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#ReaderProblems Fandoms vs. Mobs

3 Feb

All right. All right. I’m not telling anyone they cannot have an opinion. You can. (Of course.) But I wanted to discuss an upsetting trend that bothers me down in my fandom core.

Readers ALWAYS hate every adaptation. And it isn’t just hate. It’s very loud, very aggressive, very complete hate. Welcome, fandom mobs.

I get it. I do. I am a reader before I am a writer. I’m in many fandoms, and I am in love with many worlds and characters and storylines, and they mean more to me than words on a page. Those worlds were my safe places when I wanted to escape. Those characters were my friends when I felt alone. Those storylines were my explorations when I couldn’t leave my home. Seeing them butchered is like witnessing the mockery of something you love. I get it. But don’t pick up the pitchfork yet.

Adaptations are adaptations. They are not a mockery, because they are not the same thing. The adaptations are inspired by the books we love, and we must keep that in mind…and we need that mind to be an open mind.

Why?

The reason movie and television producers pick up books and create adaptations is because there is already an audience. That audience, hopefully, will attend first, and then encourage others to attend too…even despite differences. If anything, I remember differences being another form of entertainment. When Harry Potter first started releasing (when I was 11), my friend delighted in explaining what was different, but she never said it was wrong or terrible or discouraged me from trying it out for myself. If anything, it made me consider reading the books, and she offered me her first one to borrow so I could catch up by the sequel’s release.

This is what we, as a fandom, need to concentrate on. We want to encourage new readers and viewership so they can make their own opinions…even if you don’t like the adaptation…and that means concentrating on being positive. A newcomer is not going to pick up a book if that book is in the hands of an angry mob with pitchforks. But if you sit back and—in the least—enjoy discussing everything, maybe they will pick up that book and join your awesome fandom.

The reason I wanted to talk about this, as I’m sure many of you know, is due to the second adaptation of The Mortal Instruments. The 2013 movie bombed, and now, the TV show has released. Personally, I loved the movie. I also enjoy the TV show. I’m not picky. (Obvs.) I read the book, and I know this isn’t the book. In fact, the producers made that quite clear. To me, as long as they get the “mood” of the characters, I’m pretty happy. In fact the show changed the overall tone of the story for me. As a reader, the books were a dark paranormal comedy, but the show is cheese all around. You know what? That’s okay. I could use some more cheese in my life. And one of my favorite parts of this entire experience was calling up my best friend to discuss the differences between the books and the show, because we read them together years ago and reread them together again. (Chernobyl, seriously?)

Then, as opinions rolled out, I saw it happen again. Just like the movie. The mob came out.

The disturbing trend of absolute hate in this adaptation, not once but twice, is a great example of the consequences that could follow if we keep doing this.

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The book, the movie, the show

When the movie released, everyone hated it. Hated it. Now that the show is out, I see more love for the movie than ever. I do find it ironic that everyone is suddenly talking about how much they loved The Mortal Instruments movie now that they dislike the TV show. Granted, marketing had a lot to do with the movie’s failure as well, but the fandom had a huge hand in it.

All the complaining about the movie convinced no outsiders to see the movie, and the poor sales caused the sequel’s cancelation.

So…where were all these “lovers of the movie” back then? I know I didn’t see many, because I felt rather alone in how much I enjoyed it. I saw it twice—in a nearly empty theatre both times—and I’ve watched it over a dozen times total. My DVD copy sits on my DVD player at all times. Other TMI fans even made me feel like a bad TMI fan because I liked it, but I still talked about how much I loved it. Don’t be afraid to say you enjoyed it, and don’t attack fellow fans. This is where we go wrong…but please don’t get me wrong. I had my dislikes about the movie as well. (Alec, for one, who I actually enjoyed in the TV show.) And I was vocal about that to my friend. That being said, I also gushed over Lily and Jamie and even Raphael. I told everyone I knew to at least try it out or to read the books. I also explained a lot of the missing elements to the friends who checked it out and wanted to know more.

It’s okay to complain or discuss differences, but try to be positive. This is a fandom, after all. You want more people to join it. Why not explain some differences of the show to newcomers and encourage them to get the book?

I might tell people I liked this or I disliked that, but I try to focus on what I liked the most. I try to tie it into the book. I try to do what my friend did for me all those years back with Harry Potter. I sit down with them and talk about it and explain questions the adaptations might not have covered and I encourage them to get the book and see for themselves.

