Monday, October 26, 2015

Monthly Highlights: October 2015

Welcome again, everyone, to the monthly highlights on Forgotten Featherpen! Fall weather is fully settled in and I am Loving it. To all my college friends, I hope y'all came back from Fall Break refreshed and ready to tackle this second half of the semester. To my writing audience, I know a lot of you have NaNoWriMo on the brain. How are plans coming along for that? I'm kicking around ideas for actually trying to participate some this November. If you're new here, the monthly highlight is a post on the last Monday of every month were I review what's been going on here. We go back to glance at this month's posts, I share some highlights from my day-to-day, as well as writing progress and plans for next month. It's usually a lot of fun so I hope you enjoy yourself and drop a comment before you leave. Let's get started! 

The Blog

So what's been on the blog this month? Since it was a packed-out month I took the opportunity to dig into the collection of Tags I had sitting around in my Bookmarks. In The Unpopular Opinions Tag I got to enjoy being a bit negative and share my unpopular opinions on some books and the cliches we often find in them. I didn't get to do all the Tags I wanted, but that just means I can do more some other time! They're so much fun. 

In the Share Your Serenity Tag I got in touch with my romantic side and shared a collage of four images that brought me a sense of inner peace and serenity. The next week was super fun with The Tag of Happiness! All these tags are open to anyone and everyone, so if you haven't done them yourself feel free to take them on! Leave a comment with the link when you do so I can check out your blog! 

My plans for November's blog posts? I'm kicking around a few ideas. My Time to Fly and When Wings Grow Weary posts have generated a lot of interest so I may write more posts that share what I'm learning here at college. Besides that, I know I really want to do a post on writing for November. You'll have to come back and check it out! And hey, if you have any ideas about what I should do a post about feel free to let me know. 

My Life

Two words. Fall Break.

It was SO needed. I'm sure my college friends can relate to this. I was settling in great to college life but I'd reached a point where I just needed a break! And it was so wonderful. Just to summarize, I returned home to Virginia and went on all sorts of adventures with my family. They involved apple-picking, making apple pie, and enjoying the fall color. 

Coming back from these adventures was bittersweet. The result though was one refreshed girl, ready for some more learning! I've got a lot to keep me busy in this upcoming half of a semester. Midterms for one thing. I'm also hopefully taking part in an art project I'm very excited about. Writing is a thing that will happen too!

My Story

I used to be able to leave my writing notebook in the dorm for several hours at a time. Now I can't go one class period without it! Seriously, in every single class there's been tidbits that I have to write down in my novel notebook so I can remember them later. It doesn't even have to be related to my setting or theme. I pick up notes from General Psychology on how people can be conditioned by stimuli or exactly how long our short term memory holds things in storage. In Interpersonal Communication I write down what makes people attract friends or what makes them interesting in dialouge. And in FIne Arts? Don't even get me started! 

The short of it is, my new advice to every writer is to take your writing notebook or some equivalent with you wherever you go. You just never know what you'll need to write down in it for later. 

That's it for this month, everyone!
Have a Happy Monday! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Tag of Happiness!

Welcome Everyone! Last week I got in touch with my romantic side with the Share Your Serenity Tag. This week it's time for some simple fun with the Tag of Happiness! I picked it up from Adrianna @ The Librarian Files. You should check out her blog because it's pretty neat and has other cool tags. As always, I hope you all enjoy! I'm opening up this tag to anyone who would like to take it on. If you would though just leave a link to your post in the comments so I can come check it out! Let's get this going! 

Take the Banner and put it in your post

List as many things as you want in each category

Come up with more categories if you wish

Tag as many people as you want!

What makes me Happy?

What Songs make you Happy?

You don’t know You’re Beautiful
by One Direction
Haven't Met you Yet
by Michael Buble
He Knows My Name
by Francessa Battistelli
Sun & Moon
by Two Steps from Hell

What Books make you Happy?

by Edith Patou
Redwall Series
by Brian Jacques
The Ranger’s Apprentice
by John Flannagan
The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis

What Foods make you Happy? 

