Sunday

a rather late welcome to december


I'm currently wrapped up in my holiday blanket, listening to Mariah Carey's Christmas album, with my fairy lights on. I'm ready.


HAPPY DECEMBER! 

YES I KNOW IT IS THE TENTH. YES I KNOW I AM LATE. Leave me alone.

I LOVE DECEMBER. December is the best month of winter. Don't attack me, because I'm right. No one likes January and February, get real. 

*wraps tinsel around you* let's talk about december!!




THIS MONTH'S EVENTS

YESTERDAY I had my very first high school DANCE. SCREAM. WHAT. It was tons of fun and everyone had a great time and WE SCREAMED OUR HEADS OFF to Shakira and the Spice Girls. Because what else would you dance to?

Needless to say, my throat burns.

I also have my orchestra concert on Thursday which is pretty cool and I love our songs because they're not too terribly boring :') We're playing a Karl Jenkins song so. YES.

ALSO HOLIDAYS?? I don't celebrate any holidays that are in December, but I STILL FREAKING LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. I put up a mini tree in my room and everything it's great. 



I am SO ready for the break. I need some serious time away from AP Euro. It's killing me, guys. Sadly, we're not going anywhere, but honestly, I don't mind some quality, lazy time at home.


TO BE READ




THE HATE U GIVE / angie thomas

This will be a reread jUST BECAUSE I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It is everything I need in a book, honestly, and I love everything that Angie Thomas does.

DRAW THE LINE / laurent linn

I picked this one up a few months ago because I found it quite intruging, and nothing like I've ever read before. I'm not quite sure how I'll feel about it, but I am willing to give it a shot. RISKS ARE GOOD.

- MANSFIELD PARK / jane austen

Classics are something I've been trying to get into, and I feel like Jane Austen is definitely a perfect place to go. I've read a few of her novels, and my mom told me this one is very well written, so I'm excited to pick it up :D

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES / sarah j maas

I KNOW. I KNOW. Everyone and their mother has read this but I never found the heart to read it? I'M SORRY. It's time though, I need to hop on this train, and maybe hop off after I finish this book ahha. Throne of Glass wasn't really my thing, but hopefully this won't be like that??


GOALS THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED



- DRAW TWO NEW PIECES EVERY WEEK

Something I've been neglecting lately is my art, which is quite sad considering it brings me so much joy. I just have SO SO much to do, that I don't seem to make time for it. BUT I AM DETERMINED TO DO THIS.

- EAT. BREAKFAST. 

I wake up around an hour before my bus comes, and it goes something like this:

6:00 - just 15 more minutes!!
6:15 - noooo
6:17 - ok fine i'm going
6:18 - washing my face is nice i'm gonna do this for 5 minutes straight
6:30 - crap
6:35 - outfit time
6:37 - I'M IN A CRISIS. NOTHING TO WEAR.
6:40 - this is good this is fine
6:45 - brush my hair now and throw on some mascara
6:50 - this outfit is terrible
6:55 - AHHHHHH
7:00 - CRAP
7:05 - ok i made my bus. WAIT I DIDN'T EAT BREAKFAST

I NEED TO EAT BREAKFAST. Solution? PICK MY OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE. PLS.



- DRINK THREE GLASSES OF WATER EVERY DAY

My dad and I found so many health benefits to drinking water? IT'S CRAZY. I'm terrible at it, I probably drink a glass a day because I always forget :')

But I'm really going to try to bump up my water game because it's important. I WILL BE HEALTHY.


NOVEMBER NONSENSE



The first picture is of a watercolor painting I did of the LEGENDARY Finn Wolfhard for my art class! IT TOOK ME SOOO LONG.

Here are some of my BEST Black Friday purchases including a Funko Pop of LUCAS. SINCLAIR. <3333 and Pokemon Ultra Sun (nerd)

THEN a gorg picture of Washington Monument from our DC trip!


I take wayyyy too many pictures of sunsets but they're all so beautiful. heart eyes.

