Monday, January 30, 2017

4 Creative Writing Tools

While I was in class, I learned a lot of tools to help me write beyond the classroom. The things I learned can apply to my own regular writing rituals and life. 

These tools are especially useful when I’m not feeling motivated or when I want to edit my own writing. 

Creative Writing Classrooms Series part 2

1 – Peer Review.

This can be harder to get outside the classroom but finding other people to read and comment on your work is invaluable! Search on sites like Facebook and MeetUp to find writing groups in your area (or online ones if people aren’t really your thing). 

Having an outside opinion about something you wrote can give insight into how your writing in perceived and what you may need to change to really get your reader to see your story as you do. You can also ask friends to read for you, but be sure you ask for honesty, not flattery. 

Flattery builds confidence, but honest critique can build your skills.

1A – Guiding Questions.

As a peer reviewer, I found that there are a few questions that can help you get into the honest critique and give valuable feedback. 
“What is happening here?” Simple, but useful for the writer to see some concrete interpretations of actions and events. Think who are the characters, what are they doing, what is their goal, and so on. 
“What are two really strong moments, and one weak moment?” I like to balance feedback in workshops, start with a strength, then a weakness, then end with another strength. Try not to think in terms of how you would write it differently, but how the author uses moments to convey meaning. 
Focus on specific moments in the story or poem. Don’t try to “fix” the whole thing. That’s not going to be of much help in the long run and likely to just discourage the writer.

2 – A Journal.

The practice of keeping a writing journal really changed how I observed the world around me. Just a notebook and pen, but when you keep it with you and write down everything you think of, you find some seeds for later use. 

I like to make it a game. I challenge myself to copy down an overheard conversation or to describe a scene I see out the window. Make up stories about what the people around you are thinking, go people watching and see who happens by! Maybe that person can inspire you. 

I once stood in a crowded subway car writing down a backstory for a punk couple standing beside me because the way the spoke and interacted with each other was different from any couple I’d ever seen before. 

Or recently I saw someone smack the guy next to him on the shoulder because said guy was zoned out watching a train go by. I wrote a scene about the guys planning a heist and the distracted one was the reluctant tag-along who just wanted to escape on that train. 

Let your imagination run free!

3 – Warm-up writing.

Some days, you just don’t want to write. Or you don’t know what to write. Fix that by starting a day/session/whatever with just a few minutes of writing. It can be to a prompt (more on that later), to a song, to a picture, anything. Especially if you are feeling blocked or stuck in a project, just start writing some randomness and see what comes up. 

Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes and go for it. 
The only rule is: you can’t stop writing until the timer goes off. 

Even if what you have after that time is nonsense, you’ve now been writing for several minutes and the chances are you can do some more about something that really matters. Some days that warm-up writing is all I do in a day, but it keeps me writing something every day.

4 – Prompts.

Writing from a prompt is not something I do naturally, and I really had to learn to use them well, but now I find that writing prompts can be a great resource when I feel blocked. 

There are all kinds of prompts you can use for different projects. And every person is going to find different qualities in a prompt useful. 

But really there is a lot more I want to say on the subject, so that will be the topic for next week! Stay tuned for my thoughts on Prompts (and some sample prompts that I like to use)!

There are my 4 Tools I took from writing classes, do you have more? Thoughts on what I said here? Let me know!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Star Wars Book Tag

Today I’ve put together a book tag for you! 
Unfortunately there is no video component of this but I loved this tag from Booktube and wanted to answer the questions myself!

This is the Star Wars Book Tag, in honor of Carrie Fisher, by The Restricted Section on Youtube.
Check out the video here: Star Wars Book Tag 

Let’s get started!

The Questions: 

1. Princess Leia: Choose a book with a fearless and badass female heroine or protagonist.

For me, I immediately thought of Anita Blake from the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurel K. Hamilton. Especially in the first books in this series, Anita is totally badass and in charge, not taking shit from anyone even though she gets a lot from all the men in her life. (In later books, her priorities change but she is still a pretty badass fighter!) 

2. Storm Trooper: Choose a book that's a dime a dozen.

My thoughts immediately turned to a recent book I read, Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. This one is just a fluffy contemporary full of all the YA tropes like insta-love and the magical power of a boyfriend to make life better for the “heroine.” It was nothing unique but it was a fun story that made me smile a lot.

