The Liebster Award

Thank you to the lovely Julia Slaughter for thinking of me for this award. Please check out her blog, follow her, maybe even leave her a comment.

Sorry about the delay Julia. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to write this.

What I know about the Liebster Award is, it’s a tag passed on from blogger to blogger, for readers to be introduced to blogs, they may or may not be aware of.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gave you.
  3. Tag 11 bloggers with less than 1,000 readers.
  4. Think of 11 questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
  5. Let them know you have nominated them through social media or their blog.

 

Questions from Julia:

1- What’s your “go to” comfort food?

Pasta. It’s easy to make and it’s filling. I have to have salad with it. Salad makes everything taste better in my opinion.

2- If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do when you got the money?

Buy a house in Spain. I’ve been hoping to move there for a couple of years now. Not sure when exactly I’ll be able to do that. Or I’d travel to east Asia and find a good place to live, temporarily.

Or, open my own business. I have been jotting down ideas for a restaurant I’d like to open for the past 8 years. I think I’ve figured out the location, but I don’t want to rush anything. If had enough money saved to open it myself, I would take a hiatus from writing.

3- What’s your favorite holiday and why?

National holiday? or holiday (going abroad)?

I don’t celebrate any national holidays (except maybe Bonfire Night, but I’m too old for that). I enjoy the atmosphere in November and December. Everyone seems happier. They look forward to Christmas and New Years. The Christmas lights are everywhere. When I was a kid, my dad used to take me and my siblings out to see the lights.

Holiday (going abroad). What I love about living in England, is the access to Europe and being able to visit so many countries. I have fond memories of visiting Denmark and Germany, and the drive to and from there.

One of the best holidays I remember having is spending my summer in Canada with my cousins. I remember having a lot of fun. We had many water fights, did a lot of touristy things and it was just the best.

4- Do you have any traditions that other people might think are unusual or interesting? If so, what are they?

The only thing I can think of, that other people have told me it’s weird is that I don’t like to eat cake on my birthday. It’s not interesting but maybe unusual. The thing is, it just doesn’t taste good. I’ll eat it anytime of the year but on my birthday, I’m never in the mood.

Instead I’d ask my mum to make Lasagna. So now I have Lasagna once a year, only on my birthday.

5- Do you know anything about your family history? Do you wish you knew more?

I know quite a bit about my family history, I would like to know more.

I know that Alexander the Great fought with an Indian Emperor (not too sure of the details), in the area where my father was born many, many years later.

My great, great, great (I don’t remember how many great) grand father was a scholar and adviser to the Mughal Emperor Akbar in India. And for his honesty, he was rewarded a large amount of land in Pakistan and he’s named after it. He also built a school, in which my cousin sister studied and graduated from.

I do wish I knew more, because everyone in my family looks different. No one looks like they’re from one ethnic group. E.g. my father looks Chinese and Arab and my mother looks Indonesian, Persian or Russian.

I think what I’d love to know is my genealogy and who were these people. I’d also like to visit those places that my ancestors are from and learn more about their lives. But I don’t think there’s much information out there for me to find.

6- Are you the kind of person that makes friends everywhere they go?

I love to meet new people. I don’t find it difficult to talk to people, but as I get older I don’t enjoy small talk.

Small talk gets in the way of making a proper connection with people, but it can sometimes be useful for getting to know more about a person. For me friendship comes through having real conversations with people.

I like deep conversations and being able to learn how to improve myself and help others in any way I can through conversation, that’s generally how I make friends, by learning about the person for who they are, how they think. I truly value all of my friends for their unique personalities.

As for making friends everywhere I go? I don’t know. Maybe. I’m not very shy in front of new people and most of the time I will talk first.

7- Is there a book you read in your childhood (or when you were younger) that you still like to revisit? If so what book and what brings you back to it? (If you’re not a reader, maybe a movie or TV show instead)

I wasn’t a reader as a kid. My mum used to read to me but I never wanted to read for myself. I like to watch Christmas movies, Robin Williams movies, or Matilda. But I only like to watch these with my sister. It’s not fun to watch on my own.

I don’t re read books, but one that I read I think 5 or 6 years ago was ‘The Story of Layla and Majnun’ I love the writing style and I read a few pages a month ago and I didn’t want to put it down. Unfortunately I have a large TBR pile and I always feel like I shouldn’t be re reading books when I have spent so much money on books I still haven’t read.

8- What fictional character (can be from any media) would you most like to have lunch with?

Fresh Prince is the first that came to mind, I think it’s because of the last question, got me feeling nostalgic. I think we’d have a laugh.

Arin from The Winner’s Curse because he’s kinda intense and I understand his pain more than Kestrel. We can have some good conversations that would force me to expand my world view. Maybe Gansey from The Raven Cycle can join us, I’d like to listen to him talk about things he’s learned.