This is a picture of me at 49,900 words?? WHY DIDN'T I TAKE ONE AT 50,000. i'm so strange.

I TOOK A SELFIE WITH ONE OF THE STATUES AT THE WOMENS MUSEUM AT SENECA FALLS. i'm so strange.


How is your December so far? How was your November? On a scale from Scrooge to Mariah Carey how festive are you feeling right now? 


peace out y'all,
noor

washington dc: a travel log in bad iphone photos

HELLO EVERYONE :D

A few days (hours..) ago I went to D.C AND HAD A BLAST. IT IS SO SO PRETTY. Even in the fall. AND IT'S WARM. ah. i loved it.

We went to a few museums (which were all free?) and had tons of amazing food, and I took so many pictures.. so many pictures. I wasn't actually planning on posting this, but sadly, I don't have time for anything else, so enjoy!


All of these were taken at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum :) I found it interesting how the official name of the museum was American Indian, when they weren't actually Indians...

The second one is actually a recreation of the Mayan calendar! Their method of time and calculating the date was magnificent, complex, but so interesting. 

The entire museum was so calming :P, they had pleasant music playing and the ceiling was covered in constellations.

THERE WERE SO MANY NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES. WOAH. i was overwhelmed tbh


The second museum we went to was the National Air and Space Museum! It was actually more air vs space :P

The second photo was the ACTUAL first plane that the Wright brothers created! Those guys had guts. I would never fly a strange flying vehicle that would almost certainly plummet me to my death.

The third photo is a scale model of our coveted solar system! The sun is so massive that a model of it to that scale wouldn't have fit in the entire exhibit and it would have taken up almost the entire museum. TERRIFYING. 


These are some quick little snapshots of buildings nearby!

The first and second are ones of the National Art Gallery, which we actually visited, and the third is of the Capitol, which is actually super freaking gorgeous.

Also the sky was so blue that day?!?!? CLOUDS BEGONE.




Some of my favorite works of art from the gallery :P

The first one is a Monet, and the third one is probably my favorite because of the insane colors. Sculptures like the second one always amaze me because how the heck do you form such good detail out of stone or copper or whatever. TRUE TALENT. AH.



Not only was the art beautiful, but the displays and fountains they had were stunning :P 

The painting is by Van Gogh, and my dad told me I had to take a picture of it. I think he even took a selfie with it... relatable.


The final place that we visited was the Holocaust museum, which was completely eye opening, and full of information.

The first picture was part of a display that included every single photo ever taken of a Holocaust victim. We were on the second floor when this was taken, so it extends all the way down, and covers all four walls.

The second picture is of a tribute to Anne Frank, and it included excerpts to her diary. We noticed a few people crying around the exhibit, overwhelmed by how young she was when she died, but how much she was able to understand about what was going on around her :(

The third picture is a collection of drawings by children preserved from one of the ghettos that they kept the Jews in. Most of the drawings had nothing to do with the situations, but they did include parallels to the Holocaust. 



Many of the walls and floors that we saw/walked on were castings or actual parts of walls and floors from the Holocaust. The first two pictures are of the cobblestones that mimicked the ones from the ghettos. They were difficult to walk on, as some were elevated, and some were not/

The third picture was a collection of bricks from the Warsaw ghetto pieced together to form a wall. 



Have you ever been to Washington D.C? What's the BEST museum you have ever been to? What is your FAVORITE planet? AND how was your November?


HAPPY DECEMBER EVERYONE!! And I apologize for the terrible photos, my parents wouldn't let me bring my DSLR camera :P 

peace out y'all,
noor

Saturday

i won nanowrimo! - how i bounced back from failing last year



On Wednesday, November 22nd, at 7:26 P.M... I WON NANOWRIMO 2017!


CONFETTI AND CAKE FOR ALL! It was a surreal moment and I was completely and utterly over the moon about it.

This year I worked my butt off. as of yesterday (I'm still going!), I've had five 3ks, one 4k, two 5ks, and get ready. ONE 8K.

