?
Nikki: Personal much?!
Me: Well, it’s on the list! Be a good girl and answer, please.
Nikki: Ugh, fine. My greatest fear is that *whispers* Alec won’t remember something.
Alec: Huh?
Me: I know what she’s talking about, and you’re not supposed to… yet. Your greatest fear?
Alec: That I won’t be able to remember anything.
Me: You’ll remember.
Alec: Really? Ooh, goody – spoilers direct from the author!
Nikki: Oh, shush!! Don’t tell him any more! Next question!


What do you think of your parents?
Nikki: I love Dad a lot, and I loved Mom a lot. Didn’t I just tell Kylie how much she meant to me?
Me: Yeah. That was good. *high five* You, Alec?
Alec: Well, at this point in my life, I have no idea who my parents are. (No idea who I am, actually.) So I can’t really say what I think of them.
Me: This is a sad question. Thanks for making me tear up. Moving on.


Any siblings?
Nikki: *coughs*
Alec: Um…. Didn’t you say that you were my sister?
Nikki: Yeah.
Alec: Then we’re siblings.


Eye color?
Nikki: Um…. *runs to a mirror*
Alec: What about it?
Me: What color are your eyes? Don’t be difficult, Alec.
Alec: Who’s being difficult? I’m just asking. Goodness. I always thought that my eyes were red, but I think they’re green.
Me: No, they’re not. They’re brown. Nikki, yours are blue.
Nikki: *comes back* Okay, thanks.


Are you good or bad?
Nikki: I have my good moments, and I have my bad moments. I’m a sinner saved by the grace of God.
Me: Good answer! Alec?
Alec: Uh…. From what I gather from Nikki’s conversations with Natalie that I’ve read –
Nikki: Hey!
Alec: – I was mostly bad. But I’m working on myself. Being good and all.
Nikki: He’s more like the old Alec now… and that’s great.


Favorite season?
Nikki: Winter. I can practice on ice better than I can on roller-skates.
Alec: I don’t know. Summer, I guess?


Who’s your best friend?
Nikki: Natalie Fraser. Hands down.
Me: Did you know that she was named after Hadley Fraser?
Nikki: You’re weird. Been watching too much of the 25th Phantom?
Me: No. Well…. I think I named Natalie right after I found out that Hadley was in the 25th Les Miserables. *coughs*
Alec: That’s disgusting. I thought you liked Sir Percy!
Me: Who I like is of NO concern to you. (Although you are correct – Sir Percy is farther up on my heroes list than Hadley because Hadley isn’t a hero. He just has a really good voice and does an amazing Raoul and a deep Grantaire. Moving on.) Who’s your best friend?
Alec: I’ve recently discovered that Dylan was my best friend. (Unless Allie counts….)
Me: No, she doesn’t.


Hobbies?
Nikki: I love ice dancing. And watching period drama films – you discovered that a few days ago. (Beating carpets?)
Alec: I don’t know what I like, heehee, so I’ll just say that I’ve liked reading whatever book I’m reading right now. You never named it, did you?
Me: Uh, no…. Wait!! The List by Robert Whitlow.
Alec: Oh, yeah! It’s good. Intense and suspenseful – isn’t that what I said?
Me: Yeah.


Do you care what others think of you?
Nikki: Yeah. More than I should, probably. I’m an introvert, and that probably doesn’t help much.
Alec: Sort of. Right now I’m just trying to figure out what I think of me.


Was this interview fun?
Nikki: Yeah, I guess so. It was a good break from all of that nonsense you’ve put me through.
Me: Deepest apologies. Alec?
Alec: *yawns* Yeah, but it’s made me tired. I’m ready to go home.
Nikki: Me, too. Can we go home now?
Me: Yeah, whenever I have time to write it.
Nikki: Good. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Alec: Me, neither. Hopefully I’ll remember soon….?
Me: We’ll see. I’ve been getting a little long-winded, heehee.


Wow, that was fun! Now for a little break before I start at it again. I just passed 35k this morning – woot! – and can’t wait to finish!


BUT! Due to some news my family got on Wednesday, I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish my novel in time. We might have to take a sudden, long trip. (Exciting, exciting!!!) Any prayer would be great and appreciated! I’ll have more news whenever I get more!


~Eowyn~

The June Crusade Tag Questions

Before I answer these, let me just say….

