Questions for a Q&A Vlog - Take Two


December 5, 2017



So Ariel - my sister, who's appeared with me in one of my other vlogs awhile back - has been begging to tape another vlog for me, so I told her that we'd try and do another Q&A vlog, like we did almost exactly a year ago ... and here we are!


Questions for a Q&A vlog - take two



I'm betting y'all already know how this works - shoot off as many questions as you wish down in the comments, and then I'll answer them in a vlog (with Ariel recording and piping in her own opinions, as per usual xD)!

The Q&A vlog was lots of fun last time (albeit cringe-worthy, ha), so I'm excited to see what kinds of questions you guys come up with this time! Go crazy with it, y'all. <3

~ Savannah Grace 

i can't wait to see the questions you come up with! 

Highlights Of November 2017


December 1, 2017



   Has anyone else been blasting the Christmas music since Thanksgiving? (#ME)

   Just had to mention it xD.


Highlights of November 2017



life



I literally don't know where to start. (except IT'S DECEMBER and I. Am. Happy! <3 <3)

My sister (Skylar, who is super musically-gifted, I can't even) performed at her orchestra concert, and it was so, so fun to go and watch her perform. Someday I'll have to get her to play something for me to record, so that you guys can hear her beautiful music <3.

Thanksgiving happened, which was AMAZING because we had family over for the entire week, and then EVEN MORE family came over on Thanksgiving day. And it was just warm enough that day to be hanging out outside, which was epic.

And the fun things we do leading up to Thanksgiving are always the best - it's been our traditional for the last few years to hand out "Thanksgiving cards" around the neighborhood a few days before Thanksgiving. It was so fun to go tromping through fallen leaves in the dark while the Christmas lights were on to give cards to the neighbors <3.

writer-ly things


Guess who quit NaNoWriMo?

Me? NO, no no no, why would you ever think - yeah, it was me. And it was actually because I just wasn't that interested this year, AND I needed a break after hardcore editing Asher Grey for the last forever. I would have collapsed without taking some time off, so I did the smart thing for my mental health and REFRAINED from madly stressing myself out xD. So I got to about 13k words this month, and that was all xD.

But near the end of the month, I got back into the full swing of editing, and now I'm on a roll! It's great fun brainstorming ideas for Asher Grey with my betas, even though their job is technically done (I have THE BEST betas <3. Shoutouts to Julia, Sarah, Skye, Faith, Clare, Audrey, Micaiah, Soleil, and my sisters)

I've also been working on-and-off on writing more of The Testing, so perhaps I shall show you more of that in the near future? We shall see ;).

bookishness

+ The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

 
   Okay, can we take a moment to appreciate how all the covers are giving off Autumn-ish vibes? So much pretty <3. And the insides of the books are all just as pretty as the outsides! It was a good month for reading, y'all.

- Gregor And The Code Of Claw by Suzanne Collins. So I did a big bad thing. I read the first book in this series and then went straight to the last one. And do you know what? I still enjoyed it immensely! I actually wasn't confused, and I loved the book. Suzanne Collins is an absolute MASTER when it comes to writing. I'm giving this book a lovely four stars!

- Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. I think this was a third reread? Probably? It could have even been even more than that, ha xD. But I love Illusionarium so much! Even knowing all the plot twists, even knowing where the story is going, it's AMAZING. The characters are just so amazing, I can't <3. This one gets a glowing FIVE STARS.

- Ashlynn's Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert. I actually got this from the author in a giveaway a couple months ago, and it took me forever to get to it! #shameful And, like an awful, shallow bookworm, I judged the book by the cover + spine ... and didn't expect to enjoy it very much? But I was WRONG. Ashlynn's Dreams was so good, I loved it. I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars, but it probably would be 4 if not for some formatting problems. Otherwise, it was great.

   And on another bookish note - I randomly picked up a hardcover copy of Iscariot by Tosca Lee when I was out and about awhile ago (*cough* because cheap hardcovers *cough*), but I wasn't sure if I was going to like it? The premise seemed a little strange. But then I started it and OH MY. I'm not even halfway through yet, but I'm going to have to review it for you guys when I'm done to try and process my thoughts coherently xD.

posts


http://scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com/2017/11/book-review-and-author-interview-when.html

http://scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com/2017/11/taking-break-when-writing-gets-obsessive.html
 
http://scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com/2017/11/title-and-cover-reveal-of-nadine.html
 
http://scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com/2017/11/book-review-scorpio-races-by-maggie.html

http://scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com/2017/11/a-call-for-betas-asher-grey.html

elsewhere online


   - Christine posted about her beautiful novel, The Nether Isle, and it looks GORGEOUS, I need it so bad <3.