I KNOW SOME INSANELY TALENTED PEOPLE CAN WRITE 30 THOUSAND WORDS IN ONE DAY BUT. 8,000 words in one day is a freaking ton for me!

Last year the most words I had written was 4,304 and on Thursday, I pulled a 5k with no problem, and I'm planning to do the same today (pulling my word count up to 60,000 AHH).

I'm feeling so confident about my writing and the novel is going so so well and I'm actually excited to edit it and hopefully write the second draft when Camp NaNoWrimo comes around in April!

ANYWAY, last year, I did a post about not being able to finish NaNo, which really took a toll on writing, and I stopped writing everything including fanfiction, which made me in turn lose faith in the blog, and well, it wasn't good.

It was really difficult coming back from that, and it took me a long time to figure out if I was even going to attempt NaNo this year, but here I am with 56k and 6 days remaining. SO HERE IS MY STORY.



warning: this may be the cheesiest thing you have EVER read.

Last November, I stopped writing at day 24 at 29,682 words. I was far far behind and I would have to write an insane amount of words every day to keep up.

I was not an optimist, and I didn't see reason in completing NaNo if I wasn't going to finish 50k by the end of the month. I had done it last year, when I was a year younger, so why the heck didn't I do it this year? Was I incapable of writing? Did I lose the drive I had to write? Maybe I wasn't cut out to be a writer.

I had promised myself that in January I would pick it back up again, and then I never did. I couldn't bring myself to do it. This had been a failed piece of writing that hadn't my expectations. I went back and read it, and naturally was revolted, so I suppose I just convinced myself that writing wasn't my thing.

Something I taught myself throughout this prosperous month of November was that giving up is not an option. Mistakes have to be made to find the right track of life, and I found it. I used the many mistakes I had made last year to set an example for my writing path this year. 

I set aside time for writing, I set aside time for 5ks, I helped to motivate myself, I did everything that I could to keep myself going.



And sometimes things don't go your way. I was a kid who immediately gave up when I didn't get what I wanted, or I didn't accomplish something. Which basically made me give up everything I tried to do.

News flash: life doesn't work that way! In October, I wrote an extremely short story that I improvised along the way to get myself into the groove and to see if I actually wanted to write. And it made me realize how much I enjoyed writing and wanted to do NaNoWrimo. Don't get me wrong, it was godawful and I knew that, I just didn't make myself read it. teehee.

I realized how much I enjoyed writing AGAIN on the day I wrote 8k (mind you, I was fueled by Starbucks, but that is unimportant. actually it's not, their chestnut praline lattes are SO GOOD.)

And I kept realizing it and finding more love right up until today, writing this post right now, staring at the scene cards on my bedside table, just wanting to finish this freaking post so I can write my next scene.


But wait. What if I realize that I'm just forcing myself to like something and I actually abhor it down to my core but I just don't know it?


Do what I always do, make a pros and cons list. Or, if you're not a list freak like me... do something you know you love to do. If you're trying to get back into writing, and you also love your violin with every cell in your body (no that is not about me psh wha), then pick up your violin and play.

Do you feel a certain way when you play? Yeah, that's called loving the heck out of what you do. Now go and write for a half an hour, do you feel similar? Or at least something that's not pain? That's also called loving the heck out of what you do. It may not be the same feeling, because they're different things, but you have a feeling! THAT'S GOOD. That means you probably don't hate it.

I'm like the worst advice giver ever but THIS STUFF WORKED FOR ME. It may or may not work for you since I'm almost 100% positive I'm from another planet. heh.

IN SHORT. Find a way to reignite your passions! But just remember that passions should come fairly naturally, don't force yourself to do anything you really don't want to do. Life is about choices, so make the one that is best for you. You don't have to do anything.

Except eat. and sleep. and drink water. DRINK YO WATER. And do what you love. That's all. 



What is one hobby that you've lost interest in but want to bring back? How do you bounce back from failure? What's one thing you accomplished this month?

apologies for the long and sappy post hehe 

peace out,
noor

Sunday

how to avoid the dreaded writing burnout

NANOWRIMO IS ALMOST OVER. 


