Let's Talk Books

Let’s Talk Books! Issue #3: Taking a Literary Nap with “Love, Lucas” by Chantele Sedgwick

If I had a choice between reading a standalone book or starting the first book in a huge series, I’d undoubtedly choose the latter. I’m admittedly a sucker for book series because they often signify complexity of plot. The most interesting, unique, and complicated premises often need more than just a single book to tell a good story.

That being said, sometimes I need a break from the complexity in such books. After tearing through stories riddled with drama and tension, violence and war, and conflict that determines the fate of humanity, I often find myself physically and emotionally drained. I’m sure someone out there can relate.

This is how I felt after finishing Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds trilogy in early February (which, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite trilogies.) I found myself desiring a nice, long metaphorical “literary nap,” and escape from some of that intensity for awhile.

Thus, I purchased Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick, a short and sweet summer tale of loss and love. And, well, I definitely knew what was coming when I bought it. Here’s my review:

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Let's Talk Books · Life Updates

Life Update: I am Alive + Let’s Talk Books! Issue #2

Hello, world! I would like to apologize for being MIA from this blog for so many weeks. Life caught up with me, and when I have a list of tasks and priorities in front of me, something’s gotta give, and that something ended up being my blog. But no worries, I am alive and thriving. If I weren’t busy in college, something would be wrong — I love what I do!

I’d like to shout a huge THANK YOU for everyone who stuck with me and Taylor through our (attempted) March Writing Challenge! Though I never finished (lol….), I still love improv freewriting, and I plan on extending the remaining prompts to any time I have free to post my work. With the semester winding up, time is becoming very tight, so no promises. But I guess the beauty about writing a blog for myself is that there are no obligations, and no stress. Keep an eye out for my next writing post!

While I sacrificed writing with my free time, I read for fun instead! I managed to get through a lot of books for fun in the past semester (around 13 works of fiction thus far since January!) Over the next n days, I’ll be posting reviews from the books I read. At last, my very first book review will be in this post — I wrote a review on Shadow and Bone (The Grisha book 1) by Leigh Bardugo!

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writing challenge

March Writing Challenge Day 11: “The Art of Sisterhood”

It was an eventful Monday for me, in that I now have four less teeth, with gaping holes and bloody gauze taking their place. Lovely 🙃 At least now I have legitimate excuses to take read books all day and take lots of naps. (Not that I needed an excuse anyway!)

Read Taylor’s post for this prompt!

Prompt for March 13, 2016: First line must be, “She made a poor job of hiding the damage.”

“The Art of Sisterhood” by Rachel Cernosek

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writing challenge

March Writing Challenge Days 9 and 10: “Trudge On” and “Family Dinner”

Prompt for March 11, 2017: Absolute threshold is a term in perceptual psychology to describe the smallest level of energy required by an external stimulus to be detectable by the human senses, including vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch. For example, the absolute threshold of vision is the light of a single candle held 30 miles away from the eye, in complete darkness, after having adjusted to the dark. Write something about the absolute threshold of sight.

Trudge On by R.C.

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writing challenge

March Writing Challenge Day 8: “Redo”

Happy Spring Break! I took a ton of midterms on Thursday and skipped class Friday to come home early. I’m excited to spend a week relaxing, reading, and practicing while I can before getting four wisdom teeth removed. Wahoo!

So this writing challenge has certainly been that… a challenge. I have regretfully skipped three days of writing due to busyness and studying, but I’ve made the decision to just drop those prompts instead of scrambling to scrounge up some half-hearted entries in one post. Alas, here is the prompt for Day 8! But here’s where it gets messy again—turns out me and Taylor looked at different prompts. Our apologies, but no worries! Tomorrow, we will just switch, and we’ll be right back on track.

The short story I wrote for Day 8 is a lot longer than anything else I’ve written (a whopping 1641 words!) But I really encourage you to read it because I really think you’ll love the story.  The premise is that our narrator, John, has a speech impediment (stutter), but was also gifted with the ability to go back in time to “redo” his mistakes. Again, it’s relatively lengthy, but in my own opinion, it’s some of my best work thus far, especially considering that I came up with the idea and typed the whole thing in about an hour and a half this evening. Please tell me what you think of this short story! (Admittedly, I could hear my own heart breaking as I wrote the ending…)

Prompt for March 10, 2017: Your best friend catches you using a superpower they didn’t know you had.

“Redo” by Rachel Cernosek

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March Writing Challenge Day 5: “Winter Flight”

Something I love about music/song prompts for these writing projects is that there is no wrong answer. Not that any of the prompts given have a right or wrong answer by any means, but music is especially interpretive. People can have hugely contrasting ideas, emotions, or memories from the same melody.

For today, I wrote a quick poem inspired by the song which Taylor picked out, which is “Fortress” by Kel. The poem is about a bird in the winter, but it’s also about me 🙂 Just a few things to keep in mind before reading… Firstly, a word on the inspiration behind the poem — I decided to listen more to the song’s melodic and harmonic progressions and the emotions they evoked in me, and less to Kel’s lyrics. Secondly, the form I chose is worth pointing out — each stanza has 3 lines, each of which has 7 syllables, and the last two lines of each stanza rhyme. However, I intended it to be read normally and conversationally, not metered. The form is mainly for organization and my own creative interpretation. I hope you enjoy!

Prompt for March 6, 2017: Song Inspiration from “Fortress” by Kel.

 

Winter Flight by R.C.

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March Writing Challenge Days 3 and 4: “The Choice” and “Fun House”

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I spent my time volunteering at auditions for the School of Music, eating cookie dough with my roommate, watching “Tangled” for the thousandth time, and attending two marvelously-prepared flute recitals. Alongside playing flute, reading, and writing, course.

Quick book update: I just finished Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick (3 out of 5 stars from me) and I’m onto Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo, which is so good thus far. I also just purchased two books — yes, real books, not eBooks — from Barnes and Noble today, which I plan on knocking out during the break! Ah, books 🙂

I didn’t post for Day 3 yesterday because 1) I fell asleep, and 2) I wanted to add a little more this morning. So I have for you all today a March Writing Challenge Double-Header! The first short story is about a kid who finds his father’s hunting rifle. The second short story is about a narrator who suffers from a mental illness who begins to dissociate in a carnival fun house*. (I’m not sure why the prompt given for Day 4 made me think of this idea for a story, but I see it as ironic and contradicting.)

Read Taylor’s posts for Day 3 and Day 4!

Prompt for March 4th, 2017: Introduce a gun in the first sentence. Its use isn’t as expected.

“The Choice” by Rachel Cernosek

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