Tag Archives: literature

“When Dreaming Becomes Dangerous” now a part of #ProjectWomanUp

For those who know me personally, you know of my advocacy for women empowerment and gender equality. Well, my latest novel, “When Dreaming Becomes Dangerous,” is now a part of something that encompasses just that!

What I love about #ProjectWomanUp is that it cuts through all the noise most Wattpad writers and readers are familiar with: damsels in distress and unhealthy, possessive relationships.

Those kinds of stories I’ve seen on Wattpad since the beginning (almost eight years now). This type of love has become idealized. It has become a sick definition of what love is, of what teenagers believe real love looks like, and real love is definitely not that!

I want to read (and write) stories about powerful women, who don’t solely rely on men like their lives depend on it. I want to see amazing women working towards a goal to better themselves, whether or not a lover is in the picture.

I am in love, and it’s the real kind where there is respect, equality, communication, commitment, and genuine care for one another. I have been in love for almost five years now. It is not possessive, though there can still be times when jealousy pops up. It is not demanding, nor cruel, nor painful. What’s painful is our current long distance situation, but that has nothing to do with the love we have for one another.

He’s my best friend. We tell each other everything. We care for each other, more so like parents at times, if I’m being honest. We want to see each other accomplish great things and just be happy. That is real love. That is the kind of love that should be idealized and written about.

Especially on Wattpad, where, yes, there are authors and readers over 18-years-old, but a great deal of their active 45 million monthly members are underage. They are still trying to figure out who they are during their teenage years, which can be crazy difficult with so much being thrown their way. We’ve all been there; we know.

They should read about real love, healthy relationships, and kind friendships.

People who read experience scenarios they might not possibly ever experience in their lives. That’s one of the many reasons why I love reading and writing, but if they’re only reading negative perspectives of what is the ‘norm,’ they will begin to want that ‘norm.’

There are many variations to this quote, but the main idea remains the same:

“You only know what you read.”

So, I am proud to fight back and represent #ProjectWomanUp through Wattpad by portraying strong female characters in fiction.

A little bit about #ProjectWomanUp:

#ProjectWomanUp is a movement started by Alayna (est. October 25th 2015) supporting the empowerment of woman. Women are powerful people in the real world and it’s only fair that they should be portrayed the same way in literature.

Take a look at my new cover for “When Dreaming Becomes Dangerous” with the #ProjectWomanUp sticker and New Adult Reads sticker. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the sticker placements. I am awful when it comes to my internal struggle of keeping things unique, yet also symmetrical.

And thank you again for all your support and encouragement. Without you, it wouldn’t be as worth it for me.

2.0 STICKERS When Dreaming Becomes Dangerous.jpg

 

My ‘Love for Writing’ Journey: Part Two.

I was finally doing what I loved in my classes: writing. I took poetry and fiction workshops, Greek mythology, Shakespearean studies, young adult literature, children fables, drama and much more. I loved every moment.

During my workshops, I realized I really enjoyed editing and critiquing other writers’ works. I thought maybe I could be an editor if I didn’t find success as a novelist.

I landed the position as the administrative assistant and editorial assistant supervisor for Saranac Review the spring semester of my freshman year. Saranac Review is an international literary journal published by the English department on campus.

I also began editing my friends’ papers and came to the realization that it was more frustrating than I had thought. I don’t like to boast about myself or degrade my generation, but I was appalled by my peers’ lack of proper grammar usage and writing techniques.

Editing wasn’t for me, to say the least.

Then spring semester of my sophomore year came along. I was taking a writing fiction workshop where we focused on writing a short story for the whole semester with multiple drafts. I wrote the short story “Stability.” I received a lot of great feedback and constructive criticism.

However, I realized that becoming a novelist was just a dream; a dream that I could not reach; a dream of from which I would not be able to make a living.

I had to give my dream up.

I freaked out. What was I supposed to do now? What will I do for the rest of my life? I still need a bachelor’s degree to be somewhat successful in life. What was I going to major in now?

These thoughts and questions were swirling through my mind until I found help at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Career Development Center.

I went to them at least twice a week for a month taking personality and aptitude tests and consulting about what my next step was.

I was pointed toward the Department of Public Relations. At first, I didn’t really know what PR was, just that it involved writing and people skills, both of which I possess.

So I filled out the necessary paperwork to change majors but made sure my English writing arts major wasn’t fully wasted. I used 18 of those credits towards an English minor.

I started my PR major by fulfilling the prerequisites, which included public speaking. I fell in love with public speaking. It gave me the confidence that I now hold in speaking to a large group.

I was still working for Saranac Review at the time, so I was also able to maintain my love for literature by working in the department.

My first immersed PR course I took was also with my academic advisor, Professor Colleen Lemza. She sparked my interest in the field with her enthusiasm and great stories of her experience. With PR, I was able to really make a difference in people’s lives with my writing, which, in the end, was what I always wanted.

I undoubtedly believe that without Colleen’s passion for PR, I would have second-guessed my major choice. She helped me find the passion I now have for PR.

Saranac Review gave me the experience as a valued leader in a publication, while the PR department gave me the great knowledge and enthusiasm of the industry.


Look for the third part coming soon. Haven’t read the first? Be a part of my journey here.

Adam Rex’s “Fat Vampire” Novel Review.

I finished Adam Rex’s Fat Vampire, like, three weeks ago. I’ve just been too lazy to write it. But now I’m good. (:

I’ll just say that it wasn’t what I expected. It was somewhat humorous, very dramatic, and a little bit romantic; but not so much. The ending wasn’t all that great. Rex had all these characters and plot lines and then let them whither away in the end. The main character dies. So obviously, there won’t be a sequel. I wasn’t happy with the ending at all. Sorry if I ruined it for you.

