Sunday

we are the ants by shaun david hutchinson: a journey of existential crisises



The universe may forget us, but our light will brighten the darkness for eons after we've departed this world. The universe may forget us, but it can't forget us until we're gone, and we're still here, our futures unwritten. We can choose to sit on our ass*s and wait for the end, or we can live right now. We can march to the end of the void and scream in defiance. Yell out for all to hear that we do matter. That we are still here, living out our absurd bulls*it lives and nothing can take that away from us. Not rogue comets, not black holes, not the heat death of the universe. We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. 

The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.


Do you ever pick up a book and know that it's going to be good? You don't read the back, you barely glance at the cover design, but you read the title and just know? That's the vibe We Are the Ants gave me the second I took it off the shelf at Barnes and Noble. 

There is no way to describe it besides saying it was marvelous. It's been a long time since I've given a book 5 stars, almost a year long time. It's been a while since I sat down with a book and was able to just read until time wouldn't allow me to read anymore. It's been a while since I've been able to call a book one of the greatest books I have ever read. 

This book shot down and broke me. Broke my mind, my soul, everything I have ever thought of. This book made me rethink my entire life. But in the best way possible. You pick up this book and you follow Henry Jerome Denton through a course of one hundred and forty four days and you live the hell out of those one hundred and forty four days.



Because this is not your average sci fi book. This book tackles more than just the impossible possibility of aliens and the world ending. It basically tackles everything, and it made me understand a lot of things. 

Spoilers ahead! Go read the book if you haven't and if you have, keep reading :)


Broken people will let the world end.

I'm living in an After Jesse world where I ache from missing him and nothing makes sense. My boyfriend and best friend both abandoned me. I am a punch line at school, a ghost at home. I hate Jesse for leaving me behind. If he asked I would have walked into the air with him. 

Before reading this book, if someone approached me with a button and told me if I didn't press it in 144 days, the world would cease to exist, I would have pressed it then and there. 

At the beginning of the book, I was appalled that Henry chose not to push it, why wouldn't you? 

But Henry was a broken clock still ticking, and broken people see more than happy people. Broken people are pessimists, they see everything wrong with the world, they see every reason not to push a button that would save the world. They see humanity as fools who have ruined every opportunity to succeed, they see a fresh start, they see a better universe. 

And like I said before, this book broke me and put me back together, so I began to see everything wrong with the world and every reason not to push a button that would save the world.



However, after careful consideration I decided that I would push the button. There is too much in this world worth saving, and I think by the end of the book, Henry realized that too. 


There is an infinite amount of ways the world could end. 

On 29 January 2016 at 1:39 UT, the J├╝rgen Eichman impacts the Mediterranean Sea.
The United States Armed Forces invade North Korea on 29 January 2016 at 20:03 GMT.
It begins on 26 January 2016 at 7:35 am EST, and the new Fixers, whose sole function is to replicate, consumes the entire planet in three days, leaving behind nothing but an ocean of grey goo.
Emmanuel Roth arrives in Geneva on 29 January 2016 at 10:19 UTC and detonates a fission bomb, atomizing the Large Hadron Collider, CERN, and most of Switzerland. 
On 29 January 2016 the South Korean government passes a mandatory Mind's Eye Legislation and in a matter of months, every person on Earth is living in a fantasy world. 
On January 29 2016, at 11:23 pm EST a boat off the coast of Maryland is trapped in ice. It is the first reported incident of the Atlantic Ocean freezing. By the time the sun grows bright, no one is left alive to feel its warmth. 
On 29 January 2016, the last hive of honeybees, located on an almond farm in California, succumbs to CCD. 
On 29 January 2016, a pair of CroMS escape from a lab in Austin, Texas. They begin to breed.

The world could cease to exist because of one little thing. And we could potentially never see it coming. i hope i didn't just give you the creeps.



Development of secondary characters is one of my favorite things to read.

The amazing thing about this book was that Henry wasn't the only character who was developed. And it was so much fun to read.

Henry's mother seemed to be a stubborn yet loving woman, who was just as broken as Henry was. She lived through seeing her mother suffer through Alzheimers, her eldest son dropping out of college and getting his girlfriend pregnant, her youngest son barely making it through high school, her husband leaving her and their kids behind, and stuck at a depressing job waiting tables. 