3. FN2187 (Fin): Choose a book that breaks the mold and stands out from other books in its genre.

Honestly, this was the first book I found from Instagram instead of more traditional means: Poet Anderson … of Nightmares by Tom DeLonge. I loved the concept of a book being co-written with a YA author (Suzanne Young, of The Program series) as well as tied into a musical soundtrack that just adds to the whole sensation of reading. I can’t say I loved this book, but I did love the concept and I liked the book a great deal, especially the first half (I was rather unsatisfied by the ending). I would love to hear more people’s opinions about this book, because I haven’t seen much about it.

4. General Organa: Choose a book with a mature, take charge female character who is not afraid to be a leader. 

Another book from my recently finished pile, I’m going with Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce, book 1 of The Circle Opens quartet. This is about Sandry growing up after the Circle of Magic quartet (though she is still just 14). She left her magic family for her blood family and finds herself taking on responsibilities in her uncle’s kingdom that she hadn’t anticipated. Then she gets involved in a local murder, finds another magic user she is charged with teaching, and generally handles all of the many hurdles she faces with a maturity that far exceeds her age. She comes into her own as a leader in this book and it was fun to read so many years after I first read a Tamora Pierce book and realize that all those lessons are still very relevant and useful to an adult reader-me. Just as they were useful and relevant to a child reader-me!

5. Han Solo and Chewbacca: Choose a book with a dynamic duo who demonstrate a fierce loyalty to each other.

My favorite dynamic duo is Jeremy and Emmet from Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan. Jeremy has an anxiety disorder and Emmet is autistic and together they create a relationship that allows them to thrive in society. A goal for both of them is to get away from their families and develop their own independence and together they develop the skills they need to do that and to go to college and share an apartment, despite all the struggles they face internally and externally (and of course falling in love). I hesitate about this book because, as far as I know and have researched, Heidi Cullinan is not an OwnVoices writer and, though she does a great deal of research before presenting her finished product, I want to find more books about neurodiverse characters written by neurodiverse authors before I form a stronger conclusion about this book. Opinions of others?

6. Darth Vader: Choose a dark book that really got into your head.

This question was very easy for me to answer: Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel. This book started kind of slow, but dear god the ending left my head majorly f*cked up. Seriously though I think this book kept me up for weeks thinking about all the happenings at the end. I have no words for this level of head-f*ckery. Read it, guys. Seriously.

7. C3P0 and R2D2: A book in which your favorite characters were side or minor characters. Or, a book with awesome side or minor characters. 

Okay, there is an adorable couple in The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris, Nico and Alice, that are in about 20 pages total of this 400 page book, but every time one of them shows up at the chocolate shop I squealed a bit. I love them to death and I hope they are happy and healthy together forever (because seriously they don’t start out happy or healthy). Also, I kind of hated everyone else in the book at some point, but these two were solid loves throughout!

8. Rey: A book with a reluctant hero or leader.

Literally, the main character of Gilded by Christina Farley spends over half the book trying to deny her “destiny” and then sort of thinking along the lines of “okay, first I defeat this evil, then I go back to my normal life. No one has to know anything and this will all be over.” Majorly reluctant, but also really relatable considering she’s in high school and just wants to focus on her grades and boys, not mystical mumbo-jumbo and saving the world.

9. Emperor Palpatine: Let the hate flow through you! Pick a book you fucking hated.

Easy choice: An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. I read this book in high school because the title sounded cool, the plot sounded interesting, and it was on the approved reading list. A friend of mine said she had loved it so I gave it a try. Thing to know: Naturalism, the style of this novel, is a style where everything is social segregation and humans are basically destined to the life they are born in so trying to raise above the class of your birth is doomed to fail. The main character of this books wants to be rich. He fails because he was born poor and therefore he is morally compromised and deficient. He is a horrible person, does horrible things, and I don’t know where he ends up because I couldn’t finish this book I hated it so much. I tried to read another Dreiser book recently and felt much the same about it. Basically, I hate Naturalism. No.

10. Yoda: Choose a book with a wise but eccentric character.

It’s a bit of a stretch, but in The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin the native people, Athsheans, have an interesting society where they live in small groups in the forest which covers almost all land on the planet. They are pacifists but fight back when charged by one of their own, who they call a god among them (and godhood is obtained by being an actor for change, which is gone when that change has occurred). But an older woman in the village visited by one of the Earthling characters is wise and knowledgeable, but she is also just so strange to an Earth perspective that I think she qualifies as eccentric. 

