Music Medley & iTunes Haul #2

I’m going to be participating in Evi’s Music Medley for the second time now, seeing as I just bought a bunch of new music for my birthday! Music Medley is a link up in which you can share and discuss the music you’ve been listening to lately. I’ve combined it with a book haul type of thing, but music related instead.

MusicMedleyDisclaimer: If you’re reading this in email format, then you may want to just read it on my blog instead so that you’re able to see the music videos I’ve embedded (videos don’t appear to show up in the email format). Also, a couple of these songs do have cursing in them, if you do decide to watch the video.

1. Planetary (GO!) by My Chemical Romance. Planetary is probably one of their most lighthearted songs, and it’s really not my favorite. If I want lighthearted, then I go for Blink 182 or Bowling for Soup, not My Chem. But it’s still a really amazing song, and it always makes me want to get up and dance. It just has such an amazing get-up-and-go feel to it.

I can’t slow down, I won’t be waiting for you, I can’t stop now, because I’m dancing!

2. The Reckless and the Brave by All Time Low. I’m… not entirely sure what it is that I love so much about this song? I do really relate to it, though. It’s kind of like my theme song at the moment. One of many theme songs, at least. I’ve liked it for a while now and just didn’t get around to buying it until today.

Breaking out of a town called Suburbia, I remember everybody always saying “Little brat, must be crazy, never make it in our vicious little world”. Still, I’m leaving. Got a van, got a chance, got my dignity. Got a dream, got a spark, got somewhere to be.

3. Paint You Wings, also by All Time Low. The chorus is really beautiful (I painted a picture of the things I wanted most to color in the darker side of all my brightest hopes. But there’s a monster standing where you should be, so I’ll paint you wings, and I’ll set you free.) and it’s also just a really fun song, even if the lyrics themselves aren’t particularly fun (it’s about being emotionally manipulated by the people you trust). I like songs like that- the ones that are initially fun but really have a lot more meaning than that once you dig a little deeper.

I was never good enough to be anything but a remedy to all of your constant pressing needs

4. Action Cat by Gerard Way. I’ve been getting into Gerard and Frank’s (former members of My Chemical Romance, before the breakup) solo albums a lot more lately (and I’m really looking forward to hearing more of Ray’s and Mikey’s band’s). Action Cat is one of my favorite songs off of Hesitant Alien, although I really can’t tell you why. I just really, really like it. It is sort of like Paint You Wings in that it’s a fun, cheery song about a topic that isn’t really fun or cheery at all (in this case, trying to be someone you’re not).

We want television bodies that we can’t keep. We have battles in the dark when she falls asleep.

5. Just One Yesterday by Fall Out Boy ft Foxes. I must say, I’m not a huge fan of Save Rock and Roll (the album Just One Yesterday is from). The band featured a bunch of different artists, which I do find quite cool, but… I really didn’t like most of those artists. The parts by Fall Out Boy were pretty solid, but then the featured artists (a lot of whom were rappers) would drag the song down (at least in my opinion- if you enjoyed them, kudos to you!). However, there were a couple of songs that I did really enjoy, Just One Yesterday being one of them.

I don’t have the right name or the right looks, but I have twice the heart

6. She’s the Prettiest Girl at the Party, and She Can Prove it With a Solid Right Hook by frnkiero and the cellabration (THAT SONG TITLE IS UNFAIRLY LONG AND SUCH A PAIN TO WRITE). Also, the music video is so freakin’ cute. Anyway, it’s a really good song, even if the title is a little bit ridiculous. Unlike Paint You Wings or Action CatPrettiest Girl does not pretend to be a fun song. It’s sad, and hurting, and just a teeny bit mournful. But I still love it.

The things that you say hurt me most of the time, but I’m on your side, ’cause I know I’m not easy to deal with sometimes. But I’m sinking fast, so it’s alright.

7. House of Gold by twenty one pilots. This song is so freaking weird. Tyler and Josh are literally screaming while playing ukelele and tamborine??? I’m not kidding. It’s indie screamo and it’s just as weird as it sounds but it’s also really good. That’s one of the things I love about 21 pilots. They don’t worry about genre conventions. They don’t worry about genre at all. They make the music they want to make, and that’s it.

