Book Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

This book seemed to follow me, a spirit in the corner of my vision waiting to be noticed. I saw it at stores, in facebook groups, suggested in ads, so finally for some reason after reading a negative review of the book is when I decided to pick it up.

Bone Witch follows Tea in a high fantasy world with heavy Asian influences. Tea has just learned she has the powers of a Dark asha and can raise the dead and her whole life has changed as she trains to be an asha far from home with her familiar- the corpse of her dead brother and the help of a variety of characters.

The book switches points of view I suppose you could say. There are small glimpses between chapters. These glimpses follow a Bard who has come to a cast out asha, who is the present Tea. The rest of the chapters are Tea telling her story. It reads very much as a movie. Not in the sense of it making a good movie but the reader is lead along in a similar way to which an audience is lead in movies by a narrator telling the past. Without even realizing it you are invested in Tea’s story following her events of an asha in training and wondering how she came to be the person in the glimpses.

I can see why for some people this book would not be a good pick, it is unlike anything in YA in terms of writing style. The plot is slower than most YA and the romance and adventure not as center of attention. However, once its got you, its got you and I cannot wait to read the next book when it comes out!

 

Rin Chupeco is also the author of The Girl From the Well series which I most definitely plan on reading as soon as possible!

Multiple Blogs: Why?, How? and What?

It’s no secret to anyone that blogs are a dime a dozen. That they cover every topic known to man. And that making it with a blog is hard. However blogging whether it be your career or simply what you do for creative outlet *ahem* is a lot of fun! So sometimes bloggers get sucked into being collaborators on other blogs, guest posters, etc. Or they run multiple for their multiple passions. That my dear friends is where I lie.

While this blog is relatively new and still building its readership and its voice it’s very apparent that is a catch-all lifestyle blog. Nothing wrong with this- it’s just a lot looser than say a much more narrowed focused blog. Because of this, it is not my only blog! For a few years, my good friend and fellow avid reader and I ran a pretty damn successful book blog called From A to Z Books. My friend and I grabbed the name of the blog from our first initials; me being A and her Z. We write the reviews as letters to each other. We posted as we read and it even got attention at our college and we posted videos with two authors! Norman Partridge author of many horror novels including Dark Harvest and Veronica Rossi author of the YA series Under the Never Sky.

However as college became more and more of our lives and graduation loomed the blog stopped. We barely had time to read let alone review books and keep up our blog. However, we have returned (starting this week with my own review of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo). So now you can follow my reading adventures, as well as my friend’s, over on that blog!

This is not my only blogging or social media endeavor. While a lot fo my makeup stuff gets talked about on this blog if you want to see my daily looks you’d have to follow me on Instagram @DorkyAly and my Facebook Page DesertOtaku has all my cosplay. Sure I plan to dedicate a lot of that stuff here as well with its own pages in my menu of this blog but if you are solely interested in just that aspect of my life then well there ya go. And that’s the beauty of multiple passions and multiple platforms. the key is to never let go of what you love and feel free to tell the world about it! And obviously, have fun!

A Jill of all Hobbies

I love to create. In case that hasn’t come across yet. And I don’t enjoy creating through only one platform. I love to write and do so often. A lot of my job is writing though you wouldn’t think it initially. I write emails all the time of course, but I’ve also written blurbs for brochures, announcements, press releases, library blogs, you name it. I write for myself in diaries. I’ve been journaling or attempting to as long as I can remember. My most solid time of keeping a diary was from fall of 2007-Spring of 2012. This chronicled most if not all of my middle and high school years. In my senior of high school I also wrote a fan fiction diary, which I’m not even sure if that makes sense. But if you don’t know fanfiction is where people go with their own stories for characters and lands that already exist in shows, movies, books, etc. and share these stories with other fans. I’ve written three of my own (two permanently on hiatus unfortunately) but this was different. This fanfiction was personal and not to be read but instead it was a post apocalyptic Superman story with a self-insert character that helped me get through the worst of my anxiety and depression. And for that reason that sad little fanfiction will never be deleted. I also write fiction and as I’ve expressed before if I can kick my ass into big enough gear someday I’ll pursue publishing what I’ve written.