So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Thoughts? Comments? Insults? Leave it below. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nerdy Fitness Motivation

For the new year, I decided to take up running and started a beginner's training program. Every other day I get out and run. 

A few days ago, I was challenged to run for a full 20 minutes without walking and I was struggling.

"Just don't stop," I told myself. "You can slow down, speed up, whatever. Just. Don't. Stop."

But while I was running, I had some time to think. Why should I not stop? What was keeping me going? Health? Fitness? Endurance?

Some of that. 

But a strange thought occured to me as I ran - 

"You would have never made it as a Power Ranger if you let your self stop."


See, when I was young (and still now, really) I loved Power Rangers. While other girls in my class wanted to grow up and be the first female president, I wanted to be the first female red ranger.

But child-me never actually did anything towards that goal. So now that I'm getting up and active, I find that childhood, nerdy dream, to be a great motivator to get out, even when I am not feeling it.

After all, if I ever get chosen by Zordon, abducted by aliens, or called to defend this world from threats internal and external - I should be able to run for at least 20 minutes.

So for the sake of the Earth, I get out and run.

What about you? What gets you out there, running/writing/dreaming?
What's your nerdy motivation?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday - Underrated Books

Hello again! It's time for another Top 5 Wednesday (find the Goodreads group linked at the bottom of this post for more information and weekly topics and discussion).

This week the topic is: *drum roll*

Underrated Books! These are books that I've read and loved and honestly I think deserve a bit more attention from ... everyone else.

Let's get started!

Book 1!
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II
by Molly Guptill Manning

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22715829-when-books-went-to-warNot super underrated in that many people have read it - but no one talks about it! This book is so important, especially if you value books which, if you're reading this, I assume you do! It tells the story of how books were specially printed to be accessible to soldiers in the trenches of WWII. A book that fits perfectly in the pocket, printed for the best readability by soldiers in what spare moment they can find. It's a fascinating story of the power books can have on people, especially in keeping spirits up in a time when it would be all to easy to lose hope in everything.

Book 2!
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden 
by Joanne Greenberg
I read this for a psychology class in college and it's really good at providing an alternate perspective of psychosis and schizophrenia. The main character, Deborah, starts as a 16-year-old who is being institutionalized after attempting suicide. The reader sees her journey and her alternative reality over several years, in and out of the asylum. This is not a new book, but it hasn't lost any of it's power over the experience it conveys. I would recommend it to anyone wanting another perspective on mental illness!

Book 3!
So You Want to be a Wizard (Young Wizards Book 1)
by Diane Duane

Honestly, this books series is not underrated... like at all. But no one talks about it! The whole premise of this series is young people finding a book called "So You Want to be a Wizard" with instructions on how to be a wizard! The kids get magic by finding a book, reading it, and applying the knowledge they gain to their lives! This is every bookworm's dream, right? I live for this concept, which I'm actually seeing as a theme in this list. Books are good! Books are great! Books about books are the best! Basically this was just an excuse to fangirl about one of my favorite childhood series. Read it, give it to your kids, read it with your kids! Books books books books books. We could all use more books!

Book 4!
True Notebooks: A Writer's Year in Juvenile Hall
by Mark Salzman
Another book I read in college! (Seriously, my teachers introduced me to some of the best books.) This one was not an immediate favorite, but the story (non-fiction btw) is captivating. Salzman goes into juvie to teach writing to the inmates and opens a conversation about the whole American prison industrial complex and how some of these kids end up being arrested over and over. It's fascinating to see this window into a world I've never experienced, though Salzman's story telling wasn't the greatest. Several times while reading it I literally rolled my eyes at his naivety and what seemed to be a rose-colored view of everyone. Then again - maybe I'm just cynical.

Book 5!
Made of Stars
by Kelley York

Finally, a truly underrated book for this list, with less than 700 ratings on Goodreads I would love for more people to read this book!
This was the first book I read in 2015 and I feel it really kicked off a great reading year for me. This book is about two siblings who are spending the winter with their father as he is recovering from an accident. They meet up with an old friend from when they would spend summers at their father's house and reconnect, but their friend is hiding something from them and the more time they spend with him, the more they uncover. This book is a darkly contemporary YA, with LGBT themes and great storytelling! After finishing this book, I immediatly went onto my e-reader and picked up another book by Kelley York and now I've read almost every book she's ever written (bar one, because I don't think I'm mentally ready for a book called Suicide Watch) and I'm excited that another book is coming out this April. This book made Kelley York one of my favorite authors, and an auto-buy author at that! Spread love for this book, because it really deserves it!

