777 Challenge

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I have a few tags to catch up on... I chose to start with this challenge, because I promised to share a tidbit of my story a while back. This seemed like a fun way to go about it, so that is what I am going to do! (Thanks for tagging me, Sarah @ Sarah Plain & Average !!)

Go to page 7 of your current work-in-progress (WIP), scroll down to line 7, and share the next 7 lines in a blog post.  Once finished, tag 7 blogger buddies to do the challenge themselves on their own blogs.

Pros + Cons of YA Literature {Guest Post}

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hey, everyone! :) Today, I have a special guest collaborating with me to talk a bit on the topic of YA Literature. I hope you enjoy our little interview & join in on the discussion! Please welcome Sunny from A Splash of Ink...

(My comments are in bold lettering & Sunny's are in the normal font.)


-Hey, Sunny! Welcome to Plottinger Twist. Thanks for "stopping by" for a while... Lol! :)

-Thanks for inviting me! I'm honored to have been asked to "stop by". Thank you!

-So, to get started, let's talk about you for a bit. What is your favorite reading genre & why?

-Hmm, this is a hard one. I tend to be a moody reader. I'm go for a few months where all I read is Fantasy, then I'll get bored and switch to Contemporary or Historical Fiction. I have different favourites depending on my mood at the time. That being said, Fantasy holds a special place in my heart. I love the world-building aspect of it and the opportunities for characters to do really adventurous things. The Fantasy genre definitely offers that element of escapism, which is something I love about reading. 

-Are you more of a mix & match reader, (some YA here, a few classics there, & a kiddy book somewhere in the mix,) or are you a die-hard one-genre-only reader?

-Over the past few years I've been working really hard to broaden my reading horizons. Not only does reading different genres make me a more well rounded reader, but it also helps me be a better writer.  I've ventured out into the scary world of non-fiction and feel relatively comfortable there now. I've also been reading more adult fiction books, but my heart is with the YA books. As I'm an English major, I read classics for school and appreciate them, but I would never choose them of my own freewill. I definitely need to read more MG books, but I'm not sure where to start (this is where you lovely people make suggestions, tehe).  

-Which book(s) can you remember reading when you were young that sparked your interest for reading more?

-I remember one of my teachers read Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing out loud to my class and I loved that. I also loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, which were both gateway books to the entire mystery genre for me. If we go back even further than that, I'd have to say that my mom really invested in my sister and I. She read us SO MANY pictures books from the library. A few favourites were Franklin, Berenstain Bears, Elliot Moose books, and Amelia Bedelia.

-Okay, let's start to shift gears a bit... YA Literature, which is generally geared towards 15-20ish year olds, is growing in popularity. How do you feel about the genre as a whole ?

-If you haven't picked it up yet, I love YA lit. I think this genre is the perfect bridge that solidifies the love to reading in kids as they grow into adulthood. What I find really interesting about this growing genre is that a lot of adults are reading YA books. There's something appealing about these books that are "supposed" to be for teenagers. I think it's great that people are realizing that a good story transcends age.

-I see pros and cons to this popular style of writing... What positive things do you think can come from these sorts of books?

-You can say that again. I think the strength of the YA genre is the readability. They are un-intimidating to people who aren't big readers. Even though the stories can deal with the same serious themes as adult books, YA books are usually written in a style that caterers to a reader who isn't interested in pages of description or dense text that can be seen as "artful" or "distinguished" in adult books.

-How about negative things? 

-The negative is definitely the lack of originality. YA books tend to get published in trends: werewolves/vampires (Twilight), dystopians (The Hunger Games), urban fantasy (Harry Potter) etc. You see the same story tropes being used in all the genres of YA, but it's especially bad in contemporary. There's only so many story lines that can take place in a high school setting, so it can be hard to find a book with a story that feels fresh and not like you've read it already.

-When looking at the contrast between the good & bad, do you think one outweighs the other? 

-Definitely the good. Personally, I find that if I balance my reading habits to limit my intake of YA then I enjoy it much more; it stops that cynicism from creeping in.

-I've noticed that most YA seems to follow a...pattern? (Teenager has a secret power/is a unique individual, has a dysfunctional family, creates a love-triangle by meeting two attractive people, has to choose between the two & save the world in the process!) There isn't necessarily anything "wrong" with this plot line at all. But what do you think about these YA stereotypes? Do you think these plots are overrated/overdone?

-As I've said already, these story lines can be a big negative. It's true that there's nothing new under the sun, but there are fresh ways to approach these patterns. If you think about it, we all experience the same basic relationship/life problems but our unique personalities are what make each scenario unfold differently. The same should work for books. If you create characters that are deep and well rounded and put them in these "pattern" problems then it won't matter if the basic story line has been used before, because your characters will respond differently, making the story interesting.

-Are there any YA novels that come to mind as being mind-blowing because of their uniqueness?

