Thoughts on productivity

A picture of the tent that a couple of dances have been held in the past two weeks – most recently, homecoming last night. Though this is from that first dance two weeks ago, the setup is the same.

Time management is not something I’m especially good at. In fact, I have a tendency to push myself too hard and too far, without taking a break, and then things aren’t pretty.

Of course, sometimes outside circumstances create the need to push oneself too hard and too far – without even being able to take the time for a break.

Continue reading “Thoughts on productivity”

“Hidden Monster” review

I don’t have a picture of this book, since this is another one I read on kindle! So here’s a picture of one of the trails around my college campus. Learn more about this book here.

Another kindle book (that I actually read over the summer): Hidden Monster, by Amanda Strong. It’s a young adult novel, which I usually shy away from (because of the obscene amounts of romance that tend to characterize this genre), but I thought I’d give it a try.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5 stars. Surprisingly.

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Samantha Campbell loves to run, as an escape from her life. At least, until she’s abducted one morning and wakes up bound to a mattress. Her masked captor repeatedly injects her and promises that one day, she’ll love him.

Unexpectedly freed, Samantha returns home, intent on guarding her heart – especially since her captor is still out there. This becomes more difficult when she meets her new neighbor, eighteen-year-old Blake Knightley. When she starts to experience strange changes, she realizes her captor may have left her more damaged than she originally thought. Ending up turning to Blake for help, Samantha must discover who the monster really is and what he’s done to her. Continue reading ““Hidden Monster” review”

Comfort reading

Hey! Let’s discuss books. More specifically, those books you always come back to and read over and over and over again. The ones that bring you joy and happiness and leave you with a lovely sense of contentment.

Those books make up my comfort reading.

Earlier I posted a short list of books that fall in this category for me (maybe not so short – some of those were series. Actually, I think most of them were series… I guess that just means I like to read series?). You can find that (relatively short) post here.

And, naturally, there are a couple of simple guidelines for how I choose my comfort books:

Continue reading “Comfort reading”

Life bubble 2

Hello! It’s been about four weeks’ worth of classes (and I’ve been on campus for a week longer than that, yikes…). And I still have yet to come up with a consistent posting schedule! I really should get on that.

Anyway, as I continue settling in and adjusting to classes, I’ve gotten better at balancing work and play. That’s partly because I have to – most days I spend a good amount of time not in my room, either in class or at work.

I don’t think I’ve talked about my campus job yet! I’m working in the library – the actual title of my position is “stacks maintenance clerk”. My name-tag says “student library assistant”, which is a more accurate description. I spend most of my time processing books (which has slowed down a lot since it’s no longer the start of the semester). Working with books is hard sometimes, since I’m easily distracted by interesting titles and covers.

This is the outside of the main library on campus, where I work:

Miller Library

There are three libraries – there’s a music library and a science library, and then the main one. I still haven’t actually been inside the music or science libraries… I should go check them out sometime.

Aside from work, classes are going well! I had a couple of midterms this past week that went fairly well (especially for first actual tests in college) and I’ve joined a philosophy club run by my philosophy professor (or at least, I went to the first meeting. It was a lot of fun!).

This weekend, the college has arranged for students to go apple picking at a nearby apple farm – my friends and I are going to go. It should be lots of fun, especially since I love apples.

I don’t really have much to say this week – so I hope your week went well! Have a great weekend!

Inventing stories

Apologies for not posting this past week! Life’s been pretty hectic, as I adjust to classes and working (I have a campus job!). As I settle in, I’m hoping to have a more regular schedule.

Anyway, here are some thoughts on inventing stories.

When it comes to writing story lines, I seem to work a little differently every time. Sometimes, I invent the world first, and characters who fit in that world simply come to me (or I work at developing them). Other times, I create characters first, and they world they live in evolves as I figure out what their story is. Generally, the character comes first, with a snippet of their world as backstory, and I go from there.

The hard part is actually coming up with an idea. There isn’t really a good way to do it – and there isn’t a good way to regularly come up with ideas. Continue reading “Inventing stories”

When being sick is useful

I know the title doesn’t make sense, but bear with me. It’ll make sense.