I haven’t been able to relate to any female characters. Not a single one I’ve read about. I hope I can write a complex female character I can fully relate to.

I know this question isn’t about relatability, I’m just thinking about the type of people I’d like to have a conversation with and I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable if neither of us say a word. But when some one does speak, its something to think about.

Someone who’s not a fictional character, I’d like to have lunch with is Amy Poehler. She’s so supportive 0f women and really funny.

9- Is there something you like to splurge/treat yourself with? What is it?

I like to treat myself with things from Amazon. From art supplies to books. Anything really.

10- What’s your guilty pleasure?

I don’t think I have one anymore. I used to watch reality shows about rich privileged kids and I’d get really invested in their lives and then I realised I was preventing myself from making money or doing something useful with my time.

I’m not knocking anyone for watching them. I just don’t like how they make me feel.

11- Where do you stand on the “Fast Zombies” issue? (In other words, if there are zombies do you believe it’s possible for them to move crazy fast or more slow and shuffling?)

No, zombies will forever be slow. Their insides are rotting. How can they walk fast? Maybe if they have bionic legs. That would be pretty cool. Half zombie, half robot. But I can imagine the bionic legs tearing apart from the rotting zombie body.

Yup Zombies are slow.

 

People I’ve nominated:

I don’t spend a lot of time blogging. If ever I am, I’ll spend hours on here. The following people I’m nominating, I’d love to learn more about them. For anyone reading this, please check out these lovely peoples blogs. They all put a lot of time and effort into it and it shows.

1- Tasha, Head in the clouds, heart in the books

17, from Malaysia. A supportive and lovely person I’d like to know a little bit more better.

2- Joan, Fiddler Blue

Fellow K-pop lover. An inquisitive person with a great taste in lit and tv shows.

3- Regina, The Bibliothèque 

I love her blog. I’m so jealous.

4- Daniel, DanielWaltztwt

A published writer with a sunny personality.

5- Jessica, Mud and Stars

A hardworking book blogger, working in the publishing industry. And like me, Jessica is a 25 yr old Brit.

6- Erika, Erika in Bookventureland

Book lover with a great blog. I’ve noticed on GoodReads, we like and dislike similar books. I don’t meet many people I can share that with.

 

The Questions!

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What/who inspires you?
  3. What do you love most about where you live?
  4. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
  5. Movie or tv show seen recently? Did you like it?
  6. Recommend some music OR write your favourite type of music.
  7. If you could meet any ‘famous’ person, who would you want to meet and what would you talk about?
  8. Favourite place you’ve visited?
  9. What 3 words describe you best?
  10. Tell me something surprising about yourself. No pressure 😀
  11. Where is your happy place?

 

Thank you again to Julia, I am so happy to have been nominated by you.

 

Have a great day!

Alina

Plans for 2016

Plans, goals, resolutions? For the first 6 months of 2016. A year is a long time and in a couple of months I might not even care about some things or plans will change and I can’t do anything about that, except adapt.

These goals are the ones I can think of right now. I might write another post in July, with goals for the final months of the year.

Let’s get started with the list…

no.1- Work on novel.

I can’t say that I’d have a final copy of my novel in a couple of months. I have no idea how things will turn out and I’m a painfully slow writer. It pains me to write at a slow pace. If I could write fast, I’d love that. That would be the best thing ever.

So my goal is to ‘work on novel and be satisfied with the progress made’

2- Read 20 books within the next 6 months.

My GR goal is 80 books for the year, I’m not stuck on the number I just want to read the books I own that I’m sick of not having read yet.

3- Write more book reviews, tags and whatever. Basically, don’t go a month without posting anything

I have ideas and things I really want to talk about and maybe discuss but I don’t write down my thoughts and when it comes time to writing a post, I’ve forgotten everything.

4- Save money to visit South Korea

I’ve been dreaming of visiting S.K for a while now and this is the year I want to go. I’ve been teaching myself how to speak Korean, so that I can speak to the locals when I visit. I have to stop wasting money.

5- Practice speaking Korean.

My mum speaks Punjabi. She understands English perfectly and could speak it if she wanted to. She’s so shy that she doesn’t speak it ever and assumes people will laugh at her. I don’t want to be shy to speak in Korean. I want to learn.

6- Stop stressing out over the little things. Or when I can’t live up to my own standards.

This one is to remind me that I’m not very smart and my standards for myself are harsh. I live with a dull bully inside of me. It doesn’t annoy me all the time, only when things are bad. I have to remember that the bully is simple minded.

 

This list might seem a little superficial, I have other goals too, they’re a little more personal and not as fun to talk about.