-These are the ones that pop into my brain first (although I'll probably think of a few more in the middle of the night): Graceling by Kirsten Cashore. Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. GM takes those common "patterns" but uses deep characters to make the story original.

-Do you think that the YA phase will last long and become our generation's version of classic novels?

-It's hard to say, but at the rate we're going, I'd say it's here to stay! It's funny to think that Twilight or Harry Potter might be the future's version of Pride and Prejudice or Frankenstein. Who knows!

-Lastly, what is your favorite YA novel & why? 

-This is kind of a strange, unpopular choice, but I love Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper: Terrier. The world building is spot on and the characters are so great. This is one of those books that I really like, but don't expect other's to enjoy quite as much, haha. 


Sunny, thanks so much for posting today! This was a fun topic to chat about. Everyone be sure to check out Sunny's blog at A Splash of Ink to read some of her other posts!! (Let her know I sent you!)

-Also, comment down below & share your thoughts about YA books... Do you think the good outweighs the bad? Do you think we should try to create a new model of Young Adult literature that follows a better plot/moral scheme? Do you think YA is here to stay? Let us know what you think! 

Currently Reading: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Just Finished: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
(I seem to be in a weird pattern of reading books about thieves...?)
Currently Listening to: "Need Each Other" by Jordan Taylor

H.M. Wilson

Favorite Screen Characters Tag

Thursday, June 18, 2015
I was tagged by Rachel at Secret Scribblings to talk about my favorite characters to grace the screen...

For those of you who haven't been around here long, I love watching movies/TV shows! (Although, not quite as much as I enjoy reading.) And since I have this love for watching these shows, it makes it difficult to pick just 10... But I'm going to try it anyway! Here, in no particular order, are my Top Ten Favorite Screen Characters!

1.) Dr. John Watson: BBC Sherlock

Dr. Watson, a wounded war vet, wins all the awards for being the "best buddy ever". He is the constant, loyal friend that Sherlock needs, and is always tossing around smart-alac, sarcastic comments about life. His easy-going nature perfectly balances Sherlock's all-work-and-no-play mentality and never ceases to remind his friend that "normal people" can do amazing things too! 

2.) Sybil Crawly: Downton Abbey

Sybil is a sweet, feisty little ball of preciousness. She is a rather unique individual and stands out a great deal from the rest of her family. She is kind and caring, and pays no attention to tradition by spending time with her servants and people further down the food-chain than she is... (She even falls in love with her driver!) She was my favorite character on the show until--(*spoilers removed*) UGH!! Why??

3.) 10th Doctor: Doctor Who

He is a smart, sassy, sarcastic, smack-talking, Converse-wearing alien with fabulous hair!! What's not to love?? He's my favorite Doctor out of all of them!! (*Comment down below if you are a die-hard 10-er!!*) His face just makes me happy, okay? 

4.) Peeta Malark: The Hunger Games

Sweet, gentle, great with words, and slightly romantic, Peeta is my favorite character in the movies & books. So adorably precious!! He makes me wanna cry on a regular basis. )I don't like Katniss being mean to him... She doesn't realize what a catch he is, does she?)

5.) Meggie Folchardt: Inkheart

Meggie always clicked with me... Her love of books, reading & writing them, always spoke to me on a personal level. I've always wanted to be able to make book characters come to life by reading them out loud!! (Why can't I do that?) Plus, her style choices are pretty cute too!

6.) Jo: Bleak House

Jo is an orphan, living on the streets of London, looking for his next meal. He made me cry... If I knew this street kid, I would personally feed him, wrap him up in a warm blanket, & read to him!! Why did Dickens have to be so mean to him?? (While watching the show, I kept wondering when his next scene was & worrying about him in the meanwhile.) 

7.) William Buxton: Return to Cranford

(*Squeeeeeeeee*) Adorableness levels are through the roof with this character!!! William is a young man with a dream for the future. He enjoys anything modern and is head-over-heels in love. His first scene on-screen is of him chasing his dog through the countryside and tripping in front of a groupof respectable people. He's just great...

8.) Auggie Anderson: Covert Affairs

Auggie is a blind agent with a spunky sense of humor. He is sweet, charming, and never ceases to make me and Annie, (the protagonist,) smile. He is very much the cautious one of the group, but his firm belief in Annie's abilities as an agent & a friend makes him all the more endearing. 

9.) Inigo Montoya: The Princess Bride

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." 

'Nuff said!

10.) Sam: Casablanca

Kind, sensitive, and very musically inclined, Sam makes me grin like an idiot every time he sings on screen! His happy-go-lucky attitude is contagious! And did I mention his musical abilities...?

Okay, there you have it!! It was hard to pick & choose, but these were the people that stand out at me the most.