Of course writing is not all I have fallen in love with. Though not very good at it I do love the serenity that comes with drawing and painting. And I use those meager skills to help in other hobbies- for example costuming (cosplay) and makeup. Cosplay is a hobby that requires a constant learning of trade skills and I love it for that reason. I’ve learned to sew, to re-imagine garments and miscellaneous knick knacks to create characters I love. recently in the past year I’ve gotten into makeup- a hobby that gives me a huge range of daily creative outlets.

I also recently learned how to loom knit and want to add that onto the list of things-that-keep-my-hands-busy-and-my-mind-sane. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately depends on how full you take your glass this leads the little librarian in me to want to read all I can and learn all I can about my new hobbies, old hobbies, beloved hobbies. This then leads me to check out zillions of books on such topics. I want to not only enjoy the things I do but be good  at them too. It’s a competitiveness that I have inherited from both sides of my family. We don’t just do things we excel at them. And its fun to put in the work to excel at them. So here I am currently buried in books from the library on writing blogs (wink wink) designing clothes, editing patterns, makeup artistry, as well as contributing to the other hobby I love ever so much- reading by having more for fun reading books out than I can get read before I must relinquish them. Ah this is the life though isn’t it?

A-N-X-I-E-T-Y: Spoken word Written Down

Anxiety is a mental illness. A psychological dis.order. Anxiety is a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. By definition.

I am not anxiety.

I am the inability to sit still. I am the inability to think only one sole thought one by one. I am the inability to hold my ground in a fight with her because if I lose her I’ll drown.

I am not anxiety.

I am tears I can’t hold back at my desk while I hope no one notices. I am a scream in my chest that echoes in the noisy silence of my head. I am the bite of nails in my skin to make the pain something physical.

I am not anxiety.

I am the clingy girlfriend who cannot help it because her thoughts will tear her apart otherwise. I am the IBS diagnostic because even my guts reject my thoughts and they don’t know how to fight it. I am a shaking that pulls my ability to breathe from my chest. I am a racing heart working overtime to keep it all together.

I am not anxiety.

I am physical. I am real. I am living WITH anxiety.

And that is so much worse.

M. U. A.

Life Choices have been made this week. In addition to my three jobs and grad school to become a librarian I’ve decided to become a certified makeup artist! Here’s a little bit of my makeup history. At the elementary school and middle school I attended, private schools, makeup was not allowed so I did not even attempt a daily makeup routine until I was fifteen. And then it was pretty basic- brown eyeliner, pink eyeshadow, mascara, blush, lipgloss and out the door. And so it remained until I graduated high school.

My true ventures into the world of doing up my face so to speak happened in college, but not right away mind you. Freshmen year I stopped wearing makeup altogether. I was trying to figure out who I was as a lesbian and makeup didn’t seem to fit into the picture of my new openly gay identity. That changed. By sophomore year I had adapted back my makeup routine from high school with two small additions- eyeliner on my upper lid with an attempt at a wing, white liner on my lower lash line and BB cream on my face.

Then while living with five other girls in a dorm my junior year my eyes were opened- foundation, concealer, powders, bronzers, illuminators, glitter, colors, lipsticks, matte everything! I remember walking into Sephora not knowing a single brand having a friend pick out my first brow pomade and having to be taught how to do it and the weeks of brow experimentation that followed.

Now I’m a regular makeup brand encyclopedia and my makeup routine has transformed considerably. Within two and half years I’m pretty proud of how I paint my face. And I realized I went from having a few palettes, lipsticks, etc to a verifiable collection. See fig. 1 haha.

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So you know in the purple bag are all my brushes, sponges, and other various application tools. In the kitty cat eye bag is everything face related- powders, bronzers, blushes, concealers, etc. And in the big aluminum case is everything eyes and lips except for a few eyeshadow pallets too large to fit! And everything is at capacity! But my collection is still ever growing…

What came with this new hobby of mine I was surprised to find was a regular following on my instagram (@DorkyAly). My follower numbers are growing every day as I used that social media platform to show off colored eyeliners and fun with themed looks such as my Halloween look of being a spider witch.

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I love that spider beauty mark haha!

Anyway such looks and even my every day routine begat questions and those questions begat me deciding to start doing tutorials on youtube. I will be creating makeup tutorials not only for every day looks but themed ones and series- my first will be disney themed looks both suitable for everyday fun, a princess face look alike, and wild and crazy! I hope to begin posting soon. Moving into a new apartment has delayed this. However to watch them they will be posted on this blog and on youtube under the channel DesertOtaku (my cosplay handle)

And then on a whim I decided I wanted to become a certified makeup artist and put a little weight behind my skill and some additional training under my belt!

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Dread Mondays Nevermore!

Hello Readership! Or st lest hello to the readership I hope to grow! I have decided to create a schedule for myself with this blog and hopefully my own personal writing. I made two resolutions for 2017- get fit and get published! This blog is my personal blog so you can follow all and everything I do including all pertaining to my resolutions and the whims of my fancy.

Anyway the schedule is that every Monday a blog post will go up. Mondays are now my Sundays so its a perfect time for me to blog out my life over the last week. Life? What life? May you ask. Well this is how my life ha changed within the month of January of 2017 already. I’m moving into a gorgeous new apartment with my long term girlfriend who for the purpose of this blog I will call Skadoosh (IDK why?! that’s just what came to me). Skadoosh and I are excited about this step in our relationship. We’ve together for a year today actually woo!) though trying to get packing done has been an effort haha. Luckily my roommate (cue the nickname SoKo- for reasons of obvious South Korean obsession) and I have until March to get this place squared away. So I can kind of move in increments into the apartment with Skadoosh.

Along with this I have gotten a library job at my alma mater! I’m so excited! I worked there as a student for three years and now it is my home once more. So now to learn to supervise people! And I get to work on publishing as well, which may come in handy if I decide to self-publish. In addition I work at a Junior College library. And occasionally I babysit the cutest little boys. So I’m squared away for now finances wise, which is super new and weird to me.

And last but definitely not least I’m in full swing for my second semester of grad school to become a librarian! Yay!

Now what does this all mean for you my dear reader? Well a lot of my posts will be related to my life- living with Skadoosh, working at two academic libraries, and writing. They will also relate to my own interests and hobbies; writing novels, makeup, and crafting or cosplaying. So int he future these are the types of posts you will see on Mondays:

  • Slice of Life posts- rambles about personal life
  • Writing- updates on novels, short stories, and my quest to be published
  • Crafting/Cosplay- looks at what I create, tutorials and links to my etsy store; information on cons I am attending and cosplays I am making
  • Makeup/Fashion- I’m creating a makeup vlog on youtube soon following my own craziness in entering the makeup fandom. As well as designing and creating my own clothes and looks soon to be found on Instagram! So keep a look out for that!

 

I hope I entertain!

 

Follow me in a million other ways!

DesertOtaku – My cosplay handle on facebook! and twitter

@DorkyAly is my Instagram handle for all things me and same for my personal twitter

APRunke Writes – is the facebook page for my writing and occasionally links to my etsy page

Imagination Atelier – Is my etsy shop! Feel free to browse and support my creativity!

To NaNo or Not to NaNo- That is the Question

Like any young unaccomplished, unpublished, but aspiring writer I love NaNoWriMo. Now if you don’t know NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. During this time aspiring and tried and tried authors sit down to write 50,000 words in one month that’s 1,667 words a day. Now I’ve known about this challenging movement for years and last year was the first year I successfully won. I wrote 50,000 words of a novel, Burning Alexandria. A year later and I haven’t finished the novel. In fact I’ve lost a lot of steam with it. It really unnerves me because what I want most in the entire world is to be a writer and one that people love and buy all the new editions and all of that. But how can I do that if I never finish it. 

So here’s what I’m asking and I’ve literally decided this as I’m writing his post for NaNo I’m going to write again, something new BUT I’m also going to look for a beta reader/editor to read Burning Alexandria and my notes for the rest of this novel. So I guess I’m asking if anyone wants to jump into this with me.

Burning Alexandria is a historical paranormal book. A young college student named Dahlia discovers she’s the reincarnation of the first witch who was brutally murdered as well as the first witch to die in Salem. To end the bloody cycle she must find the Grimoire, learn to be a witch from her past lives, and destroy the reincarnation of her murderer in this life. 

If this interests you please let me know!!!!

And if NaNoWriMo interests you go to this link.