Have you read any of these books? What are you're favorite underrated books?
Let's talk in the comments! I'd love to hear from you.

Check out the Goodreads page for Top 5 Wednesday for more topics and information!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Creative Writing Classrooms – Series Introduction

I’ve learned a lot about writing from Creative Writing classes in my life, and I think many of the tools I’ve learned can be shared on this platform. Welcome to my first series, Creative Writing Classrooms! There are 8 parts to this series, updated every Monday, about what I’ve learned in the many classes I’ve taken in university and online.

Welcome to Part 1!

Are you interested in taking a creative writing class, but don’t know what to expect? I get it. I was always hesitant to take a class devoted to creative writing because, in my head, a creative writing class seemed like an oxymoron. How can you assign creativity?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January Mid-way Reading Wrap-Up

One of my goals for this month is to read 10 books from my physical TBR and so far I have read 6 books! 6!! These books have mostly been on my shelf for over a year, up to 6 years, and finally I'm getting through them. On top of that general accomplishment, I've also just loved all the books I've read, giving each 4 or 5 out of 5 stars. 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for me! Without further ado, check out my first 6 books of the year under the break!

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Year Goals: Life, Books, and Writing

I started this blog in mid-January, so my New Year's Resolution post is a bit late in the month, but really that just means I can give more info about my goals, right? Right...

Anyway, I usually don't make grand Resolutions with a capital "R" at the New Year because I never really plan on tracking my progress and therefore it's a pointless exercise. Not so this year! For 2017 I'm making a few Resolutions for myself because I have a system in place to track my progress and hold myself accountable. Without further ado, let's get into it!

First: I've started this blog and I want to develop and maintain a schedule of posts so that something new is up every week
I've decided to start ambitiously and go for 3-4 posts a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. However, keeping that schedule is not my resolution because things will change this year and I want to allow room for my growth and development without having to scrap a resolution entirely. So long as I put up something new every week from no through 2018, I'll consider this resolution accomplished. 

Second: I want to build my fitness and continue to workout at least 3 times a week in a structured manner.
Again, I'm being very lenient with this goal to allow myself to change how I workout over the course of the year. I've started the year doing Yoga daily through Yoga with Adriene's Revolution calendar. I do not expect to be able to maintain daily yoga for the whole year, though I would like to build a regular practice. 
I've also started running with the C25K app and am already half-way though that 8-week course. I hope to continue running regularly and building my endurance, but I'm not going to lock myself in to running 3x a week if I find another cardio that I enjoy more.
Basically, as long as I'm doing some workout regime that gets me active at least 3 days a week, 
I win!

Third: I want to get my physical TBR down to 0.
Over the years I've accumulated quite a few books but because I move so frequently, I want to get rid of that weight that I carry around in the form of physical books. Last year I went through and donated about 5 medium sized boxes full of books I didn't plan to read/re-read and that got me down to 15 unread books on my shelf. I want to finish these 15 books and then read physical books as I get them.
This challenge has a shorted time-frame than a year because I move overseas in February and I want to be able to leave without leaving unread in storage. So far I've cut my 15 books down to 8 and I hope to keep going! (Though honestly I'm losing a bit of momentum already. Help!)
 I'm not tackling my e-reader yet because... there's probably over 100 books on there I haven't read yet.

Fourth (and final): I want to submit some of my writing for publication.
Notice that I didn't say that I want to get published, because really whether I get published or not is out of my control. What is in my control is submitting my work for consideration. So this year I want to submit something for publication at least every three months, so 4 pieces in total for the whole year. This goal is to get me back into my writing groove and explore short stories more as I have wanted to do for years.

So that's it! My 4 goals for 2017. 
What do you think? 
Do you agree with my focuses for the year? 
Is it too much, too little?
Do you make lists like this?
Comments and discussions down below! Let's chat!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Polarizing Books

This week's topic for Top 5 Wednesday is Polarizing Books, books that people love or hate. Honestly I tend to fall more towards the hate end of the spectrum in this category so I had a really hard time finding 5 books that I love (or even like) that a lot of people consider polarizing. Some of these may be a stretch, but whatever! Enjoy!
(*Beware of spoilers. I tried to be vague, but often failed.*)

Book Number 1: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. 
It seemed to me that a lot of people were ... upset that this is a play script and therefore it doesn't have the prose that JK Rowling's books had. A lot of criticism also said it felt like fanfiction, people didn't like Ron's characterization, the focus on Cedric -- there was just a lot of complaining. Honestly, I had no problem with the plot, or the time travel, I loved Ron and the variability of Cedric's character. I loved reading this script, but I really want to see it because I know it will be such a great experience (as all plays should be experienced, not just read).