 

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you have a great day

Alina

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo and I suck at blogging

 NaNoWriMo 2015

So I lost Nanowrimo 2015 and my world didn’t shatter. Nano gave me the push I needed in 2014. I knew I would be crushed if I lost, winning was so important to me then, if I couldn’t do it then in my silly little mind I couldn’t be a writer.

Accomplishing 50k in 2014 made me feel validated so much that I barely wrote anything afterwards. 2015 however, was more about not burning out, writing daily rather than waiting for November to write.

I did write a little in November, I just didn’t update anyone on here.

My main priority this year is to write my novel, if I have time for another novel, I’d love to start fresh in November.

Blogging

I get overwhelmed by the smallest things and I usually need a time out. I go away and I come back then I’m overwhelmed again and I need to hide out until I feel better again. Which can last for a long time.

I’ve learned things about myself that I thought were laziness or procrastination but turns out I’m going through something else, which I don’t want to talk about just yet.

I’m not consistently posting on here and I’m no longer disappointed with myself. I guess this is my process.

I don’t have any plans for my blog, no schedule no nothing. Just that I will be posting whenever I have the time

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Alina

NaNoWriMo: Day 8 (Stop being lazy Alina)

I understand a lot about the traditions and culture of the world. It’s making me see the characters as real people. I have a lot I need to think about but I think I need to focus on writing instead, if I don’t want to fall behind.

Youtube videos that discuss political systems and laws have been really useful. I’ve written quite a bit after watching them.

Didn’t quite meet my goal again. I think I haven’t been taking this seriously. I’m being lazy.

Writing hasn’t been my priority and I’m falling behind.

Word count: 12,976

NaNoWriMo: Day 7 (Trying to get back into writing)

6:30am It’s taking me awhile to get back into writing. I know I have to write something but I haven’t done it yet. I guess this is normal after taking a two day break.

6:45am I’ve been thinking about one of my characters and I feel really sorry for him. I kinda wanna try to change his outcome because I want him to have a happy ending but at the same time, it’s important for the story if I don’t go changing things because of how I feel.

It’s a strange feeling, I never understood why writers spoke about their characters like they were real people. I’m like that with horror movies too, I know it’s not real and it’s hard to find some things scary. They can be creepy but I always know it’s not real.

My character isn’t real but it’s still sad, even when you’re writing it.

I think I’m going to give him small victories, just to make myself feel better.

11pm I’m not sure where the day went. Read a little, then took a nap that turned into hours and hours of sleep. Then spent the evening with the family. Nov 5th was bonfire night but that was on a school night. My niece and nephew were over, it was mainly for them that we had a bonfire night.

It reminded me of something that I wanted to include in my story. Peoples traditions and festivities. What kind of things do the people in my fantasy setting believe in? What are their traditions? Do they care about their environment?

This I should have done before Nanowrimo. I failed to do the world building last year too and I changed my mind so much. I never did delete anything, but at the end of it when I went through the nano document. It was so painful to read and I understand first drafts are like that but nothing fit together. I didn’t understand how I wanted to tell the story. What to leave in and what to take out. It was hard to put the pieces together because I didn’t plan it out and I’d forgotten most of what I wanted to say.

Apparently I’m a planner, which you might have figured out on your own but I still don’t think it. I like to plan but too much planning drives me crazy, I need to write and see what happens. I think I’m both; planner and pantser.

Total word count (day 7): 11,154

I didn’t meet my goal today but I’m not upset about it. I know I can catch up because Nanowrimo has reminded me that writing isn’t scary and that I shouldn’t be critical of my work even before I’ve written it.

If anyone’s interested in adding me as a buddy on nano, heres my profile: AlinaRM19.

NaNoWriMo: Day 6 (Break cont. & Feeling re-charged)

I read a book today and it made me feel like I was accomplishing something even if I wasn’t writing.

Today’s goal was 10,000 and I’ve already gotten to that point, if I miss another day I’m going to fall behind.

Right now I feel content. The break was exactly what I needed. I’m looking forward to getting back to writing.

Alina

NaNoWriMo: Day 5 (Taking a break & poor health)

(Nov 5th) 12:34am Wrote 131 words. I need to get up and do something, I have to clean.

Today flew by. I didn’t write anything, but I’m not annoyed at myself for it. I did intend on taking a mental break from the story.

I felt like reading, but I was exhausted the whole day. Energy levels were low. I think I need to drink some orange juice (sometimes it makes me feel alert).

Not sure if I’m going to write anything again today. But I’m slowly starting to feel the urge to write, I don’t want to fall behind.

Word Count (Day 5): 10,386

NaNoWriMo: Day 4 (Hitting 10k mark and negative thoughts)

1:05am didn’t sleep. Listening to music and writing. At 6654 words right now. I feel like doing a 1k30. I’ll start that in 10 minutes, see what happens.

Oops got distracted.

3:40am Why am I still awake? Got the urge to write now, ideas are flowing. Forgot to write the number down, I think it was close to 700 words that I wrote. Then went to bed.

5:20pm I wrote a little, took a break, wrote again. Really felt like doing a 1k30, but I think I actually did a 1k40. I can’t believe I did it, I wrote more than 1000 words in 40 minutes, yaayyy! I am at 9,321 words. I want to get to 10,000 by the end of today. I have a friend coming over tomorrow and I’m not going to get any time to write.

8:40pm Took a break earlier, had dinner and loaded the dishwasher. I want to write a little bit more now and then start cleaning. Does anyone find it difficult to write when your house is messy? When my home is unclean it really bugs me, I can’t write.

11pm I’ve hit the 10,000 mark whooo!!!! Definitely doing a lot better than my previous years.

But I have a problem. Those negative thoughts are coming back. Already I’ve been wondering if I am ever going to get my book published if I continue to write rubbish, or ‘my story’s just too boring’.

TOTAL WORD COUNT (Day 4): 10,255

NaNoWriMo: Day 3 (Music is my inspiration)

I feel like crap today. No actually, I’m not too bad. The cold weather just makes me think that way. I’m great, chocolate works wonders.

3:30pm I didn’t start writing until now. Saw a youtube video-felt inspired and wrote 172 words

Its after 5:30pm and I’m on nano twitter. I scrolled down to the older tweets for word prompts. I wrote 344 words. I’m at 5,096 words. I want to write another 2000 words. I’m going to continue with the twitter word prompts and see what happens.

7:08pm I’m going to take a break now. 5449 words written. 869 words written today. One of the good things about Nano is the stats page on their website. When you update it, it shows you your progress. Being able to see it, makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.

8pm listening to Adeles new song, I feel like writing a heartbreaking romance. I managed to write 155 words.

11pm been listening to Alicia Keys ‘songs in a minor’, whenever I listen to that album, I always feel so sad. At least it got me to write. nano word sprints haven’t been working for me today. 6,654 words written, not feeling like I’ve accomplished much. I’m already worrying about the next word target. I need tea, I’m not sleeping anytime soon, again I’ve messed up my sleep schedule.

WORD COUNT (DAY 3): 6654

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) created by The Broke and the Bookish is an original feature/weekly meme in which any one who participates must talk about their top ten books. This weeks topic is ‘Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel’.

For anyone who wishes to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, click the link here to read the rules for participation.

It was really hard for me to come up with this one because I haven’t read many books from debut authors but the ones I have read, I’ve already read their Sophomore novels so I thought I could switch it up and count a trilogy or a quartet as a whole book from a debut author.

The authors on this is list are the debut authors who’s books I’ve enjoyed and I’m interested in reading what ever else they release.

  1. Laini Taylor

Laini_Taylor

I didn’t quite love ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ but I loved Laini Taylors writing. The world she built is interesting and her writing style is very unique to me.

2. Stephanie Perkins

stephanie perkins

Her books are adorable, ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ definitely was. I never thought I’d like it as much as I did.

3. Marissa Meyer

marissa-meyer

‘Cinder’ and ‘Scarlet’ are the only books I’ve read by her and even though I didn’t love them (they weren’t bad, just didn’t love them as much as other people). I’m still going to consider reading what ever else she releases.

4. Veronica Roth

 Veronica Roth

‘Divergent’ got me to love reading Y.A. I wasn’t a reader growing up and the only Y.A I had read was by Colleen Hoover. After ‘Divergent’, I couldn’t stop reading.

5. Huntley Fitzpatrick

huntley fitzpatrick

‘My life next door’ surprised me. It was a lot better than I expected. It was really good. Characters were well thought out. I envisioned all of them as real people.

6. Leigh Bardugo

leigh bardugo

This was the first time I’d read a book where the main character had my name and she’s Russian-my ancestors were Russian. I felt connected to the character ‘Alina’ more so than any other character and I loved the world building. I really want to read ‘Six of crows’.

7. Tahereh Mafi

SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 05:  Writer Tahereh Mafi attends the Bold Ink Awards at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage on November 5, 2012 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Her writing style makes her stand out. Her next book is going to be ‘Middle Grade’ which I think is perfect for her style of writing.

8. Michelle Hodkin

michelle hodkin

‘Mara Dyer’ trilogy, was fast paced and intriguing. I think I’d like what ever else she writes.

9. Veronica Rossi

veronica rossi

I haven’t read the trilogy yet, just the first book. The world building in was my favourite part of the story. She made it easier for me to envision the world she had created.

Didn’t quite get to ten this time. This was a hard list to do, but I wanted to write this regardless.

Thank you for reading and I hope you’re having a great day.

Alina