I hope you enjoyed reading that! And just for fun... I TAG YOU!! Have fun with it! <3

Currently Reading: Emma by Jane Austen
Just Finished: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
(Review coming soon! And yes, I skipped ahead & read this one before I was done with Emma...)
Listening to: "Tell Her You Love Her" by Echosmith

H.M. Wilson 

Random Life Update + Positivity

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hey, peoples of the internet... I thought I would take advantage of this lovely afternoon to write about life. (My life, specifically.)

My life currently feels pretty hectic, because so much is happening all at once, full-force, with no breaks. In some ways, it is totally tiresome & stressful; but in other ways, it is super exciting!

My family and I are moving into a new house within the next month or two. (Ugh... Moving. Yay--New house!!) I just took my final driving exam & have procured my license to drive. (Oh... Responsibility. Yes--Freedom!!) I have my big ACT exam coming up this Saturday. (Ew... Tests. Yeah--college!!) I am currently eating only "clean" food, in hopes of becoming healthier. (Wah... No sweets. Woohoo--feel better!!)

I guess what I'm trying to say is, how you feel about a situation depends on how you look at it. There are two sides to everything. One can choose to continually pick out the negative pieces of life's puzzle & be grumpy about it, which is the easiest thing to do. Or one can choose to be positive & sift through the mess to find the good, which is probably the more difficult option, but so much more fulfilling! 

God calls His children to a higher standard: to not be average human beings. (Or "beans"... Either works!) On the outside, we may or may not look average. But it's not the outside appearance that matters; it's the inner person that fuels our actions that should be different. An average 'human bean' would constantly observe the negative & point out everything that is wrong with life! (Doesn't that sound familiar?) But it takes someone different to choose to pick out the good & be joyful about it! 

I mainly write this for myself. 

It's difficult to maintain a positive, joyful outlook when the bad seems to outweigh the good on some days. But God wants me to shine & be a light in a dark place. And how can I be a light if I choose to only see gloom & doom everywhere I go?? The answer is... I can't. 

We all have bad days. Days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, when we spill our coffee, when we trip down the step, when we get a paper cut, and when our energy is zapped... But--we wake up, we have coffee to spill, we have legs to walk (and trip) with, we have books to read, and we have other days with energy-overloads! 

It's all in your perspective. 

Don't let your situation define you.

{ P.S. -- I did a little guest post over at The Daisy Tree!! Go check it out!! Underrated Children's Books }

H.M. Wilson

Sense & Sensibility: Elinor Dashwood

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility is a beautiful work of literature that truly comes to life on every page. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of any of Jane Austen’s other works. The main reason I enjoyed this book was because of Austen’s diverse characters; particularly Elinor. Out of all of the characters in the story, I liked her the most, so I will share a few reasons why.

(Such a pretty cover!! I'm loving these...)

First of all, I admired Elinor’s classy attitude. Throughout the entire story she puts up with several less-than-agreeable people, including members of her own family, but she is always kind and patient with everyone. Also, she entertains bothersome guests without a complaint, keeps up polite conversation when social situations feel awkward, and smooths things over when her free-spirited younger sister, Marianne, is rude. For instance, when Marianne decides to remain silent when a paying a complement is proper, "...upon Elinor...the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it...[falls]. She [does] her best when thus called on, by speaking...with more warmth than she [feels]." (118) No matter difficult the situation, Elinor always manages to maintain a good attitude and cheerful countenance.

In addition to this, I liked Elinor’s good sense. Whenever a situation calls for a major decision, Elinor is the first to be consulted. Her calm and collected nature makes thinking through a problem and finding the best solution a simple task. She uses her gift of wisdom to guide her family through many a difficult time and does her best to present all of her advice in a loving manner. In the opening of the book, she is described as possessing “…a strength of understanding, and a coolness of judgement, which… qualifie[s] her to be the councilor of her mother…” (8) Good sense is one of Elinor’s finest qualities, and it makes her a beautiful addition to the tale.

But best of all, I adored Elinor’s emotional strength. While her mother and two younger sisters feel free to be as openly emotional as they like, Elinor realizes that she must be strong enough to comfort them during times of trouble and keep her own feelings in check, so as to preserve the flow of life in their household. Consequently, she experiences a heaviness because of all the secrets she feels she must carry, but she bravely pushes through and chooses to be strong. She hints at this when Marianne is bewailing her lost love by saying, “Do you call me happy, Marianne? Ah! If you knew!” (176) My favorite of Elinor’s attributes is her power over her emotions, and ability to be strong for her family.

In the end, I think Elinor is a fantastic character and perfected the plot of Sense & Sensibility. She was by far my favorite person from this story, and I could not help but fall in love with her sweetness and gentle nature.

Comment down below & tell me who your favorite Jane Austen character is!! It doesn't have to be from S&S, but if you have a favorite, I'd love to know!

Currently Reading: Emma by Jane Austen
Just Finished: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Listening to: "Bright" by Echosmith

H.M. Wilson