By almost I mean there are 13 days left, but that's simply not enough!

Some of us are in a deep panic, scrambling to find words. But others are relaxing with their wordcount far above 50k and their first draft/rewrite completed. (i envy you)

I successfully did my very first 5k last weekend and I'm attempting another one today :D (maybe even higher, I'm at 33k and I want to see if I can hit 40k :0) But one huge thing that I suffered with was burnout, in which I couldn't bring myself to write more than 2k because my mind would turn to LITERAL MUSH. 

SO this past week I've come up with a few tips for myself to avoid getting tired while writing, and they've worked for the most part! I SHALL SHARE WITH YOU SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER EITHER.


if i had a nickel for every time i used bath and body works products or lights in my photos..


do short sprints


YOU WILL DIE IF YOU TRY TO ATTEMPT A LOT OF WORDS IN ONE WRITING GO.

Break up your writing time into short sprints, whether it's time sprints like 5-30 minutes (you could do more than that, my attention span is short so I'd die if i tried an hour sprint) or you could do word sprints like 100-500 or whatever you wish!

THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER, sprints are your oyster!

After a longer sprint, take a quick break and stretch or get a healthy snack. Emphasis on HEALTHY. Filling yourself with sugar and too many fats can make you not want to do ANYTHING, and that includes writing.

Also try not to stare at your word count while sprinting. Keep your eyes on your words and just type type or write write until the sprint is over.



You could also use the Pomodoro Method which is something I discovered on Tumblr for studying! You work for 25 minutes then take a break for 5 minutes, and get back to work :D It works super well and keeps you productive. BASICALLY work your butt off for 25 minutes, which is really not a lot of time once you get working. 

Here's the Chrome extension for the Pomodoro timer if you'd like to use it.

use some resources


The NaNoWrimo forums have so many different resources that you can use to keep the writing train going! I am a huge fan of word crawls, I'm sure everyone has heard of them but just in case: they're like compliations of challenges that usually have a theme. I'm chugging through the Harry Potter ones, which are tons and tons of fun and help me get a lot of words done. There are ones specific for certain word counts, or ones just for fun.

If you're feeling particularly unmotivated, there's even a crawl for that! It helps you get around 3k, and it really doesn't even feel like 3k.


make your space nice


The worst thing you can do for yourself is write in a place where you're not comfortable. Prepare your space in a way that makes you ready to write.

Try to avoid writing in bed! I KNOW I KNOW YOUR BED IS SUPER NICE. AND YOU ARE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR BED. but. You will fall asleep or get tired and just want to turn on Netflix and chill. BUT YOU CAN'T CHILL YOU'RE DOING NANO.

I like to sit on my desk (at night, I'm a night writer lol) or at my dining table, throw a blanket over me, light a candle, grab some pomegranate seeds (I <3 pomegranate seeds they are the bessstttt writing snack) and churn out some words like butter (bad analogy? i think yes.)



If there's a particular scent that motivates you, FLOOD YOUR SENSES WITH IT. ok don't actually make your whole room smell like peppermint because it WILL get obnoxious.

I personally prefer writing at night, but if you do write in the day, use natural light! (if you can) It makes you feel more awake and ready to go.

In conclusion, don't sit in a square white room with no windows because it'll feel like writing jail. You gotta want to write.


motivate yourself 


This is going to sound so strange but I give myself mini pep talks sometimes.. DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. it helps. okay. 

If you feel like absolute death while writing, and you're hanging onto a cliff by your fingertips screaming I CAN'T GO ON, then take a super duper quick break and pull out a journal or another document. Remind yourself why you're doing NaNo/this current project and why you like writing in general. Why do you want to be a writer? Why the heck are you taking time out of your binge-watching sesh to write this stupid book anyway?

