WBP’s Critique Partner Match Up!

My Writer’s blog is hosting a Critique Partner Match-up, so if you’ve been looking for CPs, check it out!

Writer's Block Party

Writer's Block Blog Banner.pngHi all! We asked on Twitter if people would be interested in a CP match up post for y’all to find critique partners and it was a resounding yes. So, here you go!

As you might know we all met up through various CP match-up posts like the one hosted by the amazing Susan Dennard. So we are very much pro critique partner match ups on blogs. We hope that this gives you all a forum to talk about your work and perhaps find that perfect creative match so you can ride off into the writing sunset together!

Before we get into the nitty gritty, we wanted to refer you back to a few of our old resources about being a critique partner:

Meg’s post on Giving Constructive Feedback

Kat’s video on 5 tips for being a good CP

And our first ever post that’s just full of CP…

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Reading Challenges for 2018!

I’m going to try to do some writing challenges this year. I know that some people feel pressure by signing up for challenges, but for me I like the idea that I can be checking off boxes in a challenge as I read. It makes it fun for me (for now). So, here are the ones I’m doing

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Goodreads Challenge

Since I read 75 books in 2017, I signed up to read 75 books in 2018 as well!

A-Z Challenge: read a book that corresponds to every letter of the alphabet (either title or author name)

30238163A: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody23197837
B: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
C: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
D: Down & Across by Arvin Ahmadi
E: The Girl in the Grove by Eric Smith
F: Flood City by Daniel José Older
G: A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
H: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callendar35430013
31207017I: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
J: Shadowsong by S.Jae Jones
K: Kingdom of the Blazing Pheonix by Julie C Dao
L: Love Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
M: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney
N: Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
35297380O: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh36222611
P: American Panda by Gloria Chao
Q: The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
R: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
S: Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
T: Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
U: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
V: Vicious by V.E. Schwab
35704397W: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo35604686
X: Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Y: Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Z: Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

 

Also, here’s a video of the books I’m looking forward to in 2018!

Are you taking part in any reading challenges?

Kat’s Year End Round-Up!

Well, it’s the end of the year. Which means…time for wrap up posts! Wheeeee!

So, let’s just jump into my list of favorite books, music, kdramas, movies, etc. of 2017!

Favorite Books by genre:

So, I actually made a video talking about my favorite books. I don’t know if it’s the holiday season or just 2017-syndrome, but I got a little emotional talking about my faves. If you want to watch me almost cry then click below!

Favorite Sci-fi

Rebel Seoul (2017)

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I have written a THOUSAND reviews and done a THOUSAND videos about why this is my favorite of the year. So I’ll link you to all of them. But TL;DR: bromance, giant robots, swoony romance, awesome kdrama and manga influences!

Fantasy (Tie!)

Daughter of the Burning City (2017)

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Another book that I’ve talked my HEAD off about all year. I love the dark carnival setting. The found family aspect. The strong female lead in Sorina and how she cares so much about her family. I also really like how Foody doesn’t hold back with some of the creepy details. She makes a world that would scare me to live in, but I’d totally want to visit at the same time.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (2017)

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Loved this Chinese retelling of the Evil queen from Snow White! Gorgeous world building. Evil AF main character that I can’t tear my eyes away from! I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster by Xifeng. She is not one to let your heart settle before she makes another questionable decision. Also, she might EAT your heart, so be careful!

Contemporary (Tie!)

Saints and Misfits (2017)

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A very personal and emotional journey of one muslim girl’s journey to find courage after a traumatizing event. You really get steeped into Janna’s life and heart. She places people into three categories: saints, misfits, and monsters. The problem is that the monster she knows is someone no one in her community would guess and you can imagine that really weighs on her throughout the book.

The Inexplicable Logic of my life (2017)

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This book DESTROYED ME. I swear my eyes were leaking the whole time! I loved the concepts of friendship and family and acceptance. It’s hard to know who you are or who you want to be when you’re in high school. It’s even harder when you tack on labels that other people insist on using to look at you through. For our main character that’s stuff like having a mother who died when he was a baby, a biological father he never knew, and a loving adoptive father who is gay. None of these things should matter, but of course they do in Sal’s life. Good thing he has his best friend Sam. But, of course, life is never a straight line journey. And things happen in both Sal and Sam’s life that make them take a hard look at who they are and what family means to them.

In Verse

Long Way Down (2017)

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I am NOT someone who reads books in verse. I’d heard a lot of great things about Long Way Down and I was lucky enough to snag an ARC. So I decided to read it randomly one night while I was on a trip with my family. I was up until 3AM finishing it. It was such a powerful read. Every word had weight. I admire Jason Reynold’s talent so much that he can make one word mean so many things and have such an impact on me. I literally had goosebumps reading this book. Even if you don’t read in verse, you should pick this up.

