All About You Around the Blogosphere Tag

All About You Around the Blogosphere Tag

Kristianne Hassman made this tag look so fun, I stole it with her permission. 😂 Thanks, Kristianne!

The Rules:
1. Answer the questions below on your blog.
2. Tag at least a couple other bloggers.
3. Have them answer these questions.

Question time!

1. What’s your favorite book/book series and why?

That’s a really hard one, since I’ve read a lot and loved most of it. It’s a pretty good problem to have. 😉

I’d say right now, it’s The Mysterious Benedict Society series, especially books 1 and 3. They are just so engrossing, full of truth and whimsy together, and entirely too brilliant to boot. I was recently reminded of how good they are when I watched the Disney+ show of the first book.

2. Who is your favorite author?

Also a hard question. *rubs hands together* Sarah Holman is an old favorite in the indie world, Toni Shiloh is a new favorite (also indie, though she’ll be hybrid next year!), Ally Condie a favorite mainstream, and C.S. Lewis for nostalgia purposes. That was four, oops.

3. What is your favorite food?

I have two modes–avocado, cashews, and fruit when I’m feeling healthy or goooood, creamy, HEAVENLY mac and cheese. 🤤

4. What gives you inspiration for your books?

Honestly? Everything… My observations of my family and friends and random strangers, my own anxieties funneled into something manageable and solvable in a fictional realm, my inner wondering and wanderings, and Biblical teachings I’ve run across.

I’m also inspired by the fiction I read and the media I watch, especially if it’s an annoying TV show plotline I feel the need to fix.

5. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere UK-ish, and by that I mean foggy, rainy, perfect for growing vegetables, and with a sense of long history to it.

6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert, to the max. Before the pandemic, I’d say I could see myself becoming more outgoing (which isn’t the same as extroversion) but the past several months have really turned me back into a Hobbit for better and worse. 😉

7. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

“The emotions are strong with this one.”

A.k.a. a Star Wars reference warning you I am a Nerd and also explaining my emotional state. 😉


This was such a fun tag! I hope you all enjoyed reading my answers. 😉

I nominate . . .

Katja at Little Blossoms for Jesus
Jana T at Reviews from the Stacks

Liberty H. at Gone in a Dream

Feel free to answer these questions down in the comments as well!

Three Kids in a Trench Coat

Three Kids in a Trench Coat

There are so many big changes happening so fast right now.

Our first wedding gift arrived, boxes of belongings and wedding decorations swamp me, apartment hunting = stress, and I’m trying to keep up on homework for my church’s recovery group (more on that later 😉) and a ginormously boring work project.

There’s even been some gray in my hair, but only because I tried cornstarch as dry shampoo and used way too much and couldn’t get it all out in time before dinner with one of our pastor’s families. 🤦‍♀️😂😂😂 #truestory #doyouthinkanyonenoticed

It’s all good things, and the fulfillment of some of my best dreams, but some days it’s just a lot to deal with.

This weekend, I had one day where I felt particular emotionally overwhelmed and really needing some encouragement.

Into my notifications walked the new Pixar short, Twenty Something.

With amazing 2d animation, this short explores the idea of feeling like three kids in a trench coat faking your way through life–and doing terribly at it. 😂

It brought (more) tears to my eyes and a sweet reminder that I am not alone and everyone’s had to deal with figuring life out. 😉

Go watch it, and be sure to measure your cornstarch moderately!

I’m a Little Short

I’m a Little Short

I chose this title because it cracks me up because anyone who knows me knows I’m just 5′ 4″ and my super tall fiance sometimes makes me feel even shorter.

I meant to talk about something completely different, but since I got on the subject and then searched for memes (as you do) here are some to enjoy/groan over.

And I live in the desert Southwest. 😭😭😂

😬😬😂

That last bit hurt, lol.

Kate McNugget, at your service. 🖖

This one literally hurts. 😂😂 I like being short most of the time, but not when this happens. 😂

Okay, but back to what I was actually talking about.

Maybe it’s the case for all of you, I’m not really sure since I’ve been out of the loop for so long, but I’m a little short on blogs to read.

I enjoy ones with semi-regular content of a creative, cheerful, and clean nature. Got any recs? I’d so love it if you’d drop your favorites in the comments.

Update: You all have given me some amazing blogs to follow, and I’m so encouraged by the community. (Also, the short girl solidarity. 😂) Keep em coming! And thanks so much!

The 12 Days of NaNoWriMo

The 12 Days of NaNoWriMo

For those of you observing NaNoWriMo in just a mere, short four days, I give you this song. May it go better for you than this satirical experience. 😂

The Twelve Days of NaNoWriMo

On the first day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
A vague idea for my WIP.

On the second day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Two characters (kind of) and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the third day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Three dry pens, two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the fourth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the fifth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the sixth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the seventh day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Seven dreams a-dimming, six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the eighth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Eight cursors blinking, seven dreams a-dimming, six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the ninth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Nine plot holes glaring, eight cursors blinking,
seven dreams a-dimming, six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the tenth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Ten writers weeping, nine plot holes glaring, eight cursors blinking,
seven dreams a-dimming, six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the eleventh day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Eleven characters dying, ten writers weeping,
nine plot holes glaring, eight cursors blinking,
seven dreams a-dimming, six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

On the twelfth day of NaNoWriMo, my project gave to me
Twelve snickers snacking, eleven characters dying, ten writers weeping,
nine plot holes glaring, eight cursors blinking,
seven dreams a-dimming, six sentences staying,
Five GOLDEN scenes! (Now, where to put them??)
Four (hundred!) words, three dry pens,
two characters (kind of), and a vague idea for my WIP.

Copyright 2020 Kate Willis

• • •

(As I was typing this up, I got an email from NaNoWriMo. 😂)

I’m not going for an entire novel this year, but I’m planning to write. Maybe some Christmas-themed short stories. 😉

What are you planning to write? I’d love to hear about it, and I’m sure it will be amazing!

Mystery Blogger Award Tag

Mystery Blogger Award Tag

I was tagged for this by Katja from Little Blossoms for Jesus. Thanks, Katja!

(And I have no idea what the “mystery” part of the name means, so maybe that itself is the mystery… :O 😉 )

1. How many notebooks do you think you own? 

Um. Big question. 😉 I have 25 (?) full ones in storage and a ton of others spread throughout my stuff like Easter eggs. 😀

2. What’s your favourite male name and your favourite female name? 

My favorite male name has always been Edward (though I love a lot of others), and one of my favorite female names is Mercy.

3. What is your passion? Your driving passion? 

Looking at God and the world He has made, seeing things to love, and setting them before others for them to love. ❤

4. Chicken burgers and fish sticks… with or without breadcrumbs? 

I’m not a huge fan of either… I like chicken nuggets? 😀

5. Any opinion on poetry, specifically classical poetry? 

I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but I do have a few favorites. One favorite off the top of my head is “The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 😉

Thanks for the questions! Those were fun. 😉

If anyone is interested in picking up this tag (or even just answering the questions in the comments), here are my questions for you…

  1. What is one song that makes you happy every time it comes on?
  2. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever baked?
  3. What is one book you’ll never forget?
  4. Orange Julius or lemonade?
  5. What is your favorite graphic novel or comic book?

Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend!

The MCU Tag

The MCU Tag

I apparently cannot pass up a good tag. 😉 Jenna Terese did this one on her blog, and since she left it open to anyone, I decided to snap it up. 😉 (No Thanos pun intended.)

MCU tag graphic.png

Caution: SPOILERS may abound.

The rules:

  • Feel free to include the above graphic somewhere in your post (but it’s definitely not necessary).
  • Take the questions and answer them on your blog (or social media or wherever!).
  • Tag up to 5 other Marvel fans!

The questions…

01. How were you introduced into the MCU fandom?

I think it was my brother-in-law who first got us into Marvel. I don’t remember if we started with a Captain America movie or the Avengers, but I do remember that it was so long ago, we’d check them out from the video store and Redbox. XD Even then, I was pretty much just a casual fan, but seeing Black Panther (one of my all-time favorites) in theaters drew me farther into the fandom. And then Endgame happened, and rewatching the other movies in light of it has made me love the stories more. 

02. What’s your favorite Marvel film?

I love the Cap movies and the Avenger movies (especially Endgame), but Black Panther is my favorite. I found the story compelling, and I’m a huge fan of the titular character. 😉

03. Top favorite Marvel character?

Hard question. I’ll cheat and go with Cap, Black Panther, and Nebula. 😉 Also, Laura Barton is the bomb.

04. If you were transported into the MCU and had to trade places with one of the superheroes, who would you choose?

UM. Superheros lead very dangerous lives… and I honestly can’t picture myself with powers. I guess I’d switch out with Nakia or Maria Hill? 😀

05. What are some of your favorite quotes from the films?

Oh, so many… Nearly all lines from Spiderman? Nearly all speeches from Cap? Every word from Dr. Erskine? 😀

06. Which crew would you want to be part of the most: Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Revengers?

Avengers, hands down. The other two teams are a bit too chaotic for me. 😛

07. Favorite and least favorite ship?

Oh, dear. This is a hard question. I’m not gonna pull out any least favorite ships (because), but favorites are Steggy (Captain America/Agent Carter) and Fitzsimmons (from Agents of Shield). As I mentioned in my overly fangirly OTP post ( 😛 ), T’Challa and Nakia are up there, but I need more content. Hint, hint.

08. Favorite and least favorite villain?

If I had to choose a favorite… maybe Zemo? Threatening and convincing, but not unbeatable. Least favorite is of course Thanos.

09. Unpopular MCU opinion?

I really disliked Tony (until Homecoming actually) mostly because of his attitude towards women, and I had similar thoughts about Nat in her earliest movies.  They both really shone in Infinity War/Endgame, though. 😉

10. What’s your favorite Stan Lee cameo scene?

“I am so fired”. 

Tagging…

Anyone who would like to take a break from reading to talk about fandoms. 😉

Have a great weekend! 😉

Book Review: Five Star Spy

Book Review: Five Star Spy

“Friends don’t let friends fail their mission…

Brent Peterson is back in town after chasing operatives of the group known as The 10,000– and he’s much worse for wear.

Emily is delighted to see him, but she’s worried: Agent Nighthawk never fails at a mission, but if she doesn’t help him he just might fail this one and let a mysterious 10,000 criminal slip through his fingers.

Not to mention worsen the barely-healed gunshot wound in his shoulder…” (from Goodreads)

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

New HQ? Check. Callbacks to the previous books and short story? Check. If it’s even possible, higher stakes? Also, check. Basically the perfect beginning to season two. 😀 ❤

I seriously had no idea how much I missed these, and I’m so happy right now. This installment started off with a bang and ended with one too. Brent and Emily were still a brilliant, adorable team despite Brent being a little out of commission, and he definitely managed to pull some CRAZZYYY stunts. XD Emily is always fun undercover, but I think this one takes the cake. She was so clever and her internal dialogue this time was especially funny. XD (Also, I need Derrick in charge of my wardrobe, because that dress = perfection.) While I’d take an entire book just of them bantering and *ahem* flirting at the coffee shop, it’s always fun to see them in the field, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Santa was surprisingly epic in this one, and the new character (who shall remain nameless) was a fun addition. O.o. Also, why can’t new HQ be real and have job openings?!! I won’t spoil anything, but it’s about as epic as you can get. XD

And could an epilogue be any more perfect?! ❤

Just a note, there were some mentions and brief descriptions of blood in relation to a gunshot wound. There was also some peril including kidnapping.

Best quotes: She stood and shook her head. “I must be glad to see you. I’m talking to you even while you’re unconscious.”

Brent snorted with laughter, squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head. “Don’t make me laugh and fall off this chair.”

Altogether, I can’t wait for the next book. 😉

(And that random tech who Googled “how to kill wasabi burn” is my personal hero. 😛 )

Season stats so far…
Codenames: one (from the short story) + another near-miss
Car crashes: surprisingly, none
Awesomeness level: 107%

(I highly recommend reading the short story “Right Number” before reading this book. It is available on the author’s website: https://perrykirkpatrick.com/right-nu… )

Book Review: Not Write Now

Book Review: Not Write Now

“You’ve read all the self-publishing pep talks.

Your book still isn’t published. Or finished.

So why not try a different approach?

Not Write Now isn’t like any book on writing you’ve read before. It won’t tell you to get your hiney in the chair and write. It will tell you to do the exact opposite.

Acclaimed fantasy author Kyle Robert Shultz launches a reverse-psychology attack on your creative blocks that will leave you more eager and determined to write than ever. And he’ll give you plenty of laughs along the way.

This may not be the creativity book you’ve been looking for, but it’s definitely the one you need.” (from Goodreads)

(Before we get started, I just want to say, I delayed my writing time yesterday to finish reading this book, so it was mildly successful at its stated goal. Though only *mildly* successful. XD )

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you probably already know that I’m not a happy reader of non-fiction. I’m beginning to think I was reading (er, attempting to read) the wrong type of non-fiction, but that’s a story for another time.

This book happened to be on a topic I’m highly interested in, written in a painfully humorous, satirical style, and while it claimed not to be, it ended up being very helpful. I especially felt called out by the “advice” to “make writing not fun anymore”. I fall into that sometimes, and not even on purpose. XD I also loved the balanced view of “plotting” vs. “pantsing”, and deep in this messy draft of my own, I needed the reminder of just how special a first draft is.

Best quotes: “A finished draft, no matter how flawed, is a very dangerous thing.”