I’m borrowing an instrument from my college so I can play in the wind ensemble. I play bass clarinet. Here is the instrument I’m borrowing from the school:

The college’s bass clarinet.

I borrowed it a few days ago (sans mouthpiece, since the band director couldn’t find the one that went with the rest of the instrument). The other day I went into the music building to retrieve the mouthpiece – the band director bought a new one – and I told him that I was slightly worried about playing because I’m getting a bit sick. At that time, it was all in my throat – fortunately, it’s not really sore anymore. Continue reading “When being sick is useful”

Life bubble 1

Life has been pretty hectic since classes started! And I, naturally, have been doing a lot of thinking as I work on adjusting to college life.

The picture above is from my college campus – that’s Johnson Pond. It’s on the far side from me, but, going to a small school, that isn’t actually too far away. I can walk there in a bit over ten minutes. It takes about half that time to get to my first class, and the nearest dining hall is actually in my dorm building. When that’s closed, the next nearest is only a couple minutes away.

As I’m experiencing independence (and adjusting to it), here are some thoughts I’ve had during the week:

  1. Classes are fun! So far, I’m really enjoying them. Especially my Latin American history class – more on that later.
  2. Lab periods are really long… which will definitely take some getting used to.
  3. Doors get slammed. A lot. Especially since the doors in my dorm building are really heavy – so if you just let go, they’ll slam.
  4. It’s important to not do homework all the time. I knew this already, but it really sank in the first few days of classes.

Continue reading “Life bubble 1”

Moving past writer’s block

Have you ever been at a point where you’re just stuck and can’t think of what to write – and everything you do write sounds terrible?

Yeah. I’m at that point right now. But I’ve been here before so I know how to get out of it! And I thought I’d share that here.

It’s usually called writer’s block. And I guess I do think of it as writer’s block, though I know I’ve heard other names for it.

There’s really not much to be done about it except powering through and continuing to write. Write even though you think your work is awful. Write whatever random things are in your head. Keep working on your current project – just keep adding words. Chances are, your writing isn’t horrible, and you can always go back and edit. Don’t edit until later, though.

The other option is to take a break. It’s okay to not work on your current project for a few days. Sometimes, breaks are helpful. Over the summer, I took a month off of writing a project – I just wasn’t feeling inspired and needed a break from that one. I wrote another story in that time, and went back to it after a month. And surprise, I was feeling inspired and was able to finish that other project.

That won’t work if you’re writing towards a deadline. For a deadline, it makes more sense to just plow through and revise and edit later.

Right now, I haven’t been pushing myself too hard to find something new to start – college classes start soon! – but I have been looking. My fingers start to itch if I’m not writing something, so I’ll most likely start something new when I find something that speaks to me. (I will discuss inspiration and musings some other time.)

Good luck, and happy writing!

Thoughts on social media usage

As I prepare for college, there’s a (somewhat long) list of things I need to get done. One of those things I have to do for orientation this fall is a “first class” assignment. It’s something that first-years have to do, as a sort of preparation for college classes.

My first class assignment is about digital anxiety and social media usage. Since I have to write an essay for this first class, I thought I’d also share my thoughts on the subject here.

I have an interesting relationship with social media. It’s not something I’m terribly interested in, but it is something I have to live with. Social media is widespread and unavoidable, it seems, in this day and age. It took me a while to even get a Facebook account – I didn’t create one until high school. (Likewise for my other social media accounts – not until high school. I preferred my books and writing for entertainment, and still do.) Continue reading “Thoughts on social media usage”

“The Ice Maiden” review

I don’t have a picture of this book, since I read it on kindle. Find out more about this book here.

Recently I read The Ice Maiden by B. D. Smith. It was an interesting book, especially since I don’t typically read murder mysteries, and I liked it okay.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5 stars. Mostly for plot.

Summary

Detective Doug Bateman partners with newly arrived Anne Quinn to solve a homicide in central Maine. As they research the murder of the young woman, it becomes clear that the killer is playing an elaborate, deadly game with them. The killer continues to abduct, torture, and murder young women as Doug and Anne struggle to catch him, showing off his superior intellect; as they investigate, it slowly becomes clear that there might be a deeper purpose behind the homicides. Continue reading ““The Ice Maiden” review”