I will make you queen of everything I see. I’ll put you on the map, I’ll cure you of disease.

8. The Ballad of Mona Lisa by Panic! at the Disco. Panic! is another weird band genre-wise; they switch up the genre every album, so you never really know what to expect. And, just like 21 pilots, I really like them (although I definitely enjoy some albums more than others). Anyway, The Ballad of Mona Lisa just has such a cool feel to it, and I really love the steampunk vibe to the music video!

Say what you mean, tell me I’m right, and let the sun rain down on me. Give me a sign, I want to believe.

What’re some of your favorite songs at the moment? Do you have an recommendations for me?


Teens Can Write, Too! (March 2015)

Yay! I think this makes for two months in a row… maybe even three? I’m always forgetting to sign up for the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain, but I’m working on it. It really is a fantastic chain- and if you haven’t already checked out their blog, then I highly recommend that you do. They have some really fantastic advice and opportunities for young writers.


Click the image to visit the TCWT website!


The theme for this month’s chain was “What are your thoughts on reading or writing books in non-novel formats? Are there any you’ve particularly enjoyed?” 

In the area of writing, I really haven’t had much experience- not nearly as much as I’d like. But I still have had a little!

My love of writing did initially come from playwriting. At holidays, my cousins and brother and I would do plays. I would write the play (and usually direct, being the bossy kid that I was am) and then we would all act it out in the living room with handmade props. I remember one where we adapted a picture book about a Christmas tree. I took the story and I figured out how to turn a story on the page into something that you could act out. I was really proud of myself. I still am.


I mean the play itself is pretty meh but still I DID IT

I haven’t written many plays since then, honestly. I’ve started a couple, but never really finished any of them. It’s something that I’d like to get back into. Playwriting is a very different medium- you’ve got to keep the focus on the dialogue and actions, and portray your story through that. It’s very good practice if you have a difficult time writing realistic, not-awkward dialogue.

Screenplays are pretty similar to plays, but not quite the same. Plays are usually viewed from a distance (sitting in the audience versus sitting at a TV screen), and because of that it’s harder to catch on to subtleties, like the way this character winces when that character mentions a certain name. They’re less focused on feeling and more on acting. You’re also far more limited in terms of settings. Unless you have a Broadway theater and/or an amazingly ingenious set designer, you’ve got five or six settings, max. So they’re usually a bit less… mobile, I guess, than screenplays. So, I mean, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. But from the viewpoint of a writer, it really helps to differentiate between the two- to learn to differentiate between feeling and acting (very similar to, but not the same as, showing and telling).

Sometimes I’ll write novel scenes as a screenplay when I’m in the process of just getting my thoughts out onto paper. It’s a bit easier to write [SLOANE ENTERS, nervous, a little hesitant] than trying to come up with the exact words to describe exactly how she enters. Not that I’m saying that screenwriting is easier than novel writing, because that is in no way true. They’re different mediums and it’s unfair to compare them as if they were the same. But it’s a different format, and worth a shot if you’re having trouble finding inspiration for a particular scene. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little!



Aside from screenplays and playwriting, I have even less experience outside of novels. I do write a little bit of poetry, though! Mostly free verse. I’ve tried getting into more structured poetry and I just… can’t. I suppose I could if I tried, but I’m not really that into it yet. Anyway, poetry, even free verse, is also very helpful to your writing. It really helps you learn to describe those little moments- the way the sunlight falls on the leaves or how the protagonist feels when their one true love dumps them. The little tiny things that are so tiny and so important. Poetry can be intimidating, but don’t be scared to try! It will really help you grow as a writer- I promise.

I’m also kinda-sorta getting into songwriting, but… it’s a work in progress. The only instrument I play (well) is flute and, in case that isn’t immediately obvious, it’s difficult to play flute while singing/ humming. So actually setting those words to music is pretty difficult. But I’m working on it, and learning a lot about rhythm and such in the process. Which is also helpful for writing- it really helps you ensure that your story flows smoothly and without breaks. I’m not saying that you need to go sing your entire novel, because that will probably not help. It would be totally awesome, but for the average writer, it will not be helpful. Just try writing some poetry and setting it to music (or at least a basic rhythm) and you’ll see what I mean.

But, I mean, if you do set your entire novel to music, kudos to you. You are an amazingly talented person because wow.



Writing in different mediums will help you grow as a writer! It’s not easy, but it will help! So go give it a try now- what are you waiting for?

Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:






















27th – (We’ll announce the topic for April’s chain!)

My Hero Monday: Marina and the Diamonds

My Hero Monday is a monthly blog link up hosted by Chloe @ The Book Hugger. In the words of its creator, “it celebrates female heroes in our society, and promotes learning about new heroes.” If you want to participate next month (and I highly encourage you to do so), there’s a link at the bottom of this post.

This month was unthemed, so I decided to go with one of my favorite musicians, Marina and the Diamonds!


Marina Diamandis

AKA Marina and the Diamonds- her stage name. “Diamonds” refers to her fans.


{Website} {Twitter} {YouTube} {Instagram}

Date of Birth: October 10, 1985

School(s): Haberdasher’s Monmouth School for Girls and the University of East London

When did I first hear about her?: I think it was when How to be a Heartbreaker popped up in an 8tracks playlist I was listening to, although I’m not entirely sure. I do know that it was through 8tracks, though. Anyway, I heard a couple of her songs and I was hooked almost right away.

What makes her one of my heroes?:

A lot of Marina’s music revolves around girl power and being yourself.

Sex Yeah is a very good example of this- it discusses double standards, and encourages the listener to question everything, especially society.

If history could set you free (from who you were supposed to be)
If sex in our society (didn’t tell a girl who she would be)
‘Cause all my life I’ve tried to fight what history has given me

If women were religiously
Recognized sexually
We wouldn’t have to feel the need to show our ***,
It’s to feel free

I Am Not a Robot is another one with a really amazing message- it’s about realizing that you don’t need to hide away and act like everything is okay, even when it’s not.

You’ve been acting awful tough lately
Smoking a lot of cigarettes lately
But inside, you’re just a little baby, oh.
It’s okay to say you’ve got a weak spot
You don’t always have to be on top
Better to be hated than loved for what you’re not

Oh No! (one of my all time favorite songs) is about ambition and wanting to make change in the world, but also about having insecurities and being terrified of failure. It’s really heartfelt and relatable- to me, at least.

I know exactly what I want and who I want to be
I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine
I’m now becoming my own self-fulfilled prophecy

One track mind, one track heart
If I fail, I’ll fall apart
Maybe it is all a test
Cause I feel like I’m the worst
So I always act like I’m the best

Marina encourages people to be whoever they want to be, not what other people tell them they should be, something that I feel is really important. And she realizes that there’s nothing unfeminist about being feminine! As she said in an interview, (with a minor word substitution)

Am I feminist, though? Heck yes. But even with feminism it’s not about being independent the whole time. There’s nothing wrong with being a housewife.

Also, her music video for How to be a Heartbreaker is a hilariously ironic twist on the sexualization of women in music videos.


I consider myself a feminist because I believe women should have equal rights. Of course. It’s just that the term feminism conjures up other things for people.Women are afraid to say they’re a feminist. It’s crazy.

Even when I see a beautiful woman, I think, ‘Aw, her life must be amazing.’ Everyone does it. That’s human nature- to believe that beauty is everything.

I criticized the whole American songwriting industry and the pop side of it and I was bitter about it. And I stepped back and thought ‘Why are you bitter? You can’t just stand there like every other indie musician and criticize this so-called ‘generic’ music when you’re not doing anything to challenge that.’

Music is my 90% of my life and my biggest passion. I really don’t have an interest in anything else.

I feel like everyone has the right to privacy, even if you’re the most famous person in the world.

I’ve always been interested in how fast-moving our identity is and that I’ve never been able to pin down who I truly am. That inspires me to write, because I feel like that cements me a bit, in that I find my identity in being an artist.

You have to be your biggest believer.

If you’re making too many excuses for someone, agonising over them in a way which takes up all your waking thoughts and feel so nervous around them you could be sick, then they are probably the wrong person.

There’s no one particular road that will lead you to success. I think everybody will find it differently.

What I hate is that not many people admit to having a big ego, but you have to – and there’s nothing wrong with it.

I don’t just want to sing about simplistic things all the time. It’s good to have a mix of songs that have a real depth, and that provoke and challenge people, and then songs that are fun and people can enjoy.


March 2: Appletail @ Twist in the Tail

March 9: Chloe @ The Book Hugger

March 16: Bridget @ Stay and Watch the Stars

March 23: Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel

March 30: Wrap-up by Chloe

Beautiful People: March 2015

Beautiful People is a link up created by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In to get to know your characters and books better. It’s also a monthly feature on Stay and Watch the Stars! There isn’t any particular theme this month, and since Show Me a Hero is an ensemble novel, I’m going to be answering these questions from Lila’s point of view, since she needs more development than any of her teammates.


Click the image to visit the post where you can join!

1. What is their secret desire? Lila is one of many superheroes working alongside the government as a sort of superpowered police force, and that’s how she’s lived her entire life. She’s learned to do as she’s told and not question authority, but Lila longs to someday be able to work on her own and make her own decisions instead of just doing whatever her superiors tell her to do.

2. What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story? Probably one of the moments when she’s just hanging out with Ada and Sloane. Even if those moments aren’t particularly exciting, they’re important to Lila, since all she’s known for her entire life is being a superhero. She’s never had a chance to develop friendships and really get to know the people she cares about.

3. What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go? Lila is a pretty emotionally stable person. She prefers to let her head rule her heart, though, so when she does allow herself to let it show when she’s upset, it shakes her up pretty badly. I’d say that the one thing she’s most scared of is standing up to people when they’re wrong, especially her superiors. She knows that she should, but it still terrifies her.

4. Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why? Lila very intentionally avoids the neighborhood where her mother (also a superhero) was killed. She was very young when it happened and doesn’t remember what happened all that well, but it still brings up bad memories.

5. If they were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? Lila is ruthlessly practical, so she’d probably just take the bare necessities and throw everything else out. I doubt that there’s anything that would be very hard for her to get rid of. She isn’t a very sentimental person at all.

6. What do they want (consciously and tangibly)? Like I said, she isn’t a very sentimental person and she doesn’t really care much for material objects. If you asked her, she’d probably say new boots or a coat or something else that could help her with her work.

7. On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)? I think that the one thing Lila needs more than anything is friendship- someone she can trust and lean on, and not just because it’s their job or responsibility to do so, but because they really, genuinely care about her.

8. If they could change on thing about themselves, what would it be? She’d want to be less meek and timid. While hse works, she feels powerful and unstoppable, but when going around her ordinary life, she’s easily frightened and has a very hard time standing up for herself. She hates that about herself, but still can’t quite work up the courage to change it.

9. What is the most humiliating event of their life? Lila hates failure, as she’s a bit of a perfectionist and holds herself up to very high standards. So probably the first time she failed to complete her assignment and take down some supervillain or other. Or maybe a time when she needed help from others- she doesn’t mind help and working alongside other people, but she hates to need it.

10. What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope? Probably her friendship with Ada and Sloane. They help her through a lot throughout the story, and she really depends on them, however little she likes to admit it.

Horse Feathers Blog Party


Rebekah at Horse Feathers just recently reached fifty followers, and is having a blog party/ link up to celebrate! If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out her blog. And congrats to Rebekah for fifty followers!


Anyway, on to the link up.

Books or Movies?

Okay, bit of a shocker- but I really like both of them. Books are amazing and wonderful and perfect, don’t get me wrong. But movies have their good points as well. Books are nice because they free your imagination more. They’re open to interpretation, and you can more or less see things in whatever way feels right to you. But sometimes I’m more in the mood for a movie. It honestly just depends on my mood at the time.

Favorite book character?