Number 2: The Wave by Todd Strasser
A short book from long ago, The Wave is a story of high school social experiment that went to the extreme attempting to explain how the Nazi's gained fervent followers in Germany. I haven't read this book in years, but when I did read it I thought the story was interesting and worth the 150 or so pages to read. Looking at the book now, do I think it's well written? No. Do I still like the book? Yes, but I think it's more of an introduction to the topic for young readers. Still, I love the book for nostalgia if nothing else, and, as I said, I'm stretching myself here.

Number 3: The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card
Before starting on this one, I just want to be clear that there is a shit ton of badness surrounding Orson Scott Card and, though I don't know all the details of his shitiness, I know and acknowledge him as a shitty person. I know that he doesn't support LGBT rights and marriage, and politically I disagree with just about all of his opinions. That said, I read this book series from the library of my middle school and never knew anything about the author other than that I really liked the alien worlds he created. I loved the story and the writing was just really good and looking back I still enjoy it. I no longer support him by buying his books, but I will occasionally still read his works from the library because he really served to introduce me to science fiction and therefore this book made the list.

Number 4: Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Honestly I don't know if a lot of people hate this book, but I have a love/hate relationship with this book so I figured it counts! This book is so mentally strange. It's about a writer with writer's block (totally relateable) finding a taxidermist who has written a novel about two of his taxidermy animals, Beatrice the donkey and Virgil the monkey. I spent most of this book wondering what was going on but intrigued by the general direction of the characters, and the end of the book with my eyes wide and my mouth hanging open with "WTF WTF WTF" running on repeat through my head. I finished this book and immediately gave it to a friend to read so I would have someone to talk about it too. I honestly enjoyed the strangeness of sensation I got from the novel, but I also kind of hated it and it freaked me out. But yeah, I recommend it!

And finally: Number 5: Red Hood and the Outlaws by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort
So many people, especially Starfire fans, hated this reboot - and with good reason! Starfire was almost unrecognizable from her previous incarnations, wore much more skimpy clothing and was totally sexually liberal. She'd slept with both of her male teammates within, probably the first issue. I read this while already knowing all that, and I expected to kind of hate it. But I didn't. I honestly had no problem with Starfire being completely sexualized and without inhibitions (though I was a bit bothered by the way she almost immediately forgets any human she loses consistent contact with). But overall, I loved Red Hood and Arsenal as anti-heroes with the tragic past and Starfire fit in with them really well. This was the first DC title I read with any consistently. Before this I had read specific story arcs, but I just devoured this title (though I didn't finish it because I got caught up in writing my MA thesis and I haven't gone back yet).

That makes up my top 5 polarizing books! What are yours? Any thing I love that you hate? Let's chat in the comments, I am always down for civil disagreements!

T5W is a huge group of book bloggers and youtubers congregating on the GoodReads page at: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/118368-top-5-wednesday

Monday, January 16, 2017

My Writing Identity

How I Embraced Myself as Writer

For over 6 years, I've identified myself as a writer.
I've been writing for over 16 years of my life. 
(For reference, I'm currently 24. I've been writing since I was 8.)

There's a 10 year disconnect there were I was writing almost everyday, but I didn't identify myself as a writer and that disconnect is the subject of today's discussion.

To tell the truth, I never felt qualified to call myself a writer because I never felt confident in my writing. I thought that I needed to be verified by my peers, and by a wider general public, to call myself a writer. I also thought I had not received that verification already.

From elementary school and beyond, I loved writing poetry. I also discovered fanfiction at about the same time and that gave me a venue for exploring writing and sharing my writing online.

I published fanfiction online, never much, never over 1,000 words, but always with great response from reviewers (not many, but always supportive).

The fact that it was fanfiction made me feel that my writing wasn't enough to make me a writer.

I wrote poetry and short stories for school and shared some that I wrote for fun with my friends and family. Again, I got really supportive responses from everyone I shared with, even people who I felt didn't really like me as a person liked my writing.

But I was just sharing it with a few people every time and that didn't feel like enough to make me a writer.