Humorous

I Believe in a Thing Called Love (2017)

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I love Maruene Goo’s humor! I was SO EXCITED when I heard about a book about a Korean American girl who uses Kdramas to find love. But it was so much more than that. Desi could have BEEN me as a teen. She is a girl who analyzes her world and has found success in school and extracurriculars by being meticulous. So when love never goes her way, she decides studying something where love always work is the key. So she watched Korean dramas and  maps out the path to love. Oh Desi, you poor misguided dum dum. But seriously, I can imagine this being something I’d have tried at 17, lol. I mean, she goes a bit far at some points and I can’t imagine I’d have put anyone in danger to find my one true love in high school. But, I can totally understand why Desi wants to figure out why she’s such a klutz at romance. I just want to hold her close and tell her everything will be okay and also smack some sense into her.

Middle Grade

The Gauntlet

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Such a fun middle grade adventure! I loved the strength of the main character. She wasn’t like in-your-face Katniss shooting and arrow style. But she was smart and passionate and she was trying to save someone she loved. And I love those motivations especially in middle grades. I also liked that the book had an awesome muslim girl as the protagonist. And that her culture was an ingrained part of who she was. Yes, she was trapped in a mechanical Jumanji-like game, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still a multi-faceted person.

Favorite Music:

BTS – Spring Day

Wanna One – Beautiful

G-Dragon – Untitled

Lee Hyori – Seoul

Harry Styles – Kiwi

Favorite KDramas

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

So much heart! Great acting by the two leads. The friends were cute and really helped to boost up the main characters and highlight who they were. I especially loved Bok Joo’s relationship with her two best friends. The older brother fell flat for me, but I also felt like he was just there as a plot vehicle to cause growth in Bok Joo (Not sure how I feel about that, but I really enjoyed Bok Joo’s character arc and it wouldn’t have been what it was without him).

Dokkaebi (Goblin)

SO EMOTIONAL. LOVE Reaper and Goblin relationship. Wasn’t as into the relationship with Ji Eun Tak. I was very invested in Reaper and Sunny’s relationship. Reaper was probably my favorite character. I wish they utilized Sungjae more , though 😦

Hwarang

Love Park Hyung Sik. New crush. It could have done way more with the bromances especially between Park Seo Jun and Park Hyung Sik. However, I loved watched Hyung Sik so much, that I was happy and entertained most of the time watching it.

While You Were Sleeping

I LOVE LEE JONG SUK. Also, this drama…kinda…it kinda made me like Suzy as an actress. There! I said it! I’m not taking it back! Listen, she might have been a log of petrified wood before, but she bloomed under the love of Lee Jong Suk. THAT IS HIS MAGIC! This drama also had such great tie ins between all the characters and story lines. It was kind of episodic in that there were different court cases that needed to be solved and different dangers for our three leads. The supernatural elements of the prophetic dreams was handled really masterfully and I like how they delved into the concept of cause and effect of our actions and how they change the flow of destiny/fate.

 (also, Jung Hae In = new crush)

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Favorite Movies:

Thor

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Before I get into it, I’ll say it. This movie was a complete 180 from the tone of the other Thor movies. I had a hard time believing that Thor was suddenly so hilarious and witty. But that aside, I really enjoyed this film. I loved Taika Waititi‘s What We Do In The Shadows, which is a mockumentary about vampires in New Zealand (if you haven’t watched it then GO WATCH IT NOW, I’ll wait). So, I totally got where the new humor came from. Taika Waititi is hilarious and I loved him as the rock monster. I think that the ladies got to step it up in this film and I was so happy with that. Valkyrie is my new girl crush for sure! And they really did a nice job of taking advantage of the complicated relationship between Loki and Thor that was set up by the other films. I love Loki because of how morally ambiguous he is. And the fact that Thor still wants to believe in his bother is one of the things I actually have always liked about Thor (even when he was a pompous bore).

Spider-Man Homecoming

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I wasn’t really that into Spider-man anymore about the bajillionth reboot, but I honestly thought this version was a great reboot of the franchise. It seemed more genuinely teenage to me. The school life Peter had and the way he interacted with his friends seemed really appropriately awkward for who Peter Parker is. And I actually really liked that I didn’t have to rewatch him get bit by a spider and “discover” his powers all over again (this isn’t a spoiler, since this Spider-man appears in Civil War this takes place after that and he obviously had his powers in that film). We just got into the meat of him BEING spider-man, which is probably what helped give the faster pacing of this film

Other things:

Stranger Things Season 2

Three words: Season Two Steve. (May be spoiler-ish stuff in the below video, but it doesn’t really give anything away about the plot)

Brooklyn 99

This show is so funny and clever and sharp! It also does not shy away from addressing issues like racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. I loved the nod to the growing pains of the publishing industry in the Male Fantasy Author episode.

We should all try to find the confident Gina Linetta inside of all of us:

Hamilton!

I know this show isn’t new in 2017, but I watched it for the second time this year with a huge group of my critique partners and I cried so hard! I don’t know why the second viewing hit me so hard. I do theorize that it’s because of who I went to see it with and because the political climate in America is trash right now. I maybe long for a time where people fought for ideals and country above selfish greed.