But by the end of the story, we see her take on a job cooking which she loves to do, making her mother happy by putting her in a retirement home, and living a life she genuinely enjoys, which is a pretty great improvement if I do say so myself.



Henry's brother Charlie probably had the most development out of every character in the book. You could even argue that his development was better than Henry's. It's not that he changes, it's just that you get to see more of him. 

Through Henry's eyes, Charlie is nothing more than a high school bully/jerk turned college dropout who got his girlfriend pregnant and hates his little brother type of guy. But as we see the events of Charlie's life fly by our eyes, such as losing his kid, giving up his dream to become a firefighter to support his family, you and Henry both realize he's more than that person. You realize that hey, this guy would have been a great dad. You got to see the inside part of Charlie that Henry never got to see until Charlie lost his baby. And by the end of the book, for the first time in his life, Henry actually felt like his brother loved him, and that's bada*s character development right there. 

There is such thing as love, or is there?

"Remember when you asked me if I'd save the world?"
"I didn't think you'd heard me."
Marcus snorted like I was stupid to think otherwise. "Well I would."


This is not a romance novel. This is not a sci fi novel. But without either, this book wouldn't be the same. We encounter three different romances in this book, and all of them are different, but they're not. Because in one way or another they're all misguided, and they're all based on foolish mistakes.

Jesse abandoned Henry. His foolish mistake was thinking that Henry didn't think he was enough, his foolish mistake was suicide. Diego hid from Henry. His foolish mistake was waiting too long to tell Henry the truth, and time is everything, you never have too much time. Marcus ruined Henry. His foolish mistake was taking Henry on a hook, reeling him in, and letting go, reeling him in, and letting go, until finally, Henry was the one who let go. 

Were any of those three love? Each one of them said that they in fact did love Henry, but did they? I still may never know what true love is, true love may not exist? ASDBGBG i told you there would be existential crises.




- - - - 

AHFBJFBF I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!! I can't wait to go out and buy more books by this author because I just LOVE LOVE LOVE his writing style so much oml. Check out the book with all the linky links down below :) NOT A PAID PROMO!!


First official post of bookmarkd!! SCREEEEAAAAAMMM. Hope you guys enjoy the new me. woo confetti pumpkin cupcakes. SPEAKING OF WHICH. FALL. YES. DEW. HOODIE WEATHER. PUMPKIN FREAKIN CUPCAKES. 

i really haven't changed at all. 

love y'all!
noor

ALSO ALSO check out my Goodreads where I post all of my reviews!! 

Saturday

i was a little bit of sunshine, now? idk but hi

Hello everyone! I didn't forget about this blog, I just thought I didn't have time for it. And I still do but then I also thought, why not?

I changed the name, I wasn't feeling A Little Bit of Sunshine anymore, that's not me really, I'm not 10 anymore. I'm still only 13 but I started high school two days ago! SCREEEEEEE it's so scary and overwhelming which is why relaunching this blog is probably the worst idea I've ever had and I'm probably not going to end up publishing this post and HHHHH

I missed y'all. Like a lot. I thought about coming back a lot and then I was like "NOOO you FOOL. You have area all state coming up, you are TAKING AP EURO AND AP ART and you're playing varsity soccer you have no time and you'll become a mess."

But then this morning I woke up and went through my stories on Insta and saw a picture of a book and someone saying "Perfect way to start my Saturday" and a pinge of guilt went through my heart. And then I looked over at my bookshelf at all my unread books and began to follow over a hundred bookstagram accounts and then my books started yelling at me to review them and well. Here I am.

So welcome to bookmarkd! I'm not actually sure where this is going but I actually realized one thing, I can do whatever the heck I want to. I don't owe anyone apologies because this whole shabang is for fun and not for numbers or blablablabla you know the spiel.

All I know is that I'm going to review books and talk about books and just BOOKS because sometime after May I forgot how much I LOVE BOOKS. I may throw in some #rants about how much I hate AP Euro and how much I love Bio but that's just the norm right?