Then I went to college and my perspective shifted (in more ways than could ever be addressed in 1 post or even 100 posts)

I had to go to office hours with my professors, and one in particular commented on my writing style - he asked why I wasn't aiming to go for an MFA in Writing when I was so clearly a passionate writer.

I can never express how such a simple question changed my perspective and altered my course in life.

No, I didn't ultimately go for that MFA, but after that one, short conversation, I started to consider why I had never called myself a writer before.

Friends called me a writer. Clearly, professors called me a writer. Family called me a writer. 

Why did I not allow myself to embrace that title as my own?

First off, I was scared that I wasn't good enough. 
I was terrified of calling myself a writer, and failing at it.

Success at being a writer had meant to me that I had to be published, respected, known to people I don't know personally.

Second, I didn't always feel like a writer because I wasn't working towards publication. I wasn't sharing my writing much at all and I didn't really want to change that. 

Now, even though I'm starting this blog and looking at venues for publication, I know that being a writer just means that I write. For myself most of the time. For others some of the time. And being published does not mean I am more or less of a writer. It's just a bonus.

So I tried for a while to call myself a writer. I told myself that I was a writer almost every day. When people asked me about what I like to do, instead of saying "I like to write." I said, "I'm a writer."

Just a little shift in my mentality made me so much more confident in myself and my writing. Now I accept that writing is a part of my identity and I'm dedicating a portion of my life to writing because I love it.

I'm also dedicating a portion of my blog to it - because I love it and I have a lot of opinions about it. So look forward to - every Monday (ish) I'll have something to say about writing here on the B&B!

For today, I want to know about you - do you identify yourself as a Writer? or a Reader? or something else? Did you have to come to terms with that at some point? Do you think I'm crazy (cause I am but specifically about this post)? Thoughts and opinions are welcome, just leave a comment down below and let's chat!

Next post: a Top 5 Wednesday about Polarizing Books on, you guessed it, Wednesday.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year, New Outlet?

Hello all, it's Brianna!

2017 is a new year and it's going to be ... something? Hoping for something good, but no matter what this year is going to be a year of change for me.

If you just randomly found this page, let me give you some background about Books&Briars before I get into my plans for 2017:

  • First - I started with a YouTube channel in October 2015 (Books&Briars)
  • Second - that all started because I love booktube, books, and I was living alone in South Korea teaching English so I had no one to talk to about most of the books I was reading.
  • Third - I love booktube. I loved filming/editing/uploading videos and exploring the community!
  • Fourth - I last posted a video in March of 2016...
Yeah... I stopped booktube with no warning, my last video mentioned that I was filming more and looking forward to uploading more. And then I didn't.


It's actually pretty simple. 

In March I moved home to live with my mother and younger brother in the States in order to finish my MA in English (which I did online). Moving home changed how I spent my time, and introduced me to the difficulty of filming in an environment that ... wasn't really comfortable? 

I'm sure my family would have been fine with me filming. Hell, my brother wants to vlog as well! But I wasn't comfortable.

So I filmed what I could when no one was home, but I got anxious about when they would be returning (anytime), what my pets were doing (making a mess, usually), and all sorts of other ultimately meaningless worries. But I was worried about them.

So I stopped filming for a bit. Then I got embarrassed that I had let moving home stop me from doing something I enjoyed and got more embarrassed. By then - some time had gone by and I felt bad for not posing an update. 

I completely avoided logging on to my Books&Briars account and left it for another abandoned project.

As 2017 approached, and with it my imminent move away from my family, I finally opened my email and my YouTube account after about 9 months, planning to just gut everything and start over.

But people had still been watching - I had somehow gotten a new subscriber (and lost several as well, of course). 

So I decided not to delete everything. I'm proud of what I did last year. I'm still embarrassed that I let my self-consciousness with my family stop me from going forward, but I had a lot of fun making those videos. And I want to start again.

So here's the deal - I will work on this blog and YouTube. I will endeavor to film something before I move and overcome my self-consciousness. And once I move - I will try to keep to a regular posting schedule. What that schedule is, we'll find out later.

I'll be moving in the middle of February, so by March I hope to be active and posting videos. When I can't make videos, or would just prefer to type I'll post here (maybe I'll just make this a place to expand on thoughts too long for YouTube ... there's an idea!).

Until next time!
*schedule in development*

TL;DR: Had a YouTube channel => Fail. Starting again in March, with blogging supplement.
(*link to related video will be posted here*)