Don’t let your fandom turn into a mob. Fandoms are supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be exhilarating and great. A place where all fans can come together and be friends and discuss and draw pictures and write fan-fiction and celebrate the books.

If we keep doing this, our fandoms will no longer be fandoms; they will be mobs. And those mobs are going to take out all future adaptations. Eventually, there will be no reason for producers to pick up a book’s crowd.

Read, encourage, repeat.

But, most of all, have fun again,

~SAT

Come get your books signed on February 13, from 1-3 PM during the Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas at Bradley Fair. Come meet Tamara GranthamCandice GilmerTheresa RomainJan Schliesman, and Angi Morgan! If you haven’t started The Timely Death Trilogy, don’t worry. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is free!

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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#ReadingChallenge Try a New Section in the Bookstore

25 Jan

Normally I take old posts and rewrite them every Monday, which is technically what I’m still doing, but I say that lightly in this case. Back October 25, 2012, I wrote a book review for a debut author, and I discussed why I think the debut author section is my favorite section in the bookstore. (You can read that post here.) Today, instead of writing a review, I want to discuss my favorite sections in the bookstore and why I love them. But why is this important? For readers and writers alike, it’s important to challenge yourself. Step outside your box, pick up a new author, try a strange genre, flip through a poetry collection. It just might help you with your writing. You might even find your next favorite book.

Here are three sections I tried and learned from!

I’d love to hear about your favorite sections too.

New Author Section:

I particularly love starting my bookstore journey in this section, because it challenges me to read new voices and new types of stories that I may not have found otherwise. Anything and everything gets placed in this section. Drama, literature, poetry, graphic novels, anything. I have seen it all in this section, which is why this section is a go-to area if you’re in the mood for challenging yourself. It’s also EXTRA exciting, because the novels are normally by authors you’ve never heard of before. (There are exceptions, meaning if an author hasn’t been published in ten years, they might still appear here.) But it’s well worth a skim. In fact, I found my favorite graphic novel of 2015 in this section—The Gigantic Beard that was Evil by Stephen Collins.

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Memoirs and Biographies:

What is a better section for learning about life than reading about people’s literal lives? I love memoirs in particular, so I know I’m biased, but I think memoirs can also force you to step outside your boundaries. (I even love non-memoir memoirs. You know, the ones that claim they are “fiction” but everyone and their mother knows they aren’t…Granted, not found in this section, but that’s another story.) Last year, I found one of my all-time favorite reads in this section. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty, which is about a girl deciding to work in a crematory. It’s a fascinating exploration of mortality within different cultures.

What Our Staff Recommends:

I almost ALWAYS go to this section of the bookstore if the store has it. This is one of those delightful sections you can’t find online either (and it’s different in every store you go to). There’s normally a stack of books and one or two lines about why the staff recommends that particular read. Each review is generally done by a different staff member too, so you have a wonderful amount of variety in this section. Last year, I found Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan in this section, and I fell in love.

I normally spend the majority of my time in the young adult section. I have to mention this section, because it’s my obviously my go-to genre. It’s the section I buy most of my books from, and I thought I’d mention that so you could see how it compares to the other section above.

It’s important to challenge yourself, whether you’re a reader or a writer, and challenging yourself can help you. Even if you just want to know more about other topics, you can expand your palate by reading. This is why I love reading so much!

Try to pick two sections you wouldn’t normally visit, and check it out this month.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

~SAT

Come get your books signed on February 13, from 1-3 PM! I’ll be one of several featured authors at a Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas at Bradley Fair. CTP author Tamara Granthamwill be there, as well as NY Times Bestselling and USA Today Bestselling author Candice Gilmer. (I’ll know the other three authors soon!) I’d love to see you! If you haven’t started The Timely Death Trilogy, don’t worry. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is free!

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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You can read The Timely Death Trilogy on your new Kindle Fire! 

Clean Teen Publishing is giving one away. Enter here.

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#WW 2016 YA Reading Predictions

23 Dec

As the year comes to an end, readers are looking forward to new releases in 2016…and authors are nervous about all the predictions coming out. (Come on, I know I’m not the only one.) I’ve already read a few myself—and they ALWAYS freak me out. So what better way to combat them than by joining in on the fun?

These are just my silly predictions for 2016. Basically, I’m just having fun! (And I hope you have fun too.) A slight disclaimer: if you’re an author, please don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet my “predictions.” I mean, I have two dystopian novels coming out in 2016, despite my predictions being against it, so trust me, I don’t think any sort of predictions should stop anyone from publishing what they’re publishing. In fact, I think predictions can be rather silly. Readers pick what’s hot and what’s not. Not publishers, not authors, not booksellers. Readers do.

This is just for fun.

Without further ado…

Alternate History: Personally—and I know I’m not of the popular opinion—I think 2016 will become the year of alternate history books. This sort of ties into other dimensions, which is the next sub-genre I want to discuss, but I’m seeing a huge growth in alternate history books stretching over numerous genres, which is why I think it’s so powerful. You can have an alternate history in sci-fi—think Man in the High Castle, which has just become an Amazon original (and is awesome by the way) about the Nazis winning WWII—and then think of steampunk or historical romance, where we have books like The Inventor’s Secret, in which the American Revolution never happened. Granted, these could just be “other dimensions,” but I had to separate them from the next topic, because these alternate history tales aren’t always explained by alternate dimensions; they simply can just be. If I had to get specific, I think this will get hugely popular around the fall season…or even move into 2017, especially if steampunk is involved. Either way, alternate history can thread itself into all genres seamlessly…including what I think will be the biggest trend: Other dimensions.

Dimensions: This is the MAIN one I see growing. Other dimension stories—like Trial by Fire or A Thousand Pieces of You—are continuing their trilogies, and from what I’ve noticed in the industry, when books get to their final pieces, that’s when the genre is at its hottest, so you might be looking at 2017, too. Ex. Winter in The Lunar Chronicles and Ensnared in Splintered—the last in their series—just released in the same year fairy tale retellings were HUGE. So, if your book includes other dimensions, readers might be fighting for it in 2016 and 2017. That being said, I HAVE to tackle fairy tale retellings…

Fairy tale retellings: Can we talk about this without someone getting upset with me? Many are claiming this is going to be the hottest genre in 2016, but I’ll tell you what…I’m a bit tired of them. I love them; please don’t get me wrong. In fact, I just finished Winterspell by Claire Legrand, and it was one of my favorite reads all year. (It’s a retelling of The Nutcracker.) I just think that I’m ready for something else, so this is probably biased, but I actually think readers are going to sway away from fairy tale retellings by the time we get halfway through 2016. I think 2015 was the year for fairy tales. I mean, I just went to the bookstore the other day, and EVERYTHING was a fairy tale retelling. There was a glass slipper or an apple on nearly every cover. It was exhausting. I like variety as much as the next person. So, while I love fairy tales—and I definitely think they are still going to do great—I don’t think they are going to be the star of the show like they were last year.

Here are five books I'm looking forward to that already have covers!

Here are five 2016 books I’m looking forward to that already have covers! (The cover for The Winner’s Kiss will now keep the original design for the hardback! So excited!) 

In a quick sum up, I think aliens/galaxy novels are growing, especially at the beginning of the year with the release of The 5th Wave movie (and the last book in the trilogy releasing, The Last Star). I also don’t think dystopian is going away at all, despite big publishers claiming they are, hence why Lionsgate is hoping to continue The Hunger Games franchise with prequels. (Here’s an article.) There’s still value in the genre—probably because of the state of the world—but I do see dystopian swinging more into books that combine dystopian elements with epic fantasy, meaning it’s an entirely new world separated from our world. Think of The Jewel by Amy Ewing (Her last book in this trilogy should release in 2016 as well). Basically, not “the US once existed, but now it doesn’t” dystopian, but rather “this is a brand-new world with dystopian governments doing terrible things.” This also means I’m seeing more epic fantasy in general. New world, new rules, new faces, new creatures, and of course, maps. So many more maps! Think of The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. If you have a map in the front of your book, you’re doing 2016 right.

And finally…covers: I can’t talk about books without talking about book covers. From what I can tell, fancy fonts and symbolism is the “in” thing, especially feathers. Has anyone else noticed that? Feathers are freakin’ everywhere. Girls in dresses are somehow staying popular, and despite the overload of them, I think they’re here to stay. People love them too much. (I mean, they are gorgeous, aren’t they?) I have a hate-love relationship with them myself. But—yes—I think 2016 will be the year of symbols on the cover rather than people. That and hand-painted designs. Anything with special graphics, unique fonts, and/or strange artwork will be grabbed off shelves for their looks.

So, what do you think?

Any genre you see growing? Any genre you see simmering down?

Again, these are just my silly little predictions. Nothing too serious.

Just have fun,

~SAT

It’s official! There will be a Bad Bloods cover reveal for BOTH books on January 6. I will send out a newsletter December 29, asking for help, and three of you will win an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain

If you want to be a part of it, sign up for my newsletter here. (No purchase necessary, your information will never be given away, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I only send out one email per month, if that.)

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774959_954867311227117_7029831497832645098_oQuick shout-out to my lovely publisher, Clean Teen Publishing. These hard-working ladies crafted the most thoughtful gifts for the CTP authors this holiday season. They made this ‘S’ out of excerpts from The Timely Death Trilogy! How neat is that?

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1 (FREE)

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

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Death Before Daylight: book 3

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#MondayBlogs 10 Books That Will Inspire You To Travel

21 Dec

Intro:

As many of you know, I love reading…and I absolutely love traveling. So, when Jason Biondo approached me with the idea of combining these two topics, I was on board. I hope you enjoy this list as much as I do! (The first book is one of my all-time favorites.) Welcome, Jason!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

10 Books That Will Inspire You To Travel by Jason Biondo 

One of the best ways to see the world is through a good book. Reading opens a way through your imagination and allows you to dream. And, since most travellers are certainly book lovers, there are various travel novels that provide inspiration as well as enhance the spirit to dream and journey towards life. Here are some of the best travel books that will surely urge you plan your next trip and explore the world.

1. On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Published in 1957, the story of Sal and his friend Dean leaving New York to head west to be passionate about life – partying in ghost towns, making new friends, sleeping with random women, and riding the rails on night-time. It is an inspiring tale about leaving life behind and creating a new one along the road. From New York to Denver to San Francisco and LA, Sal has learned a lot of things in life and he was able to become stronger, more matured and developed his self-determination.

2. In a Sunburned Country

This book talks about Bill Bryson’s voyage through Australia while visiting little towns. Wander lusting through the forgotten continent, he first visited Sydney where he walks down the town most of his stay and appreciating the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. He narrates about how Australia changed his life because of the friendly people, hottest and dry weather, and the most peculiar wildlife to be found on this planet. No matter how imperfect, Bryson found Australia to be an adorable and fortunate country.

3. A Year in the World, Frances Mayes

This book is a celebration of unanticipated pleasures found in voyages, interacting with locals and appreciating nature. In this book, Mayes left her hometown, Tuscany to see France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, the British Isles and North Africa. Merging together her personal perceptions, history, landscape and passion in culture and art, Mayes shared her experiences to inspire people to journey towards their dreams.

4. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

While most travel books focuses on going different adventures, this book by Eric Weiner is about a self-help guide in searching happiness in all corners of the world. The story is about a pessimist voyage from America to Europe to Iceland to Bhutan in search for the happiest people in the world.

5. The Beach by Alex Garland

Released in 1998, this book is a tale about a backpacker named Richard and his search for wild adventures. Using a small map, he found himself within a vast islet in Thailand that is within a small community. His journey gives inspiration to American and European tourists to encourage them go on a holiday in Thai beaches for better views. This books best message is that Mother Nature is the most beautiful thing on this planet.

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6. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Just like A Year in the World, this book from Mayes is a good read for travellers. Shortly after discovering that her husband was cheating on her, Frances takes on a tour to Italy. She wrote about her experiences as a local Italian and talks about different food traditions and artful style in northern Italy which makes this book as a guide for people travelling to the place. The book includes several chapters of recipe and how she decides to acquire and develop a villa in the countryside.

7. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Rolf Potts himself spent 10 years on the road to ponder some insights which he put through this book for travellers who are starting off to their long-term trips. The book is rich with travel philosophies that talks about solo travelling, planning and saving pennies on the road. The book will teach travellers on travelling cheaply, but having a rich experience. And, what makes it even more inspirational is that it includes motivating quotes from different travellers.

8. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is just one among Coelho’s best-selling fictional books and one of the most-read travel books of all time. It is a story of a young shepherd boy named Santiago that goes on his journey from Spain to Egypt as he follows the step towards his dreams. Along his journey, he met a lot of people who seem to be like him and that made him even more passionate about travelling. He also found courage to experience new things, learned to love and discovered the real meaning of life. It is a must read book for travellers since it’s all about following dreams and travellers are dreamers.

9. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Having perfect life – an amazing husband, nice house and a good job, Gilbert couldn’t ask for more, but she feels like something in her life is missing. Elizabeth went through a difficult divorce and she then thought of leaving her hometown for different adventures. Spending her time on three different countries every year to get to know herself better, Elizabeth Gilbert gives inspiration to female solo travellers to go outside their comfort zone at some point of their lives. By travelling, she found an exciting way to eat in Italy, pray in India and love in Indonesia. She proved to people who think she’s crazy and her scared self that she was capable of surviving alone in a completely different place.

10. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

This is a story of Christopher Johnson McCandless form Virginia, a determined wanderlust that sets off alone to a trekking adventure in the wilderness and has a strong desire to go soul searching. He gave away his college fund and began travelling across western America. Even though filled with positive thoughts, along the way he experienced difficulties that challenged his patience and endurance. After deciding to climb Stampede Trail in Alaska, he was left with few resources and insufficient supplies for camping. He later on discovered dead on a bus and a journal was found with him about his voyage diaries.

Inspired to travel? Open your travel planner now, and see all the beauty, charm and eccentricity that our beautiful planet holds!

Bio: Jason Biondo is an amateur bodybuilder and a travel junkie who loves to share insightful tips to his fellow health enthusiasts and travelers. He is also a User Interface Developer Consultant and the Founder of Trekeffect.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

What Going To The Bookstore is Like

9 Dec

It’s December…which means cold weather…which means an extra excuse to go into the bookstore when your friends are shopping to…get warm…and get coffee and cookies ::cough cough:: I’ll only be five minutes. I promise.

My piece of heaven

My piece of heaven

I love books, obviously, but I also love going into bookstores just as much. There’s just *something* about the entire experience. Whether it’s the smell (the lovely smell of Starbucks and new books) or being around fellow book lovers, I love it all. I cannot wait until the next time I go on a trip to the store. So much so that I’m slightly weary of ordering online. Even though it’s convenient, I want *that* moment. Hell, I’ll make a whole night out of it. Bookstores bring a lot of peace to my life, so before I share what going into a bookstore is like, I want to share my Barnes & Noble. They bring a lot of love to my little writer’s life…and this is exactly how it plays out.

Oh! Look. A Barnes & Noble. 

I’m just…going to step in for a…minute. Just a minute.

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It smells like cookies in here.

Until I eat all of them, that is.

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And coffee! I need both.

Especially after that Barnes & Noble Membership discount.

I’m never going to leave.

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Okay. Books. I want all of them.

Time to get serious. This is what you came here for.

This is where your plan comes into action. You know your plan. It starts at new fiction, wraps around the young adult, circles to the poetry, and ends at memoirs.

200-4Okay. So maybe not that book.

Just not for me. That was…something though.

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There’s seeing a book you’ve been wanting.

Yep. The entire staff just heard you squeal.

They also saw you dance while you waited for someone else to move out of the way.

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And there’s seeing the book you’ve been waiting over a year to release.

Sweet Jesus. Yep. They definitely saw and heard you again.

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You try to apologize, but everyone understands.

We all have an inner Matilda.

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In fact, you might just read it right now

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But bookstores close…so you have to leave…

I’ll just get one. Or two. Or…screw it. I want all of these.

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But when you get home, you have your favorite place to read.

Does anything get any better than this?

200-11~SAT

Also, because we’re sharing gifs and other funny moments, I just did an interview with YouTuber Drew C. Ryan on his channel The awkWORD. (A hilarious channel by the way.) We talked about fandoms, video games, Disney, Sailor Moon, and more! Check it out.

SATurdate: Next Publication, Our Brand is Crisis, Cocoa Coffee, & More.

7 Nov

This one is going to be especially long since it’s all my updates since Oct. 24. (Silly Ketchup posts taking over a Saturday Update.) But I hope you enjoy all the exciting news!