The book was okay. Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe I should start reading books with no expectations. Then maybe they’ll all be great. To be honest, I don’t think I’d recommend this book. Sorry, Adam Rex. I think I like my girl authors a little bit better, and I’m not being sexist. I just understand them better cause, well duh, I’m a girl. :P

So that’s it for today. Have a nice night! :D

I Chew Novels And Spit Them Out For A Living.

That would be a pretty sweet career, don’t you think?

The only reason why I chose this title is because I am, almost literally, chewing 200-page novels since the new year began.

It first started out with finishing Lisa McMann’s Wake trilogy, Gone.

http://lisamcmann.com/html/gone.html

I started it last September, but with college planning and trying to be the better student for my last year of high school, my life was a little hectic to actually finish the book in a matter of a couple of months. By the end of January, I finally finished it. Ah-mazing! I love the way Lisa McMann writes and her new book Cryer’s Cross looks unbelievable. I can’t wait to read it when I’m done with my already long list of novels before college begins in the fall.

After that, I continued the series Blood Ninja with Nick Lake’s second book, Blood Ninja II: The Revenge of Lord Oda.

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Blood-Ninja/Nick-Lake/9781416986270

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Blood-Ninja-II/Nick-Lake/9781416986294

I love his novels; it’s an unusal change from my usual cheesy romance novels that I hold dear. First of all, I love anything ninja and Japanese. I love their culture and I myself follow some of the ways of a Buddhist. But then, Nick Lake puts a twist and gives the reason for all ninja’s talent and skills are from being vampires. Yes, that’s right vampires. I like how he doesn’t over-do the vampire part like Twilight or some of today’s modern supernatural fiction. The only times where he speaks of vampires is when you first learn of it in the beginning of the first novel and whenever the vampiric ninjas decide to feast. Each novel was about 400 pages, the font is small, the first novel had 75 chapters, and the second had 78 chapters. So his second novel took me a good month and a half. (I finished it last week.) I don’t remember how long it took me to read the first novel because it came out around a year or so ago.

After that, I went back to my romance novels. I chose to read Jody Gehrman’s Babe in Boyland.

http://www.jodygehrman.com/boyland.html

It’s about this girl who writes the romance advice column for her school newspaper. After getting many complaints from boys saying she only writes what girls want to hear and that she doesn’t know guys at all, she decides to conduct a few interviews to get both sides of relationships. However, no boy will be straight with her, so she decides to go undercover at the all-boys boarding school outside of her town and really see what it’s like to be a guy in a guy’s world.

I chose this book because I see similar stories like this online ALL the time! I myself have even written one (I lost touch with it and currently sits somewhere in the back of my computer collecting dust, such a shame). Anyway, the way Jody Gehrman wrote it was absolutely fabulous. Yes, I realize I said fabulous. I haven’t said that since fifth grade when everything had to be pink including my hair. I thank my mother now for not letting me. :phew:

Back on topic, not many authors, professional or amateur, can pull off a plot line where a girl goes to an all boys boarding school. You have to add logic to it, like how they’re going to trick the school, what the consequences will be once she gets caught especially with the law, and how she transitions to becoming a “boy”. However, Jody Gehrman definitely pulled it off, congratulations.

Not only did she open the eyes of her main character to boys, but she also opened the reader’s eyes, i.e. ME! My outlook on life, as an individual and a girl has changed. Not drastically, but enough to make a difference in my every day life. Now, that’s a big compliment to the author. I hope to one day do the same to my readers, even if it’s with cheesy romance novels like this one. Surprised that this genre could do that? Not me.

I’m not going to go into detail about how it changed my outlook on the “male species”, because that’d be giving some of the book away, so you’re just going to have to find out for yourselves and let it magically alter the way you think about boys. Especially high school boys. Wow.

I started it last Friday, finished it on Sunday. Can you believe it? Now the title of this post makes sense. I chew novels and spit them out for a living.

After that, I started to read Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott on Monday.

http://www.elizabethwrites.com/somethingmaybe.php

It’s a really nice novel where all the characters have flaws. I like that. When a character has flaws. Lets see: the main character, Hannah has many fears she has to overcome; her mother is a famous online camera whore; her father is a famous celebrity, think Charlie Sheen meet the guy who started Playboy; the boy she likes, Josh, has some but I’m not going to tell you cause it’ll ruin the book for you; the guy Finn, who’s majorly crushing on Hannah is also majorly annoying and won’t leave her alone; finally her best friend Teagan has left fashion school and is scared to go back. I hope I didn’t ruin some parts for you. Anyway, I just like how it felt real, it felt realistic, it felt like I could relate to the fears, the situations (at least some of them), and the problems that occurred in the plot. Hannah works for a fast food company taking people’s orders from the drive-thru window, so do some of my friends. Teagan has a retail job, so do I. I finished it this morning in study hall. It was definitely a good read.

Aaaaaand, today I am starting Melissa Walker’s Violet on the Runway during my break tonight at work.

http://www.melissacwalker.com/violetontherunway.html

So far, I have nothing to say about this, considering I haven’t even read the first sentence of the first chapter yet. But I’ll let you know. (: From what I know in the summary it’s about this girl Violet who couldn’t be more plain and average than any other teenage girl, at least to her. Then one day a lady comes up to her saying she’d be the perfect model and there’s a flight waiting for her to take her to NYC. Her secret… she’s going. Ooooh! Exciting! Can’t wait to start reading…

Lastly, I have the rest of my books list.

I’m going to make a page for it. If you have any suggestions on what I should add, let me know. (: