[BT] Books that Shaped my Life

We all have those few books that have changed our lives in small or large ways. Here are just a few titles/series that have made major differences in my life.

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer


I am guilty. Although my parents say I was an avid reader as a kid, the truth was I carried around books to look smart. But once our school’s librarian suggested I read Twilight when I was in 8th grade, I was on a reading streak for five years after that. I didn’t read the book right away when it was recommended, but I did pick up a copy for my nine hour flight from Hungary (I did a student exchange thing). After I showed my parents all the pictures I took while on the trip, I went straight to my room and finished Twilight. By that time, book four was just coming out, so I had to catch up in the series. I read late into the night and woke up two hours earlier than usual to do so. I was in love with the series and it was my introduction to Paranormal Fantasies, Young Adult literature, and being the reader that I am today. I read troves of books after Twilight. Plus, the covers were gorgeous.

I hated the movies. Don’t talk to me about it, even if I did have an Edward and Jacob closet poster. I will talk about the fact I read it and enjoyed it in eighth grade and how it shaped me as a reader, but I won’t talk about anything else concerning it.

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[SP] Writing Memes: “Haha, Same”

Much memes, me like.

Internet Meme is a language which I am quite fluent in. I drop references throughout the day that get my co-workers, friends, and family asking me to shut the hell up. I can’t help it though, memes are a part of me and my everyday life.

My favorite memes include:

But as a writer, this meme wins:


This was the most accurate one out there, particularly for me (there are a ton of other variations). All the other ones had family members thinking you being a writer equates to something magical (or simply sleeping), but for me, my parents are overly concerned with my financial status as a writer, aka, they think I’ll be homeless and broke.

Which is okay so long as I can buy pens and paper to keep on writing. The last picture is pretty accurate, but I also have a tendency to distract myself for an hour when I sit myself down to write before actually writing (and getting to the point in the picture). This often includes me going downstairs to bother my brother, taking a snack break, watching something on Netflix, going through e-mails (every five minutes), using social media, and setting myself up to write (get the candle, get my playlist started, pull out all documents I’ll need, grab some more snacks from the kitchen, get into pajamas, and down several shots of Jack Daniels). I’m kidding on the last one. 

Some other writer memes that are my favorite or my reaction is literally “Same”:

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[SCC] Update + Finished


Final Word Count: ~83,000

Total Chapters: 45





No, I did not just whip out 50,000 words in a week (I can’t even do Nanowrimo…except for that one time). I’m not that crazy and sleep does call, but I did whip out ~25,000.

The manuscript was officially finished on Tuesday night (March 22, 2016) and I’ve been going through some edits (I’m only on chapter 6 with edits). But I’ll detail more below!

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[SP] Social Media Promo[no]tion

I’m sorry Prof., this will be the one blog post that doesn’t exactly follow the assignment… Here goes it:

Okay, I’ll be honest and say I didn’t want to write up this blog post because I often think social media shout-outs are bogus unless there’s a legitimate reason why you’d shout-out a person’s social media information, and not simply because you’re doing a Promo-for-Promo kind of thing. 132687-funny-rihanna-follow-for-follow

I say this because I had a relatively bad experience with this dosomething-for-something thing that happens online (wow, Jo. “thing” is such an educated word for an English major), and since then I just don’t do it.

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[SCC] Update + Killing Your Darlings

Current Stats:
Word Count: 13,462
Chapter: 7

My goal was to hit 50,000 words by today, but that mentality was when I was on a “I’m currently at ~31,800 words” track. 50,000 words would have been possible, had I not eaten Chinese food and gone crazy and decide to scrap those 31,800 words and start again. I still love Chinese food nonetheless.

The question now is: why did I do that?

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[BR] Down These Mean Streets – Piri Thomas

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Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Page Count: 331 pages (Vintage Reprint – 1997)
Read Time: ~14 days following class syllabus
Genre: Non-Fiction (Memoir)
Cry-O-Meter: 5/10 (out of sadness and anger)
Break down: Readers follow the narrator (a black Puerto rican) from early adolescence  to adulthood; from Piri spending his days out on the streets of Spanish Harlem (& “Italian turf”) and falling down a path of drugs, violence, and crime, eventually leading to his incarceration. We follow the narrator from Harlem and Long Island, to down South, to jail, and to Harlem. The book covers the above mentioned topics and is heavily immersed in discussion of self-identity and race.
Would I recommend? 100% yes.
Recommended Reading Age: The book does delve into sex and drug use meant for an older/more mature crowd, but I am for not censoring the reading experience for a younger audiences if they decide to pick the book up. I would say starting around 15-years-old should be fine if the reader is mature about the topics involved.

Everything happened yesterday. Trina was yesterday. Brew was yesterday, Johnny Gringo was yesterday. I was a kid yesterday and my whole world was yesterday. I ain’t got nothing but today and a whole lot of tomorrow.

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[WT] The Importance of Critique Partners

Five days into spring break and this seems to be the only post I can muster. Chinese food has wondrous powers, including the ability to make me reconsider everything I’ve ever written up to this point (not that much, might I say). But I’ll save that fun post for Friday’s update. Today, let’s talk critique partners.


You are Spongebob and Squidward is your critique partner after a few weeks working together.

Critique partners are people I run to when I’ve buried myself into a ditch with my writing, which happens more often than not. I want to call them something else aside from “critique partners” because “critique” gives me anxiety, even if there is good criticism. I’ll come up with a cool word eventually. Update on Friday?

Anyway, here are five things to look for in a critique partner + extra tips on finding them:

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