What I’m Writing:

I didn’t get much writing accomplished the past two weeks. I was a nervous wreck after submitting my manuscript to Clean Teen Publishing, so reading and writing was basically impossible. (As I’ve stated before, publishing has a strange effect on me.) I bought a puzzle book to distract myself with, but dun dun dun…the publishing results are below.

What I’m Publishing:

If you’re a part of the Clean Teen Publishing Street Team, then you were the first to know! Read the announcement here (and join the street team, because they are awesome), but November Snow is happening. Clean Teen Publishing enjoyed the story and signed me on, so the future is coming. I sent off my contract yesterday. I’ll have additional news soon, so keep your eye out every Saturday for what’s going on and where we’re at in the publishing process. I’ll tell you this though: What they have planned is awesome. Since it’s releasing in the future, I’m still using it as my #1lineWed manuscript, and this past week’s theme was “cold,” so here’s a preview from November Snow: Her voice was as warm as the summer wind, but her stare reminded me of how cold it was outside.

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The current FB cover of November Snow

What I’m Reading:

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini: I started it this week, and boy, is this book bizarre. I feel like it’s been the week of bizarre books. It is not what I was expecting at all. (Not a bad thing.) So far, it’s very much like a scene from a video game where you’re fighting your shadow self.

Sailor Moon, V. 6: It’s no secret that Sailor Moon is favorite manga and anime. I read it all the time, and I officially own the new set…since I went a little crazy at the bookstore this week and bought 5-12 at once. Couldn’t help myself. I decided to reread volume 6 since Sailor Moon Crystal is returning, and this is the volume they’ll start off with. It starts the Infinity Arc, which introduces Sailor Uranus (my fav.) and Sailor Neptune. You can read my entire review here. Spoiler Alert: I gave it five stars. ;)

Sailor Moon, V. 7: I couldn’t stop myself. I had to read the next volume too, mainly because it’s been WAY too long since I last read this particular arc. (I have a bad habit of skipping this one, even though it’s a fan favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I still love this one.) You can read my entire review here. I gave it four stars.

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz: I finished it this week, and boy, was that book insane. It’s a complicated, chaotic exploration of racism, loss, and youth during the terrors of war. Not for the lighthearted. (A lot of cursing, prostitution, and cannibalism.) And it’s written in a very strange, unique way—often breaking the fourth wall and inserting photos in-between. I gave it three stars, and you can read my full review here.

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What I’m Listening To:

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know Podcast: I love them. I love their YouTube Channel, which is where I originally found them, and then, I was introduced to the podcast, where they expand on the videos on their channel in-depth. Pretty neat!

What I’m Watching:

American Horror Story! Finally! A local theatre here in town has the rights to show it, so I have been able to watch it again. I also caught up on Are You The One? (Don’t judge me…but I love that show. I normally hate reality TV, but, but, but…I just can’t help myself there.) The only other reality show I’ve followed before is King of the Nerds, and I just found out that season four was canceled, so boo.

Bridge of Spies: The new Tom Hanks’ movie is a must-see. It’s a fantastic true story, a tearjerker, and just brilliant. I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy war movies that take place off the battlefield, even though this was very much the battlefield for The Cold War. Another war movie I went to see was Sicario. I like Emily Blunt, but not so much her character in this film. There were some great one-liners, and one or two characters I really enjoyed, but the overall rhythm of the story didn’t work for me. If it came between the two, I’d definitely say go see Bridge of Spies.

bridge-of-spies-poster

As you’re about to see…I go to the movies a lot. The latest one I saw was Our Brand is Crisis, the new Sandra Bullock movie about an election in Bolivia. It’s rated R, but I’m not sure why. I didn’t think there was anything R-worthy in there, but the movie was great. Sandra is a goddess. I wish I could say more, but I’d probably spoil it. A Bridge of Spies was still my favorite of the ones I’ve seen recently.

OurBrandIsCrisisBanner

Documentary wise, I watched Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, which is about an author who wrote a book over the disappearance of Steven Haataja, a brilliant math professor who moves to a small town only to end up burned to death and tied to a tree. The mystery is how and why.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

dessertI carved a pumpkin into a moon (Maybe I was on too big of a Sailor Moon kick this week), and because of this carved pumpkin, I roasted a bunch of pumpkin seeds…which ended up being a giant FAIL. Anyway, our groundhog ate our pumpkin. But I made up for it later. I made cocoa cookies with white chocolate chips. NOM. They were, by far, the best cookies to pair with black coffee. I also made Apple Pie Sangria (both a white and a red one), which were awesome, and chicken fajitas in the slow cooker (also awesome). I made beef stroganoff recently too. On Halloween, I didn’t get to do much (boo, work), but I did manage to make myself a rootbeer float, and who doesn’t love a rootbeer float? My favorite drink to make, however, was the Eiskaaffee, a coffee drink that includes ice cream, whipped cream, coffee, and cocoa.