AND JUST FOR FUN HERE ARE SOME QUOTES

This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard. - Neil Gaiman

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed. - Hemingway

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things I am afraid of. - Joss Whedon

Another thing I've been doing is thinking back to the day I hit 5k. I thought about how I felt when I entered my daily wordcount into the NaNo site and it said "Words Written Today: 5,000". Basically I felt like I had just defeated Voldemort, Sauron, Darth Vader, the Demogorgon, and the Huns in one blow. I felt inviscible. I call on that emotion regularly to prove to myself that I can do it. 

And then I go kick my novel in the butt.




don't read your writing. please. 


Everyone and their mother has told you this tip but you need to hear it again. If you are on your first draft, don't ever go back and read what you've written.

There will be tears and screams of horror, you will despise it, because it's probably bad. You'll think that what you're about to write is bad, and it might be. So it'll make you want to never write again and curl up in a ball and make a cup of tea and sob for eternity.


basically me to me when reading my writing


NO. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING.

I constantly have the desire to go back and write more of a scene but that involves reading the scene again which is a big no no. FIGHT YOUR STUPID WRITING DESIRES. 


always refer back to your outline - if you have one


If you are a pantser IGNORE THIS.

When I have burnout, I always tend to stray away from my outline and write a random scene that has nothing to do with my novel just to get the words in. Heck, I forget the outline even existed.

But when you're feeling tired, pull out that trusty outline and get your novel back on track, it can even motivate you to write the next scene. You were excited to write that outline, and you want to pour your heart into every scene, SO DO IT.



Even if the next part of your novel isn't so interesting, make it interesting! Use some vivid language to develop the scene, or just have fun! Chances are, if you think it's boring, everyone else is going to think it's boring. MAKE IT FUN. 


and remember...


Take some deep breaths. If you can't reach your word count for the day, it's okay! Life goes on. The Earth will not implode in your face, I promise. The most important thing is that you don't push yourself too hard. 

If you have other, more important priorities, take care of those first. Your novel will always be sitting here waiting for you when you need it. (just remember to save ;)) 

YOU GOT THIS. DON'T GIVE UP. YOU ARE A CRAFTER OF WORDS. YOU ARE A SLAYER OF DRAGONS. 

I BELIEVE IN YOU.




Do you have any tips for dun dun dun WRITING BURNOUT? What's your favorite writing snack? And how is your writing going? Have you experienced burnout yet?


peace out y'all,
noor

Saturday

nanowrimo wrap up #1 + life updates - i only stayed up past midnight once!

SORRY FOR THE BRIEF ABSENCE!! I was getting caught up with my new writing schedule, so I just couldn't find the time last weekend to put out a post but here I am :D

NaNo has been going on for 11 hectic days but IT'S BEEN GOOD TO ME SO FAR!! I hit 20k today, and the day is not done so we'll see if I can maybe write 5k more :0 IT'S POSSIBLE!!



picture is mine!!


word counts


day one 

NaNo started on a Wednesday this year (strange how I said NaNo instead of November. NOVEMBER ISN'T A MONTH ANYMORE ONLY NANO.) So it was a tad bit awkward, middle of the week bluez :P

words written: 2025
total: 2025
highlight of day: eating all of my halloween candy from the previous night heheheeheh

day two 

1978 is close enough to 2k? right. yes. yes it is. Thursdays have slowly become my favorite day of the work week next to Friday because my day isn't as hectic lol

words written: 1978
total: 4008
best meal: this chili my mom got from a local cafe? so yum. i love chili.


day three - 5k!

I went out with my friends that night so I didn't get much writing done. But we went to bubble tea which is actually my favorite place in the world.  Coffee blizzards 4 life. I wrote a bit before and the passed out the second I got home HAHA, 

words written: 1305
total: 5308
amount of caffeine consumed: one black tea, two iced coffees, one coffee blizzard . oops




day four

My friend came over this day and we made some certifiably AWFUL soup. It was literally water, and then we threw in an assortment of spices and veggies. HEALTHY. And then to cleanse our palette we walked to Starbucks and collected leaves. And then I came home and wrote 3k. Whatta day.

