Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review and comments on ~ The Elements of Style

Good Morning!
Okay so my aunt gave me this book 'The Elements of Style' by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White for Christmas. As I said before, you can never stop learning. I want to keep working on my writing skills, so I figured why not. I wish I could say it was this past Christmas she gave me this book, but then I would be lying on which Christmas. Anyway, I finally sat down and read through it. the book is about eighty-five pages long. It's real thin.




I feel weird giving a 'textbook' more than 3 because well, who really enjoys reading textbooks, let along grammar ones? I was given this book by a relative for Christmas because I am always up for constantly fixing my talent. No one is perfect. This book is tiny, but has a lot of information in it, and I'm hoping I'm not breaking too many of the rules as I write this review. There were a couple of parts which I thought might as well have been written in Chinese. I think I might have needed a step before this book because I think the authors expected I knew what they were talking about at parts. I was talked to rather than getting an explanation for what the rule was. There were a couple of points I wanted to know why that was the way it was. Otherwise it's real short read. If you already have a little bit of a foundation and just need something to grab as a quick reminder this is your book.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fun book order!

Good Afternoon!
When I had a beta reader go through Project US she suggested 'Eats, shoots & Leaves' by Lynne Truss to help me with punctuation. I went on Amazon and picked up a couple of other books while I was at it. If I want to keep writing, learning new skills is a smart idea. I want to get better with grammar, and you can never stop learning more in life. I want to pick up new skills. Editors are great, but I also want to be able to catch more mistakes myself. Plus it is pretty ignorant of a writer to just say that's the editor's job. No, they are to help polish your book, but they shouldn't be there to need a blow torch to find the work. One of my editors likes Grammar Girl, and it was on sale so I figured why not. Plus with some of the grammar books, I can bring into my classroom whenever I get one as well. Yes, I will be that social studies teacher that makes the students write. As I go through them I'll share my opinion on them.

Now, you might be reading this and be like, "Those are cookies on that one cover, you're not fooling anyone that, that is a grammar book". I know it is a cookbook. I'm excited! My goal is to eventually move out into my own place, so I'm slowly going to start collecting cookbooks before hand. This one is called "Sally's Baking Addiction". It is from the mind of Sally McKenney, a blogger who I found a couple of years ago and is currently most of the cooking tabs saved in my folder on my computer. You should check out her block here, I'm hoping to try a few recipes out over the summer. She has a several sections in the book which include breads & muffins, breakfast, brownies & bars, cakes, pies, & crisps, candy & sweet snacks, cookies, cupcakes, and healthier choices. I'm sure my parents are not going to be so happy with all the sugar since someone is always on some form of a diet. That and she has easy step by step directions and tips which someone like me appreciates! If I cook any I'll be sure to share how it goes. Heads up, when I cook things don't always look like the pictures.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Trouble sleeping

It is currently a little over a half hour till midnight. When I was working I could barely make it till 10pm, and now despite exercising everyday I have been having trouble sleeping. When I was younger and had trouble sleeping my doctor asked if I exercised. I know there are people who will go nights with zero sleep and that's a problem. I'm not under-minding that. However, I don't drink coffee and I'm a baby with sleep. The past week I've been having a series of bad dreams almost every night, I can't get comfortable, and all that fun stuff. My attention span is shotty, haha I need my sleep gosh darn it! My eyes are tired, but my mind feels like the little person is on a treadmill and going on strong. That and a little jumpy and tense. I need to relax, and I even been trying yoga before bed. Tonight is no exception as she has like fifty, eighteen year old for a party that I have been told that will leave around midnight. Lovely times, charming group of people may I add. I'm always alert to begin with, and the constant opening and closing of the door is not helping. Currently I am watching the end of 'This is the End' hoping that the laughs will help me relax before bed, even though it's almost on full blast. We shall see, I'd love a night of no bad dreams...To those who suffer real insomnia and not my cycles of bad sleep I feel so sorry for you and I'll keep you in my thoughts as I sit here waiting to get tired.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Art of writing of reviews

Hello!
Do you read reviews for books before you buy a book? I will admit that I do occasionally. I do compare the good and the bad reviews for a book if I'm on the fence. That does not say that I use reviews as the only deciding factor for my purchases, but I keep them in mind. As an indie author, we do thrive on reviews, so please do not think this post is about, "WRITE REVIEWS FOR ME NOW". I swear that is not my intention. I was going through reviews for End of the Line because I will be posting reviews for it, for an upcoming project. I see just stars, there is no such thing as an expert reviewer. Next time you read any indie author (go through my own reviews for suggestions or comment here and I can try to give you a list!) write a couple of words on Amazon, Goodreads, Bn, or where you get your books. 

Write a little, a little can go a long way:
-I loved it!
-Really enjoyed the book
-Ew this book had awful characters.

Think of the good!
-Characters were fun!
-Good vocabulary.
-The setting made me wish that I was there.

You can mention the bad.
-Whinny characters (a big problem with me!)
-Too many typos
-The writing was choppy

I like to try to mention the good and the bad to make it should like I wasn't paid to read it. I think there should always be a balance. Even if the balance is the plot, characters, or author's style of writing. I personally like to have two paragraphs. The first being a short summary, maybe a little about the characters. The second being about the author's style, issues or things that I liked. So, get reading and writing ;)
~Ottilie

Saturday, June 28, 2014

NA Crush Tournament

Good Morning!
So I just wanted to share this for you since I did reviews for Faith Sullivan. Her character Eric is up for NA Crush Tournament. On July 3rd you'll be able to vote for him at: here. Be sure to vote for Eric. I mean who wouldn't vote for that?






Friday, June 27, 2014

Beta Read

Good Afternoon!
So, I join a group the other month were I get to talk to authors, we share tips, places where to get reviews, and beta readers. I have this one story that I wrote when I was 14, and for some reason that story scares me more than any other. You'd think three published novels would make someone more confident, but in reality each story is its own. Project US has an odd plot, which might turn off some readers, and I'm probably over thinking it more than anything. I got six pages back from the beta reader of compliments (by the way she loved this story, hearing that does make me a little less nervous), suggestions, and some grammar suggestions. Poor woman might regret enjoying beta reading for me! I printed out her notes and I'll be going through them more after I finish my final project and my final. She had a couple plot holes that I need to fill in, one major one that I have to figure out how to work in. All of which were good and valid points. I'm excited to dive in as soon as the homework will accept defeat! While I'm doing homework though I will be waiting for the three grammar books that I ordered and one cook book. Hey, the learning never ends :)
~Ottilie

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review ~ The Runner by J. M. Johnson

Good Morning,
I have a review of a Young Adult novel (I know it's been a bit since I did that!). This is an indie author, J.M. Johnson. This is a post-apocalyptic that has a little bit of sci-fi feel at the end.


Are you strong enough to survive? Electricity is gone. Government has been broken down. People are scattered, doing whatever they can do to survive. Avi is a runner, someone who is between the age of 13-17 who runs errands from one 'town' to another for their community, risking her life every time she leaves the fenced in area. Avi lives in the star town of the new world, but when things go hay wire, she is the first to volunteer to rise up to find answers that will save lives.

This is the first piece that I am reading by J.M. Johnson, and I enjoy reading indie books because there are some creative pieces that are not as well known. These are characters that are willing to do whatever it takes to survive, and helps the readers see despite all the bad in the world, even a smile can make a difference. She does give you detail that helps you understand the new world that she has created for The Runner. The only issue I had was that I felt like I was being talked to, rather than reading in some parts. However, the second book is released and I will probably be picking that up at some point :)

Kindle $2.99
Amazon Paperback $9.30

Barnes&Nobles
Smashwords