Let's see how this goes. And to everyone who comments on this thank you for sticking with me! wow like really it means a lot <3 I PROMISE I'LL TRY MY BEST AND I'LL COME HOME AND READ ALL OF YOUR BLOGS AND FALL IN LOVE WITH BLOGGING AGAIN AND IT'LL JUST BE A GREAT TIME OKAY

I'm not promising to post like every other day but every week is probably possible?? most likely on sundays because I do all of my homework on saturdays.

i hope you didn't forget about me :)))

<3, Noor

also my domain is going to remain the same until i build up the courage to ask my dad to change it lol

a three day study plan for procrastinators



Hello everyone! If you know me, you know that I am a huge procrastinator, as in I have a final on Tuesday and I start studying today (true story I have my Algebra I Regents actually on the 13th aaa). I do this a lot, which is not the greatest study method, but I still somehow do well. For all the procrastinators out there who encounter the same issues, I developed an efficient and simple three day study plan that'll accomplish everything you need to get done. Shall we?



- If you have a textbook for this particular subject, close read it. Close reading is basically where you read a passage multiple times to gain complete understanding. 

Read the first time, highlight the second time, and annotate the third. - you can do this with the entire chapter or sections at a time. 

- Go back and review your notes. That's what they're there for! And if you haven't made any (boo you) then make some right now. They're helpful. 

A quick, and visual note taking strategy is using a mindmap, it'll help you fit and organize all of your information. 

- If something requires memorization, a thing I tend to do is put the words on my wall and go over them repeatedly so that I keep looking at them.

Flashcards are extremely helpful, websites like Quizlet are efficient and on the go. 

- If you don't have time for notes, create a review sheet with main topics and information that you KNOW you'll need to know. 

This can contain definitions, names of people or events, and main events/topics. 

- Do some worksheets or exercises that will help you practice your knowledge. 

If it's a standardized test created by the state or country, you can probably find some from previous years online that you can use for practice.



- Review your notes and mindmap AGAIN. Push that knowledge into your brain to really make sure you know it all. 

- If you don't know all the definitions of the things you need to memorize, DO THAT NOW. Tomorrow you'll need to go over them, so make sure you know them. 

- Read your annotations of the textbook, these are summaries of what you need to know and can be extremely helpful.

- Read your notes out loud but record yourself. And then listen to it. This is such a useful strategy that actually works. 

- Go over the nitty gritty. Every test has that one curveball that came up in one line of the textbook, so make sure you know it all. 



- Read over your textbook one more time to make sure you didn't miss ANYTHING. Don't skip sections just because you think that you know it. 

- Listen to your recordings again to really get it in your brain. 

- If you have time, rewrite some of your notes. Try to do this without any noise in the background, focusing/writing is a deadly combination that is key for memorization. 

- Do some more exercises, but try to put yourself in an exam setting. No distractions, everything off the desk and no resources. Just you. 


I hope this helped a few people who are still going through their exams. I wish you luck, and I know you all will do great <3 

Hopefully I will be back with regular posting as soon as exams are over which is close to the end of June :( 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Monday

may favorites

Hello everyone! Happy end of May, I hope this was a good month for you and I hope June is even better <3

WELL. it's been a hot minute since ive done one of these, shall we?


pablo neruda - the hands of day

pure art. It's so good, I need to read more of his poetry asap. (Not going to lie, the reason why I bought this is because a character from my favorite TV show ((How I Met Your Mother)) likes Pablo Neruda). I've had a small obsession with poetry because words are so nice.

my earth science review book

I swear, I'm not a nerd but I've had my nose so deep in this book for the past month that it deserves a spot on this list.. whether I like it or not. 

stickers from etsy

These look so cute in my bullet journal y'all don't even know how much I love stickers. And these ones are yellow flowers?? AGHHH

garnier fructis anti frizz serum

I am a girl with freaking thick hair. And in the summer, I look something like this:


Tragic. But yeah I really need this stuff so I don't look like Hermione Granger and it works. Go purchase, (this is not a #spon) but it's cheap and useful!!


staedler fine tip pens

Around finals time I have to do review notes so why not spice up those review notes with color! 20 different colors to be exact. You can create color schemes! And cursive! And doodles! It's always a good time. 

even more etsy stickers

THESE ARE ROWLETS. i freakin love pokemon yo. 

my algebra 1 review book

This one is actually kind of fun. SIKE I HATE IT. It's long and there's no place to do your work. *grinds teeth* But I'd fail my regents without it so.  CURSE YOU SCHOOL SYSTEM. 