“Whatever it takes to prevent you having fun, do it. Deliberately use a writing method that doesn’t work for you. Force yourself to take the draft in a direction you’re not excited about just to make it more marketable. Write while being chased by a swarm of killer bees.”

I will definitely be sharing this book with others, and I’m excited to look up a few things on the list of “Resources to Avoid”. 😉

Never Have I Ever Tag (Writer Edition)

Never Have I Ever Tag (Writer Edition)

Abigail Harder literally always has the best tags, and I thought this one looked like fun, so I snagged it. 😉 (Thanks, Abigail, and I love your answers. 😀

1. Link and thank the blogger who tagged you.

2. Include the graphic somewhere in your post (or make your own!).

3. Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.

4. Tag 3 bloggers.

Never Have I Ever….

….started a novel that I did not finish.

I’ve done this (probably too many times) for sure. One I’d love to get back to is a story with a large cast of characters and a unique carousel. 😉

….written a story completely by hand.

Ooo, yes, I have done this! 😀 It’s really lovely actually. I wrote a short story for my college creative writing class while I was up in the mountains for family camp. I also used to write my stories in notebooks almost exclusively before I got a computer of my own. 

….changed tenses midway through a story

Guilty.

…not researched anything before starting a story

Research? I’m a research (if I absolutely MUST) as I go gal.

….changed my protagonist name halfway through a draft.

I think this usually happens in later drafts if it happens at all? And it’s usually side characters…

….written a story in a month or less.

Yes! Shorter works, of course, but yep. 😀

…fallen asleep while writing.

No, but brainstorming on the other hand…

…corrected someone’s grammar irl/online.

I’m a beta-reader, does that count? 😀

….yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.

Bwhahhaha! I don’t think so. Yelling is for editing time. XD

…used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Not sure…

….killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

That’s horrible if you’re doing it on purpose, but since my characters are often amalgamations of different people I’ve known, I’m sure I’ve done this. 

…used pop culture references in a story.

Two Doctor Who references (and one from the Hunger Games) in this last book alone… I love doing “non-tacky” references. 😀

…written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

No, but honestly, that sounds like GOALS.

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

I think I’d have a mental and physical breakdown if I did that. O.o.

…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

As a young kid, I did hope to turn a particularly fun dream into a story, but I don’t make a habit of it.

…published an unedited story on the Internet/blog/Wattpad.

*cringes* I technically always edit stories before posting them, but I have published some pretty raw works before. 

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

*innocent face* 

…typed so long that my wrists hurt.

No, but as soon as I begin to misspell literally everything, repeat words, and start mixing up letters I don’t usually have a problem with, I know it’s time for a rest. 

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

I don’t think I’ve done this…

…forgotten to save my work/draft.

Guilty! *cries*

…finished a novel.

Done this one, and I hope to do it again! 😀 😀 

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

Um… you’d have to ask my sisters. I “delete” moments of insanity from my memory so I can live with myself. 😛

…cried while writing a scene.

Yes. *sniffs*

…created maps of my fictional worlds.

I think it was called Perilvale, and while the map was blobby and filled with weird rivers and spiky trees, it was fun. 

…researched something shady for a novel.

What, like the number of pallbearers needed at a funeral?

I had so much fun answering these questions! Feel free to tag thyself, and have fun. 😀

Messy Desks and Drafts

Messy Desks and Drafts

I found a mini cookies ‘n cream candy bar while cleaning my desk today. I had a cute little note written on it that said, “Good job wording!” I was touched and vaguely wondered what it was a congratulations for.

I was sick almost all last week, so not a lot of “wording” happened recently.

My sister Anna was cleaning her desk as well, and when I pulled out the chocolate bar she burst into laughter.

“Oh, yeah that was for you. How long has it been there?”

I shrugged. “What was it for?”

“It was for when you did the book club.”

We did some quick math and realized that was three weeks before. Cue more laughter. XD (Thanks for the congrats, Anna!)

Getting back into things is a little messy apparently, and my desk is proof of it. (I also found an entire $5 and some papers to throw away, so wow.)

Similarly messy is my novel I’m drafting. I got to write again this weekend, and while I’m very happy to be back to it… I can see just how not perfect it is. So much I should have set up earlier or remembered from my notes or even thought about in the first place. What does this one character even look like? How should I make him stand out from my other male character? What even are words?

Fortunately, I don’t have to sort through it all yet. First drafts are just about putting down words, right? 😉 I’m planning to keep writing the moment I have time and get this big next scene written. 😀 Who knows, maybe when it’s editing time, I’ll find an entire mini candy bar somewhere in the pages…