Lemon-heads (the original kind!) 
 Macaroni and Cheese
Strawberries (dipped in Chocolate)
Monkey Bread
Homemade Apple Pie

What Words make you Happy? 

(n.) meaning Freedom, Liberty
(n.) denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful
(n.) a tragic or fatal flaw
(n.) the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life
(adj.) unfamiliar, rare, strange, and yet marvelous
(adj.) wandering alone
(n.) the scent of rain on dry earth
(n.) a haunter of the woods, one who loves the forest and its beauty and solitude

What Scents make you Happy? 

Fall scents
 fresh bread
earl grey tea

What Movies make you Happy? 

Sleepless in Seattle
You’ve Got Mail
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Jane Eyre
(notice they’re all chick flicks!) 

Beauty and the Beast

Some Random Things that make you Happy?

Getting Mail! 
Waking up refreshed
Getting hugs 
Watching anime with friends
Shopping for disney/fandom stuff when I have no money to spend! 

Well, that's all for now! If you enjoyed this post, consider taking on the Tag yourself and spreading some of the happiness. Just don't forget to leave a comment below to let me know you did a post for it. Happy Monday Everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Share Your Serenity

Those moments when I experience a sense of serenity are few. Those pockets where time and space extend forever beyond the horizon sing to my soul. Moments where I find stillness. Where life is at once perfect and beautiful. Most often the only place I can record such things is in my private journals. Recently though, when I came across the #shareyourserenity tag on The Quiet People, I saw the opportunity to share my moments of serenity with you and have the chance to hear yours as a bonus. 

The #shareyourserenity blog post invites you to post a collage of four photos that help you feel a state of peacefulness. Then share why those four things resonate with you. 

1. The Frosted Rose over a Mountain View

     Roses hold a very special place in my heart. Since I was a little girl I've always associated them with my favorite love story: Beauty and the Beast. I've wanted roses present in my own Tale as Old as Time, whenever it comes around. Roses hold the resonance of classical love and beauty. When I hold one, smell one, or touch the petals, I am immediately soothed in my soul. 

    The cold mountain view brings a sense of stillness and silence. I and the cold have always been friends. She invites me to stand still and listen to the fullness of open space around me. I breathe deep the icy air and watch my breath rise in a cloud. Oh yes, the cold and I are dear friends.

2. Fall Leaves after the Rain

    If the cold is that companion of mine that causes me to be still and listen, then Fall calls to me to journey, and the rain beckons me to hurry on to those things I love most. The colors of Fall make me smile. I walk out of my dorm to be greeted by the brisk air and the vibrant colors of the hills. I can't help it! I smile like I'm seeing an old friend after a long absence. 

   I do welcome a pleasant rain shower here and there. If it comes in the fall it's even better. The soothing sound of the rain is so beautiful. And I become thankful for umbrellas, for short walks, and for warm, dry rooms to return to. 

3. Waking Up to the Morning Light

   Ah, Sleep. So often the love of sleep is equated with sloth. The Bible has some things to say about that and I'm fully in agreement that I shouldn't become a lazy person. But haven't you ever thought of how like a gift sleep is? After days of toil, we are given rest as a reward. Settling into a well-known bed and sighing as you lay down on a cool pillow? Ah. There's nothing so rewarding as that sensation! 

   A good night's sleep is something I look forward to as my reward after every day. Waking up however, can be a hit or miss experience. Sometimes you wake up instantly annoyed by that intrusive alarm. Your body wakes you up before your mind feels rested. Or you feel like you just closed your eyes a moment ago, and the whole break is over far too soon. But sometimes, in the best of mornings, you wake up to a ray of morning sunlight. It's a brand new day, with no mistakes in it yet. That should bring a smile to your morning. 