chocolate cherry highlighter from kylie cosmetics

ya because i'm rich. SIKE I USED HALF MY BIRTHDAY MONEY FOR THIS. But it's so pretty n shiny. And I use it all the time so it's totally 100% not a waste and I'm not a terrible consumer who buys everything in sight. sigh. 

vivid matte lipstick from maybelline and nyx soft matte lip cream

These colors are so nice!! The Maybelline one is in Nude Thrill which is a not too light not too dark nude and it goes on soft and dries nicely! The NYX one is in Cannes which is probably one of the nicest colors I own and it is so creamy and soft (probably why it's called a soft matte lip cream). It doesn't dry completely which I actually like :D

mac "in extreme dimension" mascara

NO I AM NOT RICH. It was a free sample at Nordstorm's which I am slowly running out of :( And it's 32 dollars which I really don't feel like spending. Would anyone like to donate to my fund? ^_^

loads of washi tape

Just. All of the Washi Tape. All of it. It's an obsession I'm sorry. 


HOW WAS YOUR MAY? LIKES? DISLIKES? LEMME KNOW. do you watch how i met your mother? LEMME KNOW. 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

Sunday

what i learned from multiple writing failures


Hello everyone! Back in October of last year, I wrote a post talking about my 2 Horrible Attempts At Writing, and I realized that after not 2, but three failed attempts at writing a novel, I have learned literally nothing. So before I start plotting for Camp NaNo in July, I decided to figure this whole shabang out.

I will always find an excuse to slap a Harry Potter gif onto my posts :))


give your plot some depth

Anyone (just about) can come up with a plot, but can they come up with a plot. Most of my stories have had a storyline, but I had no plot twists, and it didn't all weave together. 

I had a ton of subplots, but none of them really found their way into the heart of the story. It was like a ponytail after a long day, the hairs are sticking out and aren't in the hairtie anymore. My goal is to form a plot that is smooth and pulled back, with all the hairs scenes tucked into place. I love my metaphors. 


give your characters a summary but also give them depth

Depth is a theme that I was missing. I formed cute little summaries about my characters but where was the development? All my characters were static except for my main character, and their backstories were vague vague vague. Even if they did have backstories, they didn't fall into the plot. (I see some hairs peeking out)

They should have a purpose. I added a character just to have a romantic interest for my main character, but that was completely unnecessary. The main character's life wasn't the focus, it was the problem that they both had. The romantic interest wasn't important, it didn't add to the plot. This is the third issue. (nice segway)


make sure everything is relevant!

Metaphor number two because we're reading this in English: in Romeo and Juliet (if you're familiar with the full story), Shakespeare doesn't give the reason for the Capulet/Montague feud, because it's not important. Don't include things that aren't important. 

If that blue house down the street doesn't have anything to do with the story, don't give a 2 paragraph detailed description of this. (strangely specific but I actually did this in my first NaNo story)


please, it should make sense.

Ok I'm about to call out my 10 year old self right now: a 16 year old living in a suburban town most likely does not have the money to own an underground lair full of weird devices, unless you explain it well, which I did not. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. 

My entire plot revolved around that. *facepalm* I'll give myself some credit, I had a wild imagination. 


it's not always about completing

I want to make it perfectly that failure does not equal not completing. I did finish 2 out of 3 of those novels. But they were all failures. I failed to create a good story, therefore I was not successful. Even though I completed them.

However, it could be seen as a success because I learned a lot from those 3 stories. epiphanies.



What have you learned from writing? What do you consider a writing failure? SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES WITH ME, I HAVE ICE CREAM AND LOTS OF CARE. 


Thanks for reading,
Noor

a tour of my rad desk

Hello everyone! Happy Mother's Day!

My desk is probably the only part of my room that is consistently clean. I find it extremely stressful to work on a messy surface, and organization with my desk makes me happy and motivated. I honestly consider my desk to be the best part of my room,  even though it's probably where I spend the least amount of time... jk jk.

enjoy this somewhat brief tour of my desk :D


pics may be bad because the lighting was awful and i had to use my phone :(


I have a bunch of things lined up along my wall just so I can have a large space to work, it looks a little cluttered but I promise I have use for all of these things :P


In this corner I have my two Newts (aren't they cute :')) and a lil container from Target with Sharpies, colored pens, highlighters, my favorite Sharpie pens, a glue gun and some scissors! Rose gold is my obsession so when I saw this container I was like I MUST GET THIS. 


Here's the left middle :D There is a cute little plastic tray, again from Target, the only place you should buy anything :P In the bag are my all time favorite highlighters called Mildliners, they come in like 30 colors and are double sided :0. I have a notebook which I honestly never use but it looks cute. On top are my washi tapes which I cherish with all my heart. And then my Sonic Screwdriver because well, I am a nerd. Then on the right we got some pencils and some neutral markers. (which are also double sided because i'm a cool kid)


(closeup of the markers) AND MORE TAPE, I am a hoarder. Yet another container full of scrapbook paper.. index cards... and these bomb brush markers which were like 5 dollars so score right. 


Ignore the right I am attempting to convince my parents to take me to Fan Expo Canada over the summer. #noortofanexpo ANYWAY I have some more markers but they're colorful. And then a lil Hagrid with his lil umbrella :')



A gross picture of my wall next to the desk! I just have a load of crap like a calendar, some art, and then quotes to motivate myself while I cry work.


Wall above the desk! I have some fairy lights, and then a wall dedicated to a Draco Malfoy aesthetic because I'm a nerd inspiration. 



I hope y'all enjoyed! Let me know what you like to keep on your desk <3 Desk inspo is so relaxing I always look it up on Pinterest :P

BYE HAVE A GOOD WEEK FRIENDS

Thanks for reading,
Noor

Saturday

why writing fanfiction is TOTALLY AWESOME

HELLO EVERYONE ! Fanfiction is great, it's fun to read and it's fun to write!

But I often feel extremely guilty when writing fanfics, as it's not truly original writing and it doesn't exactly take as much work as writing your own real baby.

HOWEVER. WRITING FANFICTION IS REALLY FREAKING RAD.

I present to you, 5 reasons why you should most definitely NOT feel guilty about writing fanfiction and instead love your favorite characters until the end of time. ahem



YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO CREATE YOUR OWN PLOT

Just like real original (common misconception) writing, fanfiction has little to no rules. Heck, you don't have to stick to the original plot, you can make up your own characters, tbh do whatever you want!

That's why fanfiction is so much like original writing, because you can create plot twists and ideas that were never in the original book, movie, whatever, it's your story incorporated into that other one. 

DO ALL THE THINGS. Change a character's gender. Make them love chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla ice cream. you do you. 



IT'S A REALLY GREAT WAY TO BECOME A GOOD WRITER

You have an easy way to create a plot, you have the characters, now all you have to do is write. Test new things, practice intense descriptions, you have an outline, now you just have to paint it. And that is amazing practice that you may not get when writing an original. 

With fanfictions, developing the characters is not the most important part, because the people reading already have a sense of what they're like (unless you're introducing an OC or changing a character's personality)  SO AGAIN, GO WILD WITH FUN FUN THINGS!! 


YOU CAN FINALLY ADD THINGS YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE

I don't know about y'all but whenever I read/watch something, I always find myself saying "Man I wish they added ____ or made ____ into a _____" Well, with fanfiction, you can make all your dreams come true!

This especially works with ships. I prefer some characters together rather than what the author has written, and I can totally write that ship into my fanfiction. Again, my world, my ships :D 

Writing ships are also so much fun, sometimes I find myself in love with a ship, and I'm almost certain it's exactly what real love feels like. 



IT’S REAL WRITING

I honestly don't understand when people call fanfiction fake writing. if you are writing something... isn't it writing??? like ?? 

It's not exactly copying, when you write fanfiction you acknowledge that the characters aren't yours and the original story isn't either. You aren't copying it word for word, and it isn't paraphrasing, it's usually a completely different story or a subplot that wasn't part of the original. 


ONE WORD: REPRESENTATION

This kind of goes along with number 3, but I decided to give it it's own section. Earlier this year, I did a post about a lack of representation in YA novels, and how it really sucks. But, fanfiction changes everything. 

You can make a Caucasian character into a POC in an instant, and that doesn't suck. Fanfiction can give literature the representation it needs, especially since fic writers come from every inch of the world. And that's what makes it such a great community. 



me when i see poc in any form of media


FANFICTION? YES OR NO? If yes, what’s your favorite type to read? OOH and what’s your favorite ship, I’d love to know :D


Thanks for reading,
Noor