 

That’s it for my 2017 faves! If you have any favorites from this year I’d love to hear about them!

End of the Year Wrap Up

Writer's Block Party

I can’t believe a year went by so fast. *Cue the Rent soundtrack* For real though, it feels like just yesterday I was writing Our New Year’s Resolutions and already, we’re taking a look back at what we’ve accomplished.

All of us at Writer’s Block Party are immensely grateful for everyone who has followed us on our first year. Now it’s time to look back on what we’ve done since we first met you all!

Washington on Your Side
Given how the 2016 election turned out, everyone was encouraged to step it up a notch in 2017 when it comes to political advocacy. Collectively, we were more politically active than we’ve ever been before by calling reps, spreading more awareness on issues close to us way more often, and making recurring donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the IRC, to name a few. We made some progress in 2017…

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My Fallow Periods

I’m back!

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Hello strangers, remember me? I’m the person that’s supposed to keep this blog updated, even though I haven’t posted in MONTHS. I apologize for my LONG absence, but to be fair you can still find me pretty regularly over at Writer’s Block Party! And I have been much better at keeping up my new(ish) Authortube/Booktube vlog over at YouTube.

STILL, this blog was my first love and I’ve been horrible at keeping it updated. Partly because I did want to try out those other formats of connecting with everyone (vlogging is fun but time consuming, y’all!)

Also, because my writing has…not been going well. So, I thought I might talk about fallow periods and the search for motivation and inspiration when you’re a writer or a creator.

According to Cambridge dictionary “fallow” means: Fallow land is not planted with crops, in order to improve the quality of the soil A fallow period of time is one in which very little happens.

But Mirriam-Webster has a girl’s back because this is the first thing that pops up in their definition:

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Way to both support and subtweet me Mirriam-Webster!

ANYWAY! You get the gist. It’s a period of time where a writer is not writing. There should be a sub-definition that says “a period of time where a writer questions all their life choices and regrets everything.”

The idea of a fallow period for writers is not new. However, if you look at the origin of the word it’s a time when fields don’t produce crops, but it’s ALSO a time when the fields are regenerating nutrients to be able to grow crops again! This definitely changed my view on the time periods when I couldn’t write and how I would treat them. This idea was first presented to me when a CP sent me this post.

So, instead of just seeing periods of time where I’m not creating as a negative, I see it as a chance to rejuvinate my creative well and to refresh my mind. I try to read all the books I couldn’t concentrate on when I was actively writing or revising. I use it to watch all the shows I’d been missing out on. And I pursue other creative endeavors because I know that when I’m actively writing I can’t do many other creative things at the same time. So, right now that’s being more active on my Instagram

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And on my youtube channel!

Still, the idea of most of the things I’m doing is to work toward being able to write again. So I try to find inspiration and motivation in everything I do. I keep journals and lists of ideas as they come to me. And I try to let myself write if I want to, but I don’t set any deadlines and let it just flow naturally. This way, I find that most of the things I end up writing during my fallow periods is very personal and it helps to bring my stories closer to my heart.

What do you guys do during your fallow periods? How do you refill your creative wells?

Happy NaNoWriMo 2017!

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I used to always do an introduction to NaNoWriMo post before, but since I’ve done those so often (here, here and here) I figured I can skip it and go right into talking about my NaNo plans!

First of all, I’m going to work on TWO Manuscripts (because I like to cause myself mental anguish, jk…kinda). One is a Contemporary Fantasy and the other is a Space Opera. So, totally different MS’s (again, love to cause myself mental anguish). They’re actually not that different in that I think my characters are all what drive the stories (or at least that will be my goal). So, I am excited to get into them.

I’ve also started bullet journaling to see if it will make me more productive. If it doesn’t then at least I’ll have pretty doodles in my journal at the end of the month.

Finally, I’m going to vlog my experience. Because I need to be on all social media at all times (Kat = Extra). For reference, here are some NaNo videos I already made!

 

Conference Report: Boston Teen Author Festival 2017 (BTAF)

Late on reposting this. But I wrote a conference report for BTAF 2017! It was so fun!

Writer's Block Party

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The WBP team was super lucky to be go to the Boston Teen Author Festival this year! It was a one day festival that focused on bringing amazing Young Adult novels to fans in the Boston area and beyond.

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We were in attendance 13+ deep including our other critique partners. Two of our amazing WBP contributors, Akshaya and Maddy, and honorary WBP member, Janella, were board members!

When Axie and Foody were asked to be on panels, we knew we had to go en masse to cheer everyone on! THEN, Meg and Kat (and honorary WBP member, Erin Bay) were asked to moderate panels with some superstar panelists. So, suffice it to say, we were super excited for BTAF.

There were amazing authors like Leigh Bardugo, Jason Reynolds, Susan Dennard, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Cinda Williams Chima, and Cindy Pon, and so many more I can’t even list them all. So…

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