   - Lisa over at Inkwell also posted about her NaNo novel, and it looks AMAZING, I can't even. 

   - Burning Youth put up a wonderful post called 'her heart in your hands'.

   - Jonathan did an epic post on stress and why it isn't worth it.

   - Micaiah created a Movie Book Tag, which looks super-cool and I'm totally going to steal it.

   - Bright Eyes is still managing to come out with better and better podcasts, and I'm not sure how they keep managing to beat their own greatness? But I'm still over here flailing over them like a mad octopus, so. (if you haven't listened to Bright Eyes yet, YOU MUST)

   - Renegades just recently released and I'm so excited about it, but all the people who've read it seem to think it was a bit on the 'meh' side? So I've got mixed feelings. BUT I'll give you guys aaalll my thoughts on it once I read it, fear not xD.

   - Apparently another Fantastic Beasts movie is coming out next year and I TOTALLY FORGOT, so I was able to be all wildly excited again when I heard about The Crimes Of Grindewald. Even though I haven't even watched Fantastic Beasts yet. ... yeah. I is weird. Also, I need to watch it xD.

   - The cover reveal for Nadine Brandes' new book, Fawkes, happened, and if you have not seen it's beauty yet, where have you been? It's gorgeous <3.

ramblings to come

   Well, I think a new Q&A vlog will be happening, as Ariel's been begging me to do another vlog xD. So be watching for a post for that in the next week! It'll be lots of fun to tape a video for y'all again.    

   I'm so, so excited that the Christmas season is here again, and I'd say it's my favorite time of year, but that would be cliche (IT'S MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR). I hope you guys have an EPIC December! <3 <3

~ Savannah Grace

how was your November/Thanksgiving?
what was the best book you read this month?
HOW DID NANOWRIMO GO??

Book Review (and author interview!) - When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowksi


November 24, 2017



   So I read this beautiful little book over Thanksgiving break, and as the Indie Christian Books Black Friday sale is going on (more about that later in the post), I just had to share a review of it with you guys!


Book Review (and author interview!) - When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowski [header image]







4 Stars

   So this was actually a re-read, and you guys know how rare it is for me to enjoy a re-read as much I enjoy the original first-read of a book. But When Ravens Fall is an exception! I rated it four stars when I first read it, and I'm rating it four stars now, because this little novella is gorgeous. <3


From The Back Cover


When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowksi, cover image
It is the age of dreams.

When Kenna, the raven, foresees a girl in the Mist, she believes she has finally found the one to break the curse. That has always been her mission, since the day her misguided anger cast the curse than engulfed both her and Odin's son, Baldur, complicating what was already an impossible nightmare. But the girl she sees in the Mist is different than the others who have come for the Trials, than the others who have failed and returned home terrorized by their experience. This girl actually wants to be here.

Astrid, the dragon slayer's daughter, has a plan of her own. She is not interested in dreams and curses. There is only one thing that she desires, and falling in love is not it. After all, some girls were never meant to fall in love.

Baldur, the bear, inherited the gift of dreams from his mother. His dreams are consumed with the one event in his future he cannot seem to escape: his death. For years, he and the Raven have tried to find a woman capable of loving him in spite of his monstrosity, and for years they have failed. The roses are dying and the sky burns red like fire. The times tell the tale of the end.






the epic stuff



- The Norse legends. When Ravens Fall had a whole plethora of Norse legendary mixed into it, which was super cool. It made the story feel that much more alive, which was super cool. I've read next to no books with Norse legends/vikings and such, so it was really cool that When Ravens Fall had that element, I loved it <3. It was great fun getting to read about Baldur and Frigg's prophecy, and Odin and his ravens.

- It's a Beauty and The Beast retelling. You guys know I love my retellings (I'm writing one right now, though mine is Snow White, and not Beauty and The Beast), and When Ravens Fall didn't disappoint! I found it more of a loose retelling, which I was perfectly fine with, and it was lovely <3. 