Blue from The Raven Boys! She’s creative, spunky, and smart. She falls in love, but she’s also sensible enough to not let that rule her decisions. I think Blue makes a really fantastic heroine.

Who is you favorite author?

Probably Brandon Sanderson or JK Rowling or Malinda Lo. It’s a really hard choice, though.


Favorite book quote?

I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you get right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get – and never would get.

-Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz

Top five favorite books?


One weird book thing you do. (Smelling books, hugging it to your chest saying ‘THE FEELS’ etc.)

There are many, many things. Uh. Let’s see… Well, after I finish a book (especially a really good one) I just like to sit on my bed or couch or whatever and stare at it for a few minutes while I try to process what just happened. I also do all three of the things listed as examples.

This is a totally necessary question people. Have you ever ridden a horse? And if you have, did you like it?

Yes! I have, actually! Last year and the year before, I took lessons and had a lot of fun. I started with Western style riding and then switched to English. This year my schedule is a bit too busy for it, but I do really love horses.

Be sure to check out Horse Feathers if you haven’t already! And congrats again to Rebekah.

Teens Can Write, Too! (February 2015)


Click the image to visit the TCWT blog (and you really should, y’all, because it’s an awesome resource for teen writers)

I knooooow, I keep saying I’ll participate in the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain more regularly, and then I totally forget about it. Shame on me. But I’m working on it!

Luckily, this month’s topic has me really psyched because it’s about music and writing, two of my favorite things ever. I could talk about music’s influence on my writing for ages and ages. I could probably write a book about it.

Anyway, the topic for this month was “How does music relate to your writing?” It’s a bit of an open ended question, so I’m just going to jump right in and hope that I don’t drift too far.

If you’re reading this through an email, you may want to switch to reading it on the actual website so that you can see the YouTube videos I’ve embedded!

So, right off the bat, I’m going to clarify that lyrics really don’t bother me most of the time while writing. I know people who can only listen to instrumentals while writing/ reading/ working in general, and I get that, but I’m able to tune out the lyrics pretty easily. I totally understand why people can’t write with music on. I just don’t feel the same way.


That being said, the vast majority of the music I’m going to discuss here has lyrics because I like those sorts of songs better, generally speaking.

Anyway. On to the actual post.

First off, I’m going to discuss various websites and such that I use for music, because there are quite a few, and the one I use really depends on what I’m looking for and what I’m writing.

First off, my iPod. Because I’ve only recently started to actually purchase music, the selection isn’t all that great. I do have quite a few of my favorite songs, though, so it’s great for when I’m writing on the road (without internet) or want something pretty specific. And I’m building up my collection, so at some point, my iPod probably will be the best option.

I also use Pandora quite a bit. Pandora is really nice for discovering new artists within a genre that you already like (it helped me discover two of my favorite bands, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy). You can set up stations based on artists and some genres, and the thumbs up/ thumbs down depending on what you like (which allows you to, say, narrow down your Green Day station into “OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT!” Green Day or “cup of tea and a kitten and a broken heart” Green Day). The problem is that it’s tricky to narrow down by mood/theme of the music, so it isn’t really ideal if you’re using the music for inspiration. Another frustrating thing is the ads that come up if you don’t have a premium membership, but they don’t show up on my laptop (possibly because I have an ad blocker), so that’s nice.


Another website that I personally think works better for writing is 8tracks. 8tracks is basically a website where you can create and share playlists (legally!) with others. There’s a quite large writing community on the site as well, so that’s nice- you can find hundreds of playlists geared toward writing certain types of scenes, like heartbreak and tension. There are tons instrumental playlists as well as ones with lyrics. I’d especially recommend it for fans of indie, alternative, and punk, as those seem to be the more popular genres.

I use YouTube now and then, too, but not very often. If you’re looking for a full album or a specific song, YouTube is a good place to look. Sometimes you can even find instrumental/ karaoke versions of songs you like, which is rather nice when you want to concentrate without the words to distract you (like I said- I don’t mind them, but I get why other people do).

Another very important topic- genre and artists!

