Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Five Stages of Fan-Girling

The Five Stages of Fan-Girling 
by Ashley Dawson



So if you're anything like me, I freak out pretty hard when I finish a great book and hear that the next installment in the series is coming out soon. Now, this isn't your every day, run of the mill freak out. Oh no. We're talking a full on fictional fan-girl episode, complete with little girl screams when cover reveals are announced  So, in order to highlight the greatness that is YA fiction, here are the Five Stages of YA Fan-girling: 


1. Finish the Book, Cry a Little


It never fails. I finish that last line, and immediately turn to my pillow for comfort. Why did it have to end with a cliffhanger? Can the next book come out faster? Is my life going to be the same after this? All good questions, no good answers. And because of this, I cry. Sooner rather than later someone finds me with an open cup of Jell-O pudding and a frown, and they know I've finished the book I've been reading for the last fourteen hours straight. 


2. Googled it- Comes out Next Month


Okay. So I've consulted my friendly Google search engine, and Amazon tells me my favorite author is relieving me of my troubles and releasing the sequel in exactly one month. One. Month. I bite my nails for a full thirty-one days, each day a deliberate step toward that fateful day when the months change and my book love is home in my arms. Or, I just click the pre-order button. Let's go with that. 


3. Cover Reveal


Oh. My. Gosh. That's the most beautiful thing I've ever laid my eyes on. Sure enough, it's staring up at me from the front page of my favorite YA blog, and I can't look away. Love at first sight. I'll spend countless hours thinking I see that cover on a local bookshelf, only to realize that it hasn't been released yet. Yet. 




4. Check my Mailbox Religiously 


My mailbox becomes my best friend. Seriously. None of my actual friends exist for the 3-4 day shipping period, and they are all very used to this. They bring me food while I wait and I eat like I'm fueling for a half marathon. Because I totally am. Sort of. 


5. It's Here


I scream, bee-line for my bed, and rip the packaging off. There it is. The perfect thing. I flip to a random page and smell the freshly printed pages for just a moment, before diving in. 

Then, fourteen hours later, I'm finished. 

And book three doesn't come out for a year. 

Repeat from step one. 


Best wishes and happy fan-girling,

-Ashley Dawson 





Monday, November 17, 2014

Nature of Grace GIFs

Greetings Grace-Fanatics! 


I just wanted to share with you a few awesome GIF images in the style of Grace! Here are a few of them, complete with Grace, Mo, and other quotes from the series. 

Enjoy! 





Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why I Read

Why I Read 




Lately I've been pulling books from the shelf like a madwoman, flying through about five a week and going back for more. Most of them are YA fiction, usually dystopian or futuristic societies with a rebellious main character. I love it. Now, I get a lot of looks from people, and a lot of questions; how do I read that fast? Why do I always have my nose in a book? Now, the answer is simple, and I'll tell you five reasons why I read so much: 

1. First and Foremost, Reading Helps You Write

There's no doubt about it. If you're having trouble putting words on paper, reading a good book can help. Not because I didn't have the time or the energy, but because I had a simple case of writer's block. And do you know what the fastest way to cure writer's block is? You got it, reading. Letting your imagination roam across the words of other author's can open your own voice up. 

2. Reading is Relaxing

Not only is it entertaining, but reading helps you to relax. Perhaps it's being out of you own head for a while, or maybe it's just the physical act of sitting down and having your brain preoccupied, but a good book always does the trick. 

3. Books are Entertaining

As simple as that sounds, it's true! The stories we read in books allow us to create rather than watch. We envision the characters, the setting, the feelings - everything, with the author's words to guide us. It's an amazing process that is both entertaining and creative. 

4. There are No Limits

Seriously, none! When you're in a fantastical story, anything is possible, and the sky is the limit. The characters can do anything, and by default, so can you. That's the wonderful thing about reading; you can be a dozen people in one day, and do amazing things. 

5. You Can Travel

A book is the best way to see a dozen lands before bed, all from the comfort of your own brain. It certainly does feel like traveling, rushing from world to world as each chapter progresses. It's a fantastic feeling, being able to travel while sitting completely still. 

And there it is! Five reasons why I read so much and love it. The more books you pick up the farther you travel and the bigger your imagination gets, so might as well read as much as you can.


What's the best book you've read lately? Comment below! 


Monday, November 03, 2014

How to Write off Writer's Block

How to Write off Writer's Block 


So of course we all have an idea of what writer's block means to us- whether that be long, caffeine filled nights or lots of junk food and hair pulling, there's no doubt it's infuriating. However, every writer has their own way of beating back the book blues, so here are a few of mine that may hopefully help! 

1. Read. A Lot. 


Whenever you're unable to get past that one chapter, pull out a book for fun. Believe it or not, reading avidly for a few hours, (or days, or weeks), actually helps to boost your creativity and take the pressure off; this means, your ideas are free to fly whenever you like. Just make sure you're ready for the imaginative outpour.

2. Take a Break


Sometimes we write a little too much for a little too long, and our main characters start to drain us. Not that we don't love them, but sometimes we need a little time alone to think. After days of writing, a break for yourself can help you think over what you've already written, and brainstorm for what you want to write. 


3. Naps


A nap is always the best way to finish that last bit of dialogue you just can't seem to nail. Try thinking of your story before you drift off to sleep, letting your characters talk it out and the plot write itself. Maybe you'll even dream of your story, and get some ideas. 

4. Ask Others


A lot of times we are our worst critics and can't quite seem to understand that. Every time we finish a chapter we think, "Wow. This is awful. Rewrite." But what if it isn't all that horrible, and maybe just needs a few tweaks? Sometimes an outside point of view can help us be easier on ourselves and get some good insight in the process. 


5. Take a walk


Relax. No good book is written in a night, that's for sure. So take an hour or so and get outdoors, take a walk in the park or up the street. Nature can be freeing and let your ideas work themselves out, while at the same time letting you relax in a stress free environment. 


Regardless of the way you treat writer's block, there's always someway to get your creativity back on track. So maybe try one of the ideas above- and remember to relax, breathe, and love what you do.