on writing · Uncategorized

On Writing

I found this neat tag/questionnaire about writing, and I thought it would be helpful (for myself as well as others), to answer them.

A. What do you write? Fanfiction, original fiction, nonfiction, articles, songs, poems, essays, plays, what?

My chronological progression of writing has sort of went from original fiction -> articles -> fanfiction -> poems -> original fiction. (That is ignoring the essays I write for school, which goes all through the cycle.) I mean, I still have my Supernatural fanfiction blog that I share with a friend (which we really need to update because our followers most likely think we have been decapitated or something along those lines) and I write book reviews/articles from time to time on this blog… but original fiction is what I find the most fulfilling to write. I am more inclined to writing novels, but I enjoy dabbling in short story writing as well.

B. How often do you write?

Heh. The answer of this question varies – from once a week to an hour or two every day. I’ve been more recently sticking to the latter, and I am hoping it is a good habit that will continue.

C. Who is your favourite character of your own? Who is your favourite character created by someone else? Why?

As an author who views all characters as her children, I find this question unfair. However, I can give a few favourites and explain my reasonings behind my choices.

For my own characters, the ones that come to mind as being delightful to write are Benny from my Great Depression/WW2 short story (which I intend on expanding into a novel someday) and… oh my goodness, I believe her name was Rowena – from that book I started when I was 14. (I have just realized I don’t have a draft of that book on this computer – cue the mad scramble to go through my old computer, which is now my sister’s, and my laptop.) I love Benny because he’s one of those characters who seems so laid back and The Coolest™ on the outside – but on the inside, he’s so conflicted and has so many secrets that he can tell no one, not even his best friend Sean. Rowena was really fun to write because she is a proud girl who is positive that she is better than everyone else (unfortunately, this is only enhanced when she finds out that she is royalty) – but along the way, life starts humbling her. But she still remains a snarky sassy thing, which is probably my favourite character to write. Secrets and Snark. Those are Anna’s top character ingredients.

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4 stars · 5 stars · Anna's Life · Book Reviews · Books · Maggie Stiefvater · Music Reviews · on writing · The Lumineers · Thoughts · Troye Sivan · TV Shows · Uncategorized

(I’m not gone, I promise.)

I’ve got a bad cold, so it looks like it’s going to be a lazy day. Perfect time for a blog post, eh? I thought so, too.


I just finished reading The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. It’s a book that teaches writing by showing examples of writing, a technique of which I most heartily approve. I put this book on hold at the library because after reading The Raven Cycle, I am absolutely spellbound by Maggie Stiefvater. Her writing has such magic to it, and she makes me fall in love with writing in a way that only my friend Gina (author of the recent The Rose and the Sword) has been able to do before.

This was such a great read not only because I got writing advice from my beloved Maggie (if I was born in the time of Homer, I’d probably offer sacrifices to beg her to be my Muse), but because I discovered a new favourite – Brenna Yovanoff (now I have to go look for books she’s written). Not only was her story right up my alley (modern YA with a twist of the Gothic), but she showed her writing process in a very different way from Maggie and Tessa (just the short story with comments here and there). Brenna first told a story from her childhood of a drowning that stuck with her the rest of her life before showing the short story as well as a very different earlier draft. While I wasn’t a big fan of Tessa and her world-building, her story at least kept my interest. The book also had a few sections of words from the author s – for example, how to gain ideas and the overwhelming doubt that plagues readers.

Anna’s rating: 5 stars (note to self: need to buy a copy of this book to have forever)

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5 stars · Book Reviews · Books · gina marinello-sweeney · Reviews · Uncategorized · YA Literature

The Rose and the Sword {Book Review}


Anna’s rating: 5 stars

Rebecca Veritas is excited to be beginning her psychology internship. She’s made a few new friends and found a delightful bookstore. However, not all is butterflies and sunshine – an old dear friend seems to be drifting away and Dr. Yin, the psychologist Rebecca is studying under, uses many methods that make Rebecca uneasy. As time passes, a growing sense of unease quickly transitions into more disturbing events that make her question if all is as it seems. When circumstances take an eerie turn, Rebecca will find herself a player on a larger scale than she had ever anticipated, a scale that could cause one to pay the ultimate price.