Now, normally, I’m preferential to pop punk- think Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, All Time Low, and Blink 182 (to name just a few). I listen to a lot of alternative and indie as well. I’m really not picky, as long as it’s not country/ rap/ bubblegum pop (not that there’s anything wrong with those- it’s just that I hold a very, very intense dislike for them).

So most of the time, that’s what I listen to while writing. I just mix around bands and albums and songs to get the perfect mood.

For example, in my latest WIP, Show Me a Hero, a few major themes are the line between good and evil, embracing differences, different forms of love (family, friendship, etc), and girl power.


So I’ve been listening to a lot of varied punk-ish music, because it’s a punk-ish novel. Some major influences on the story are:

  • Green Day, especially American Idiot. The album seems to revolve around rebellion and heartbreak, both of which pop up a lot in Show Me a Hero. If I had to name an album that really, really inspired Show Me a Hero, then American Idiot would be it.
  • My Chemical Romance was always about celebrating differences and being one of the weird kids that didn’t fit in, so it makes sense that their music also had a measurable impact on the story. Danger Days is especially fitting for the mood of the story, but there are several songs from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade that also influenced it.

Fair warning: the song embedded below does contain language. It had quite a large influence on the story, though, so it seemed only fair to include it.

  • Several Fall Out Boy songs such as Centuries and The Phoenix also had a rather large influence, especially the get up and go, rather rebellious tone to them.
  • I listened to a couple of various girl power punk bands while writing the first draft as well, especially Joan Jett. Songs about not caring what society thinks, and being yourself no matter what. Bad Reputation comes to mind first and foremost.

And these are only a few- there are plenty more that I know I’m forgetting. But I’m over a thousand words, so I should probably draw to a close soon.

Here’s the schedule of this month’s participants, in case you care to check them out. And be sure to sign up next month!

February 2015 blog chain prompt/schedule:

Prompt: “How does music relate to your writing?”

6th and





11th and


13th and


15th and

16th and

17th and

18th and



21st and

22nd and


24th and

My Hero Monday: Mary Shelley


Hey guys! I’m participating in My Hero Monday (AKA one of the greatest tags ever) again this month. In the words of its creator,

It [My Hero Monday] celebrates female heroes in our society, and promotes learning about new heroes.

The prompt was to write about a woman who invented something. I decided to do a twist on it and write about Mary Shelley, the “inventor” of science fiction. So let’s get started!


{Wikipedia} {} {Poetry Foundation}

Name: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin)

Date of birth: August 30, 1797

School(s): The University of Oxford

When did I first hear about her? In elementary school, when I read the Great Illustrated Classics version of Frankenstein. I honestly don’t remember the story all that well, but I do remember liking it. Anyway, it’s been years since then, but Mary Shelley has always stuck in my head, simply because she pretty much created an entire genre in a time when women were supposed to stay in the kitchen.


What makes her one of my heroes? Well… I guess I already answered that in the previous question, didn’t I? Mary Shelley wrote in a time when that was a job for the men, and she wrote well. Apparently she wrote so well that people were like “nope, you didn’t write that, it must’ve been your husband, you liar”. Which is admittedly pretty frustrating, especially since men being given credit for women’s accomplishments is something that still happens today- just take a look at the Nobel Prize winners- but still. It really emphasizes Mary Shelley’s talent.

I really ought to read Frankenstein again, to be honest. I doubt that I could manage the GIC version (they’re soooo oversimplified, but they’re good for kids), so maybe even the original.


Mary Shelley was also the second child of a famous feminist philosopher, Mary Wollstonecraft, which is something that greatly impacted her worldview.



Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.


I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy one, I will indulge the other.


Beware; I am fearless, and therefore powerful.


No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.


Live, and be happy, and make others so.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Mary Shelley! Who are some of your favorite female inventors?

My Hero Monday February Schedule:

February 2:

Sam @ Bookish Serendipity

Mawa @ All Things Wordy

February 9:

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination

Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel

February 16:

Bridget @ Stay and Watch the Stars

Cait @ Paper Fury

Isa @ A Doodler’s Freedom