AGHHHHH!!!!! PANIC!!!!! I’m not NEARLY done and we’re ALREADY at WEEK THREE!!! *pulls hair out* AGHHHH!!!!!

Okay. Whew. Thanks. Moving on…

1. What is your word count now?
18,021 words. Ouch… Well, I’m going to keep working at it and not let a little number like that get me down….

I’m doomed…

2. What is your favorite paragraph so far?
Ooh… good question. Hmm… I think I’m going to have to say this one, on page three. : )

(A little backstory…. My main character, Nikki, has just been talking to someone and her best friend, Natalie, is very surprised and can’t say a word.)

“What?” I asked. “Do I have something on my face?”
Natalie shook her head. “Dost mine eyes deceive me…?”
I rolled my eyes. “Nope.”
“You were actually talking to Dylan?! The cutest guy in school?!”
I folded my arms and nodded.
“And he talked to you?”
I nodded, then added, “Actually, he started the conversation.”
Natalie gasped and grabbed my arm. “I think I’m going to faint. Catch me, please.”
I rolled my eyes again. “Can I slap you, please?”
She smirked. “But it’s Dylan Bronson!”

3. When you are writing what is your favorite song to listen too? Not theme song for your book but favorite song for while you’re writing?
Song? Oh, my dear gracious, I don’t think I can pick a song. I think the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack is what I’m writing to the most. Very good writing music, that!

4. Do you love your villains or do you relish hating them?
I have two villains… well, three, but the third one doesn’t really count… Anyway, I really like them. I’m the one who loves the bad guys, remember? : )

5. What was your very first piece of free writing?
Oh, my stars… please don’t ask. Fine. I’ll tell you. The Greatest Adventure of the Summer. *blushes* It was a short story (five pages, to be exact) that I submitted *blushes again* to the American Girl Magazine for a contest. It’s about this girl whose father is the president and has to ransom him after he’s been kidnapped. With a grand total of $35 people. Not $35 million, just flat out $35. (An enormous sum of money when I was only ten, you guys!) I can’t believe I actually submitted it… I’ll have to type it up some day (spelling and grammar errors included) and post a little of it. It’ll be like Jane Austen’s Love and Freindship (sic). (If you guys haven’t read that, look it up. It is SOOO funny!)

6. What was your first completed piece of fiction?
Another juvenilia. The Christmas Wish, a short story that was completed when I was 12. It was about a girl whose mom and sisters die in a car crash right before Christmas and her dad gets remarried a while later. I forget most of it, and nothing will convince me to read it again for a while!!

7. What are some of the plot bunnies that you are being teased with right now?
Ooh, plot bunnies! Yay. Not so embarrassing… : ) Let me see… Well, I have a few novels started, but one actual official plot bunny is about a guy and a girl… I don’t have all of it right now. I’m also aching to start writing Aaron’s Journey again, but that won’t happen for a while – at least, not until I convince myself that I can write from a guy’s perspective again. : P

8. What is your strategy for writers block?
What’s that? Seriously, there is no such thing as writer’s block. (So I’ve heard…) My solution is to just re-read the past thousand words you’ve written and delete what you think has gotten you into a hole. I thought I had writer’s block a while ago, but I just asked myself what the focus of the chapter was and went on from there. (Also… I thought I had it this morning, but I realized it was time for a new chapter, so I skipped over to the next exciting part! Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon!)

9. If you could meet one famous author which one would you pick?

Wayne Thomas Batson or Robert Whitlow. *sigh* To think, I actually lived twenty minutes away from the latter at one point in my life…. *sigh* (Them, or the Baroness Orczy…. *sigh*)

10. Who is your favorite secondary character so far?
Natalie. : ) See the above paragraph. She’s so much fun to write! She’s so happy and bubbly, too. Ooh, and Dylan. : ) I really like writing him, too. (Alec isn’t a secondary character, or else I’d pick him!)

Well, that’s all! I’m thinking of posting excerpts… what say ye?

~Eowyn~

EDIT: Okay, so after I posted this I ran upstairs and started writing. After a slow start, I finally hit my stride and…

*cue Jurassic Park theme or Chariots of Fire theme or something big and awesome and monumentous (not a word, I know…)*

I just passed 20,000 words!!! WAHOO!!! There’s a light at the end of this tunnel!

INTO THE FIRE!!! (After a Little Dorrit break… watching it with my younger siblings – their first time… *rubs hands gleefully*)