words written: 3446
total: 8774
struggle of the day: trying not to vom from poorly made... soup? you can't even call it that.


day five

I DESPISE SUNDAYS. I spent the whole day in another town and then I pinned a ton on Pinterest. Because when you're sad, the best option is Pinterest. Pinterest: look at obscure DIYs and solve all of your problems.  But I did go to Urban Outfitters which is actually my favorite store in existence.

words written: 2013
total: 10787
pictures pinned on pinterest: i couldnt even tell you

day six

I wrote like nothing today because I had practice from 6-7 which is, in my opinion, the worst time because it basically divided up my work time. I did wear my shirt from Urban which was yellow and had a bunch of strange faces on it. I'm 100% sure it creeped people out, but honestly that's what made it 10x better. I also was forced to clean under my bed, and there were some unexplainable things down there. gross.



words written: 1213
total: 12000
times 'ew' was said: none, i was too shocked at the mess to speak

day seven

Tuesday is like the time where I recover from being sore due to Mondays practice but then have to prepare to get sore all over again for Wednesday. While doing homework, I suddenly felt a spark to listen to Vivaldi and I believe I had his Four Seasons on repeat for hours on end. SO GOOD. 

words written: 2028
total: 14028
times i listened to vivaldi's four seasons: at least 10. that's over 6 hours of vivaldi. what. 

day nine

YES I KNOW I SKIPPED 8 i just didn't write anything because I was a bad bean. My dad brought me oreos, which I almost never eat and I had half of the dang container while writing.... BAD BEAN. They're too good though WHYYYY

words written: 3024
total: 17052
oreos consumed: too many

random rambles about my novel and problems and blagh


It's actually doing pretty great, I'm just struggling a little with description, per usual. I'm only at 20k and already in my 4th scene... I have 10 scenes.... THAT MAY BE DISASTER.




Also development? I love it but I SUCK AT IT. 

Me while writing: Development? Idk her sorry.
Me while reading: I NEED ALL THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

My outline is working well! I only did a chapter outline for the first four chapters until I realized I only really needed my scene cards. #plansters for the win!

also snacks are very necessary. I think I would have died without my oreo fix. AND MUSIC. I couldn't write in the quiet :0 It's good to find an album that really fits the mood of your scene or novel, it inspires you.



The story is nice and the plot is going on well, I just feel as if I am straying from the central idea, but that could be because the particular scene I've been writing today doesn't focus too much on it. My mood about this novel changes every hour. #THESTRUGGLEISREAL

ALSO BLESS THE PEOPLE WHO CAME UP WITH WORD CRAWLS. They are my saviors and they're so much fun. 

I also am a faster writer than I thought? As in I can successfully write 1k in 20 minutes? Without making typos? What is this new found power??? 




How's the noveling going for you? If you're not doing NaNo, how is life? Do you have any new found every day powers? What is your guilty pleasure food? SHARE SHARE!


peace out y'all,

noor

Sunday

oh look it's my #nanowrimo novel

NANOWRIMO IS IN...3 DAYS AND I HAVEN'T FINISHED PLANNING YET. procrastination is not a friend.

This year, I sat myself down and me and myself had a nice little talk. It involved half of me screaming at the other half to: WRITE ANOTHER FREAKING FANTASY. And the other half screaming: NO. YOU FOOL. CONTEMPORARY. 

The fool receded back into my system and I decided on CONTEMPORARY. I'm going to try to write happy things! Just kidding, outlining this book made me cry tears of non-fantasy sorrow. 

Psh. I don't hate it. But I don't love it. I write and read fantasy to escape the depths of shrinking reality. But writing realistic fiction means I have to face the horrors of reality. It's dark and twisted. And definitely not happy. 

Nonetheless, I'm writing it, and I'm kind of excited. I'm actually really excited, because I finally think I have an outline that works for me, even though I haven't actually.. finished... it.. yet. heh. 

I'm linking up with the Beautiful Books meme to introduce my NaNo novel to you!



also quickly, ADD ME AS A FRIEND ON NANOWRIMO!! do it. 