I was so excited to hear that my friend Gina had published her second book of the Veritas Chronicles!  And while I thought I Thirst was amazing, I was absolutely blown away by The Rose and the Sword. (Those who follow me on tumblr will attest to this – I was live blogging about this book all night.) I finished the entire 373 pages in a few hours – I didn’t even know I could read that fast?? I guess it’s just because I was just so captivated and had to find out what happened next. Some of my thoughts that I sent out last night…

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Anna's Life · Hope in Darkness · on writing · Thoughts

The Story of Anna, the Writer

I felt in a reflective mood this evening, so I decided to bring my laptop up to my room, play Mumford & Sons and Halsey, and throw words the computer screen until something started to make sense.

I’m taking a short story writing class this spring, taught by Eugene Stickland. So far it’s more discussing thoughts about writing than learning much about improving my writing, but it has made me think.

For me, and for many of the people in the room, writing came to us at a time when we needed an answer, a hope, something. Eugene’s brother had died when he was eleven and he started writing. One of the students, Josh, told us how his mother had died and that is why he searches for comedy in fiction – ‘why does everyone have to take it [life, I suppose] so damn seriously?’ seems to be his motto. I find it interesting how tragedy can move people in different ways – some go down a dark road, some search for the light. I admire Josh for how earnestly he strives for light, but that isn’t quite the road I went down.

I suppose I should speak a little bit about my own journey. Much of this is going to be details about my life not many know, still much will be left unspoken – either because I can’t find the words, or it’s not my place to tell of it.

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1 warning flag · 4 stars · Authors · Book Reviews · Books · Flagged media · Maggie Stiefvater · Reviews · Uncategorized · YA Literature

The Raven Cycle ~ Book Series Review


“The king sleeps still, under a mountain , and around him is assembled
his warriors and his herds and his riches. By his right hand is his cup,
filled with possibility. On his breast nestles his sword, waiting, too, to wake.
Fortunate is the soul who finds the king and is brave enough to call him to wakefulness, for the king will grant him a favour, as wondrous as can be imagined by a mortal man.” (The Raven Boys)

Anna’s rating: 4 stars (1 flag)

I haven’t read many YA books due to the fact that there tends to be the same storyline to most of these books. I recently got re-introduced to the genre with The Foxhole Court, and because I really enjoyed that series, I decided to try another of Tumblr’s favourites – The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

Books in order: The Raven Boys || The Dream Thieves || Blue Lily, Lily Blue || The Raven King

It’s definitely got a different storyline from the usual girl-meets-boy in a story with x plot but-really-the-whole-reason-for-the-story-is-that-she-learns-something-about-herself-and-falls-in-love (bonus points if contains love triangle) – you know, the type of story that makes me roll my eyes and sigh from desperation.



Blue Sargent lives with her mother and several other women (some are cousins?) at 300 Fox Way. Blue is different because she isn’t a psychic like all the other women are. In fact, she would just be ordinary if it weren’t for the fact that she is an aid to the other psychics because she ‘increases the energy’ – which doesn’t change the fact that Blue still feels basically useless. But all of this is about to change when Blue meets Richard Gansey III and his friends from Aglionby Academy.

Gansey is searching for a Welsh king named Glendower. This king is sleeping, not dead, and he will grant a wish to whoever will wake him. Gansey’s friends Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, and Noah Czerny – as well as Blue – come along on the quest with him. Blue meets the boys when Adam asks her on a date, but falls in love with Gansey. However, there’s a catch – before she met Gansey, Blue learned that he was on a list of people to die. And Blue is fated to kill her true love when she kisses him (i.e. Gansey). Adam wants to use the wish to make sure Gansey doesn’t die. Ronan wants to use the wish to make sure his little brother Matthew doesn’t die. But other, more extreme, situations arise…

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