- The setting. For such a short book, I was quite impressed with the worldbuilding that went into it. The setting was very vivid, and so easy to picture in my mind. I loved how unique it was! 

the disliked stuff

- The length. Novellas are just so short! I think I've said this about every novella I've ever read, but I need more! xD And while I loved When Ravens Fall, I do wish it was a little longer. However, the pacing was really good for such a short story.    

- There were some incorrect formats / typos. Not too many - just one or two typos, and a couple places where a paragraph should have been indented, but wasn't. It didn't throw me off much (I was too busy flailing over the epic story), but I thought it deserved mentioning.


   Both of those are super minor issues, so When Ravens Fall absolutely deserved every one of the four stars I gave it. It's a beautiful story that I would definitely recommend, probably to ages 12+.

   And Mrs. Jezowski herself is here today, and has kindly agreed to be interviewed. She has some cool stuff to say about her stories, so let's get right onto that, shall we? 




Savannah Grace: Where did you get the idea for When Ravens Fall? 

Savannah Jezowski: For my novella, When Ravens Fall, I wanted to write a Beauty and the Beast story that allowed the enchantress to play a bigger role in the story. It always frustrated me in the Disney version that she had one teeny tiny role in the prologue and then she pretty much disappears. Forever. So that is where Kenna came to life, my enchantress who had an incredible part to play in the story. I was also looking for a setting that had never been done before…and I thought, What about Vikings? Because, well, Vikings are pretty cool and unique, right? Once I started researching the old Norse legends, I knew I had chosen wisely. The myths are overflowing with amazing material for retellings. I drew upon half a dozen different legends in order to tell my little tale—such as Odin and his ravens, Baldur and Frigg’s prophecy, Sigurd and the dragon Fafnir, Ratatoskr the gossiping squirrel, and many others.

SG: Astrid is a really strong main character - what inspired you to write her? 

Jezowski: For Astrid, I didn’t want to have the typical Beauty—the booklover, the sweet inner temperament, beautiful in and out. I wanted a rougher character, someone who wasn’t very beautiful (on the inside or the out). Astrid was a rough character to get to like because she was so hardened by her difficult life. She had scars, inside and out, and she didn’t always make the best choices.

SG: How many years have you considered yourself a writer? 

Jezowski: I started writing when I was in elementary school but I didn’t begin to write seriously and attempt publication until I was in college.

SG: What's one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring inside authors? 

Jezowski Ask for help and join Facebook groups. Indie authors cannot be successful alone, so develop a support group and be willing to help others the way you need to be helped. It’s a team effort. Have joint sales and Facebook parties, group giveaways and things like that. Also, learn to do as much as you can yourself because it will save you a lot of money and heartache.

SG: Do you have a favorite out of all the book/stories you've written? 

Jezowski: My favorite is Wither: Five Enchanted Roses. It was a story I wrote to share my own spiritual struggle. I went through a time of difficulty where I felt like God had abandoned me, and writing Wither helped me to work through that time of darkness and find the joy and beauty in restoration.

SG: According to you, what elements make for a good book?

Jezowski: I love character driven stories, stories where the author starts with a character and builds the story around them (like how I built When Ravens Fall around Kenna and Astrid). I also like a little bit of clean romance and a lot of mystery and foreshadowing.

SG: Epic answers - thanks for being here, Mrs. Jezowski! <3 


Savannah Jezowksi's bio image
Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, a little warrior princess, two English Springer Spaniels and a brigade of kitties. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She is the author of Wither: Five Enchanted Roses and When Ravens Fall. Her first full length novel, After: Neverway Chronicles Book One, will be published in early 2018. She likes books, faeries, writing hats and having tea with her imaginary friends.





   And now you guys are probably wondering about the epic book sale going on (me thinks you may have skipped the post to come down to this part xD) ...

   Indie Christian Books is having their huge Black Friday sale, and the website opens today! There's tons of discounted paperbacks and ebooks, so even if your budget is $0, there's a bunch you can snag! I'm dying to get my hands on some of the epic books <3. (and a quick note on the ebooks only page - many of the books there are listed as 'sold out', but that's only because they're not being sold directly through that page. Clicking on the ebook should take you to a place where you can actually get your hands on the beautiful book.)

   There's also a giveaway going on, so definitely check that out, too!

   Go nab yourself some epic (and cheap xD) books, y'all.