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?


I was actually inspired by a Grey's Anatomy episode?? It's one of my favorites, and it's about this girl who was kidnapped at a young age, who's found and shares some disturbing secrets about her kidnapping and her capture. It's creepy and dark and sparked my imagination when I watched it a couple of months ago. 

I REALLY REALLY wanted: a POC main character, some representation of mental health, just lots of representation, enchiladas, and an Arctic Monkeys loving hiker secondary character. Of course, all the things a normal teenage girl wants in a book. 

2. Describe your novel.


Sav Mills is found at the side of the river at exactly 5:09 AM in nowhere town, New Jersey. Plot twist! She's been missing for 7 years. Plot twist! She acts like a normal person and is educated up to the college standard. Plot twist! She won't tell anyone anything.

6 months later, Sav starts school, and meets Kat(herine) Brawksi. Call her Katherine, and she'll rip your head off. Throughout her time with Kat, Sav learns more about adjusting to her new life and coming to terms with what happened to her.

Plot twist! Her captor is found, and the memories come flooding back. 

3. What is your book's aesthetic?



4. Introduce us to each of your characters.


SAV - the main character who means well but sometimes (always) lets things get into her way. Doesn't know what she's doing yet, but she'll figure it out.. eventually. She has spirit, which comes from her mom, and she will never pass up on a plate of enchiladas. All she wants is to stop feeling weak, and to just forget.

KAT - secondary love interest who is short (don't bring it up or she will fight you) but feisty. She takes pride in her Russian Indian heritage and cares the most about her little brother, who she will protect to her death. She secretly not so secretly wishes she had lived for more of the 90s, and her ultimate idol is Scary Spice. 

TASHA - Sav's kind and gentle therapist who has a love for jazz and sewing with her boyfriend. Her only priority is to make others feel good, which can be the downfall of her own health. Her holy grail fashion item is mom jeans, which she always pairs with a good striped sweater. Her guilty pleasure is Oprah, although she doesn't really feel guilty for it, Oprah is a true queen. 

SARAH - the woman no one knows about, but Sav feels like she knows too much about. Our villain of the story, although she doesn't feel like one. She feels like she was doing her duty to herself, to make herself feel better, but Sav has some other ideas about that. 

5. How do you prepare to write?


A pep talk in the mirror, index cards, and the biggest cup of tea I can make. You want more? fine. 

I talked a little bit about my loose outline last year, and while it has changed a bit to better fit my needs, it basically contains it all. I am a self proclaimed #planster, or a Mama Bear, not too much, not too little. 

i just compared myself to a bear.

I also create a schedule for the entire month of November because with school, violin, and soccer, I can't just go at it and hope it works. That's where the plan part of planster comes in. 

The tea thing is most definitely not a lie. Coffee is gross, hot chocolate doesn't give me a kick. so. tea.



6. What are you looking forward to about this novel?


THE ENDING. Act III is so dope, I just can't wait. I also can't tell you about it. I should probably choose something else. 

- #KatSass. Kat is sassy, she's funny, she banters with just about everything that moves. It's hilarious.

- REALITY. No monsters, no magical powers besides Tasha's soothing voice, just straight realness.

- Sadistic villains. Sarah isn't a villain who lives in a booming tower, but that doesn't mean she's not evil. I'm super excited for her character, and to see how I make her wicked without magic.

7. List three things about your novel's setting.


- It reminds me of my home town! I based Patter, NJ a lot on my town. Nowhere Ville, USA. Where nothing ever happens, but when it does, it's freaking crazy.

but its sooo boring.



- There are a lot of beautiful settings. Kat takes Sav to this one part of the neighborhood that's a string of old houses covered in vines, and in the backyard, there's a gorgeous patio surrounded in flowers. Finding pictures on Pinterest for that was a stunning experience.

- There's a lot of deja vu besides a river. That's all I'll say.

8. What's your character's goal and who (or what) stands in the way?


Sav's goal is to adjust to her life again, and try to forget about everything that happened to her. She thought she would leave it all behind, but then Sarah is found, and she's forced to relive it, every excruciatingly painful moment.


9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?


She overcomes her demons and is able to face her fears. She may or may not find love. She will dye her hair purple with the help of Kat's mastery hair techniques and much to the discontentment of her father. 

10. What are your book's themes? What do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?


The main themes are: life can change with time, the truth is harsh but we must face it, and we must let go.

There are two endings: one that can I can sort of hint, and one that I want to keep a secret because it's evil and I hate it but I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT.



ahem. The reader should initially feel content, like she achieved what she needed to achieve, and all is well. but then. BUT THEN. it's so evil i feel so sneaky hehehe. 



ARE YOU DOING NANO? Describe your lovely novel to me! And if not, are you working on anything else? It doesn't even have to be writing related! Also... happy early Halloween! Stay safe out there <3


peace out y'all,
noor

the ninth grader's love hate relationship with shakespeare: interviews with kids in my english class

I'm currently delving through Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew for English, and let's just say I love it and I hate it. Shakespeare was a great writer, there's no doubt about it.

But in the modern time, we have to ask ourselves: What is so special about Shakespeare? What makes people love him? What makes people never want to pick up one of his plays ever again after they leave high school? 

SO FOR FUN. and for extra credit. I asked every kid in my English class if they liked or disliked Shakespeare, why they do, and if they plan on reading more of his plays in their spare time.

this. was. fun.




"I don't hate Shakespeare, but it is a strong dislike. The strongest of dislikes. It's just... boring."

"I would rather chug vinegar than read another one of Shakespeare's plays." (graphic..)

"Why should I have to read a play set in the 16th century? It's 2017, no one talks like that!"

"I don't think I've ever heard someone say "How now!" or "Fie" in my entire 14 years of existence."

"This one [Taming of the Shrew] is super sexist. It's basically saying that girls can't stand up for themselves and they have to be quiet and reserved." 

"I don't really have an opinion but Shakespeare was a mysterious dude. We don't even know if he was one person. Fishy.

"It's not that I don't like his plays it's that we're expected to find a literary device in every line of the play! I don't think it's that deep."

"The first thing that comes up when you type 'Why do ninth graders' on google is 'Why do ninth graders read Romeo and Juliet' and I think that says it all."

"There's nothing special about a dead guy who wrote about people dying." (harsh)

"His plays are just so predictable. That might just be because people from Elizabethan times were stupid uneducated and they wouldn't have understood such a complex play." (again. harsh.)

"Our teacher refuses to let us use translators so how are we even supposed to understand it?"

"The kids who said they like it are lying to themselves."

"I'd rather watch the Romeo and Juliet movie with Leonardo diCaprio than read the actual play, thank you."

"I haven't found a single character in any of the plays that doesn't make me want to strangle them. Except for Mercutio. He's chill." (MY CLASSMATES ARE SO WILD)




"Once you understand them, you realize that Shakespeare's plays are extremely complex and well done. Barely anyone can develop such a perfect plot."

"Okay some of them may be kind of lame but some of them are super interesting. Like Julius Ceaser, that one's my favorite."

"You can apply so much of it to real life! Juliet picking the wrong guy, Katherina not getting a suitor just because she's not like the average girl, it all fits in with our modern life in a way."

"He captures the human condition exquisitely. He understands human flaw, human pain, and how that affects our actions."

"It's all so very romantic and poetic. Especially the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, I cry every time."

"The man invented words. Like he made up his own slang. Enough said."



Ninth graders really aren't a fan of Shakespeare. To us, it's hard to understand, and with all the work our teachers give us on it, it doesn't really make it fun? But we're able to recognize the genius of Shakespeare, and how his work was truly great. 

also my classmates are truly brutal. and hilarious. ah. 




Have you read Shakespeare? IF YOU HAVEN'T, are you currently living under a rock? IF YOU HAVE, did you read it for school or for fun? Are you a Shakespeare hater or a Shakespeare lover?


peace out,
noor