4. Handwritten Letters

   Handwritten letters, no matter who they are from, are the best gifts in the world. It really means a lot to me when I get letters in the mail. They bring me a sense of serenity because, to me, they're a piece of the person. The texture of the envelope, all the bumps and bruises from it's journey to my mailbox tell a story. The sound of the opening and unfolding letter bring a sense of anticipation. An anticipation to read the within message that never comes when I'm just opening a text from a friend. Call it old-fashioned and hopelessly romantic if you will. But getting letters in the mail bring a shining shaft of serenity to my day. 

What four pictures sum up your serenity? What makes you feel calm, content, and happy all at once? I'm opening up this tag for anyone who would like to pass it along. Only when you do, I invite you to leave a link down below in the comments so I can come and see your Share Your Serenity Tag as well. Have fun with it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Unpopular Opinions Tag

Okay okay, I was not officially tagged for this post. But the amazing Annika Smith @ Writer and Proud opened up the tag to everyone! So how could I resist? Plus, I needed something fun to work on this week what with all the rain we’ve been having. What’s more fun than sharing my unpopular opinions on books? Sharing my unpopular opinions on movies! We’ll get a bit of both in this tag so let’s get too it. 

A popular Book/Series you Didn’t Like

The Inheritance Series

This series only got worse. I can say this because I grew up as these books were coming out. Paolini was cool because he was a homeschooler and wrote fantasy about elves and riding dragons! But as I got older and broadened my reading horizons I realized how….how horrible the writing was. Paolini should really have waited until he matured a bit before subjecting us to his Star Wars/ Lord of the Rings mash-up. I think if he had infused his story with a bit more original flair it would have been a stellar story. By Eldest I was already sick of the story. I had to very literally force myself to finish the series just so I could bring the “plot” to a conclusion in my mind and be done with it. 

A Popular Book/Series Everyone Hates but I Love

I thought I would despise this book. Thankfully I was entirely wrong about it. Yes, it’s an older book and it’s not written to please our modern, short attention spans. And yet the language of this book, the depth and the symbolism, not to mention the historical satire, are phenomenal. I’ve only read it once so far but I’m looking forward to reading it again soon. 

A Love Triangle where the Protagonist Ended up with the Person you didn’t want them to be with. 

To be honest, I make a habit of avoiding books that are known for their love triangles. However, I have accidentally ended up seeing the movies so I’ll complain about the love triangles in them. 

The Host was messed up on so many levels. Two girls want two boys so it’s technically a love square? So there’s Wanda and she’s stuck in Melanie’s body. Mel likes this guy Jared and so naturally Wanda likes him too. But this Ian fellow loves Wanda. Now Wanda starts crushing on Ian even though Melanie hates his guts. Now both boys are fighting over both girls who for a time are stuck in one body. I told you it was messed up. I didn’t want the protagonist(s) to end up with anyone after all that. Singleness ain’t that bad people. 

Eh. The Hunger Games. Katniss and her indecisiveness. I read the first two books and watched all the movies so far. Every time I see it I keep thinking this story would be a hundred times better if that love triangle wasn’t there! 

A popular genre you hardly read

I might watch the movies because…well they’re there. But I don’t usually read the books. They all seem very cookie-cutter. On the whole, they are rather unoriginal as well. Another disaster has struck earth leaving it mangled with the exception of icon city ruins that are amazingly still structurally sound. A one-world, dictator-centered government has organized the population into clans, districts, guilds, tribes….you get the idea. The whole crux of the story is about teens being forced to do something (the plight of every modern teen) and finding a group of peers to survive the plot with. Along the way will be a hot boy or girl who is the perfect match for our protag and they amazingly survive the ordeal together. You know what might actually be original here? If the fat preteen survived. MazeRunner anyone? I really thought that kid might make it. I think he should have. 

A popular/beloved character you dislike

 Katniss Everdeen - Divergent Girl who looks like Katniss - Host Katniss who wears her hair down

Is anyone else seeing a pattern in these three dystopian heroines? Or is that just me? They’ve all got the same expression! Not to mention pretty much the same looks. On a surface level I can enjoy each of these girls as characters because they provide entertainment when I have nothing better to do. On a more fundamental level they each annoy me. Would it kill them to focus on the problem more than the one or more guys there are interested in? Was Joan of Arc hung up on a guy during her military missions? Didn’t think so. 