~ Savannah Grace

have you read When Ravens Fall?
which books do you have your eye on from the indie christian books sale?

Taking A Break // When Writing Gets Obsessive


November 17, 2017



   So guess what's a weird post to be posting in the middle of NaNoWriMo? This post is. 


Taking A Break // When Writing Gets Obsessive [title image]



   Let's make one thing clear before I dig into this post - I'm not talking about NaNoWriMo here. I love all the hectic craziness of the month of November, it's so fun. NaNoWriMo (and ... pretty much anyone on a major deadline xD) is exempt from this post. I'm talking about those times when you've been writing so much that you can't stop, even when you're tired of it. I'm talking about how to take a break when you've become writing-obsessed (*cough* something I need to learn *cough*). 


   But how do you know if your writing has become obsessive?



1. Everything Is Dry  


 
   Your words are dry, your well of inspiration is dry, your plotline is dry - yeah, pretty much everything is dry. Your 'creative tank' isn't full anymore, and you're needing to figure out a way to refuel and got those creative juices flowing again.



2. Writing Isn't Fun Anymore



   So now you're probably thinking 'this could never happen!', but guess what - it can. Getting tired of writing happens to me when I've been writing like a madwoman for weeks and weeks ... and then everything just kinda starts to slide to a stop. I'm tired. The words aren't coming. All inspiration has gone *poof*. Thus, writing is not fun anymore xD.



3. Writing Is Stressful (...but not writing is also stressful) 



   This one is one of the biggest signs that you are over-obsessing about the need to write. If writing is making you stressed, but not writing is also making you stressed (seriously, this happens #me) because you feel guilty about not writing when you could be writing ... yeah, 'tis a problem. And it has happened to me quite often, so I would know. I am the queen of writing obsessively xD.  



   So, those are just a few ways to know if your writing habits have become obsessive. And do you know what you (and I, if I can convince myself about it xD) really need to do when this starts to happen? TAKE A BREAK. Even just a small break - just a couple days, or a week if you have the time - can work wonders. But I actually have a REALLY hard time forcing myself to take a break when I've becoming overly obsessed with writing ... so, how do you do this think called 'taking a break?'. 



1. Give Yourself Permission To Chill 



    This is actually the hard part. See the word 'obsessed' up there in the post title? Yeah, that means CAN'T STOP. I find it really, really hard to quit writing when I start obsessing over it ... even when, deep down, I want a break sooooo bad. So stepping back and giving yourself permission (or forcing yourself) to just chill and not go near a keyboard for a few days is actually hard, but breaks are needed, so DON'T feel guilty about not writing for awhile (#me). You have all the permission in the world to just chill for a few days.



2. Read A Book



   Read two books! Read lots of books! We're bookdragons - it's in our DNA to devour books twenty-seven books in one weekend. Find a nice, huge fantasy book to get your hands on, or a fluffy contemporary to breeze through. Perfect fuel to refill on <3. (and I've posted lists of books that are perfect for Summer and books that are perfect for Fall, so there's some quick recommendations for ya xD)


the unwanteds by Lisa McMann - bookshelf image




3. Work On A New Project



   Sometimes it isn't really a break from writing that's needed - it's a break from a specific project. Working on a new piece (maybe just a short story, or a piece of flash fiction), can kind of give you a breather from whatever you've been currently working on. Sometimes I'll purposefully work on two projects at once, so that I don't get all tired out. But switching projects really can help - especially if you're going from a serious project to a just-for-fun piece.



4. Take A Deep Breath



   Just breath for a minute. For a few minutes. Or a few days, if you need it. Sit back and watch a movie, take a walk, surf the blogosphere, or hang with that strange thing called family (yeah, they exist, too). Relax and do something you've wanted to do for awhile, but that you've put off because of the book you're working on. You are an epic little writing-creature - you deserve a break! Do something fun! Trust me, it'll be worth it ;D.


   And there ya go - all the ways that I get myself to take a breather when I desperately need one. And Thanksgiving is coming up super fast, so I'm going to convince the writer-ly part of my brain to chill for awhile so that I can just hang with family aaaall week. It'll be lots of fun xD. Have an epic Thanksgiving break, you guys - I'll see you after it's over!

~ Savannah Grace

do you get overly writing-obsessed sometimes? 
what do you do to give yourself a break?
have a great Thanksgiving, y'all!