What I’m Wearing:

Cat-themed knee socks. They are awesome.

What I’m Wanting:

I missed out on Halloween costumes for my cats. (I know. I know. I’m cruel.) So, I really want elf costumes for them so I can celebrate SOMETHING this year. I worked on Halloween, so boooooo.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Two little monkeys were in my window, and it was adorable. Then, I opened the door, and these GIANT baboons came running into the house. One even tried to eat my cat Kiki. I kept running around the house, trying to get them to leave, but everything I tried failed, and they destroyed EVERYTHING. I even rode on a baboon’s back at one point. It was wild.

All my other dreams were too bizarre to explain in a reasonable manner.

What Else Is Going On:

12190019_931005530279962_2086646242368372003_nI kind of went a bit crazy while waiting to hear back from my publisher about November Snow. I couldn’t really write or read. (Publishing has a strange effect on me.) So, I went out and bought a variety puzzle book…and obsessively did meaningless puzzles for two weeks straight. I wish I was kidding.

~SAT

Announcement time! Other than November Snow being signed on, Minutes Before Sunset was nominated for the Cybils Award in Young Adult Speculative Fiction. Yeppee! Thanks for staying Dark and sharing the Dark with others.

During my next newsletter, you might be receiving a Black Friday Sale for The Timely Death Trilogy, so be sure to sign up here, but if you just can’t wait…

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

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#MondayBlogs Biggest Benefits of Reading

19 Oct

Intro:

Reading is one of my favorite activities in the world. (Cuddling with my cats is too.) And while reading is fun for many, there are more benefits than we might realize. Welcome Jose from Dissertation Planet, and see what sort of benefits you can add to your life by reading more.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Biggest Benefits of Reading by Jose at Dissertation Planet

Reading helps us relax and address our problems from a more objective point of view. It is the best way to exercise and clear your mind. As Tyrion Lannister, a major character in George R.R. Martin’s famous fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone…to keep it sharp.”

Keeping your mind sharp is just one of the many benefits of reading; many people read to escape reality and cut themselves some slack from their busy, normal routines. Some of the biggest benefits of reading include:

  • Increasing Your Cognitive Reserve:

No matter the genre, no matter the author, let alone the language in which the book is written, the simple act of reading can greatly benefit our cognitive level. Reading enhances our capacity for abstraction and imagination. To elaborate, reading creates more and more neural connections in our brains!

The availability of higher neural connections in the brain makes larger networks available and improves major connective tissues that accompany over time.

  • Improving Your Memory:

Reading daily enhances our library of stories, ideas, characters, terms and vocabulary which is extremely beneficial. Allowing these stories and ideas into our brain not only exercises our cognitive skills, but also improves our memory.

Photo provided by Jose

Photo provided by Jose

  • Reducing Stress:

There is no better feeling than coming home from school or work and lying down on your living room’s couch or your comfy bed to read a good book. Reading helps to relieve stress and tensions of everyday life. It opens up endless possibilities and allows us to experience new emotions & live inside the shoes of different characters.

To put it simply, reading diverts our focus away from everyday problems. And that is very essential, even if it is for an hour. Because giving ourselves some slack is very important to keep us sane.

  • Brain Stimulation and Continuous Learning:

It is already known how reading stimulates our neuronal activity, by establishing new connections. But the emotional impact of a book promotes learning and helps with the memory. It gives us the motivation to continue reading.

By stating these benefits of reading, we have only just scratched the surface. The pleasure of reading is the best value we can convey to children. It improves cognitive abilities, logical reasoning and expands our imagination.

Author Bio:

Jose works as a writer for one of the best UK dissertation writing service on internet. Dissertation Planet helps students who are looking for services to Dissertation help and dissertation writing . Jose has helped many students in writing, editing and proofreading their essays and dissertations and helping them achieve first class standard through professionally written papers.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

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