A popular author you can’t seem to get into

Sarah J Maas and her Throne of Glass series. I’ve been hearing good things about these books but I just haven’t had the time to bury myself in it yet. It’s been too long before I got into a real fantasy. Brings back memories from when I role played on a forum with elves and alchemists and other fun stuff. If anyone out there would like to recommend or discourage me from reading the books then say so in the comments! 

 A popular trope you’re tired of reading

Missing Parents

I don’t want to bash every story where the parents are missing. But let’s face it, those stories are everywhere. On the one hand, this trope adds something to the character’s backstory and motivation. I can really understand it’s worth. It sets the protagonist apart  from the norm which is a good thing most of the time. But seriously people!? Not every hero in every book has to be an orphan or have absent parents to be awesome. 

Instant love with a hottie

How can I say this best? There’s this thing called real life, and in real life instant attraction to a hottie is real. Instant love? No. Ain’t no such thing and it gets old real fast when I read about it in every new book I pick up. What I crave are models of real-ish relationships that actually grow over time. Huge respect goes out to authors who take the time to plot out a relationship like this. 

The Love Triangle

Ughhhh. Again, this doesn’t happen in real life! If it does you have serious communication/decision-making issues and you need some time to figure out who you are as a person before dealing with all that drama. Singleness hasn’t killed a character yet! I’d love to see more characters in books who stay single for legitimate reasons. Anime has this down-pat, why can’t books keep up??

A popular series you have no interest in reading

Harry Potter 

Don’t throw things at me just yet. I’ve watched all the movies and I actually grew attached to the characters. I thought they were well rounded and showed great growth through the series. And yet….I have no real urge to read the books. Call me lazy if you want but there it is. 

Game of Thrones

I’d never even heard of the series until the show came out. In the first few seconds I was all “How awesome is this? A fantasy show with real drama mixed in with a political theme!” And then the nudity. And the blood. And the nudity again. Nope. Lost all interest in the series after that and haven’t even had the desire to try and go through the books. 

A show/movie/adaptation you liked better than the book

The Hobbit Movies

*prepares to be hit with rotten tomatoes and sharp objects*  Don’t kill me till I’ve explained myself! I am a huge fan of the book and the Lord of the Rings book series. Usually, I’m a purist when it comes to movie adaptations to books. Lately though I’m been taking a more lenient view on it. Movies are an art medium just like everything else. With each medium, you have to adjust the story to fit well into the chosen medium. Considering what they had to work with, I really enjoyed the characters and development of the three Hobbit movies. That terrible river scene that looked like a video game though? That could have easily been deleted. On the whole, I think it stands well alone from the book and with it. Just like the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.  

A popular style of cover that you can’t stand

Women randomly Posing

This sort of cover instantly lets me know that a majority of the book is going to be about a) a girl with issues. b) a romance. c) a shallow, shallow plot. So if I pick up a book with this sort of cover I’ll usually just put it back on the shelf. 


Enough of this already! Not only is it super creepy, but it’s overused and entirely unoriginal. You’re not the Eye of Sauron so please stop trying. This sort of cover is meant to be dramatic I think? Or show off a really cool eye? Look, Anime’s already got you beat again in the super-cool eye department. Another problem I have with the eye cover? I get frustrated at the author for this. You mean your entire story can be summed up in this image of a creepy eye? That’s all you got? You need help. 

What happened to dramatic works or art for a book cover? What happened to original concepts to express the unique texture or feel of a story? I love finding beautiful book covers. Follow PaperFury on Instagram if you want to see some breath-taking book covers. 

That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Taking a note from Annika’s book I’ll open this tag up for anyone and everyone who wants to have fun with it. If you do take up this tag put the link in the comments so I can come see your unpopular opinions!