Monday, December 19, 2016

Rambles of Celebration

Yo, Imaginers! This is Ilse, writing from the East Coast. Home of this dog. 
(Sorry about quality. My phone's plugged in, so I had to zoom lots.)

And that dog's BFF. 

Yes, you heard me right. I'm in the United States!

You normal Americans, you do not appreciate your country enough. Especially convenience. And Target. 

Sing it with me, Bekah. TAAARRGGEEETTT

Anyway, there are negative things about being in America rather than Germany. Namely, jet lag. As a result of the time difference, I've been waking up around 4:30 AM. Yep. But, you know, it's worth it. 

I know what you're thinking. When is she going to explode into Christmas obsession?


We have 6 days left, people! I'm so. Excited. It's going to be awesome. 

Well, I have to go, so you'll have to deal with a random, rambling post. Have a merry Christmas, happy Hannukah, or whatever else you celebrate! Bye!  

Monday, December 12, 2016

2016 Character Awards| AKA The Raven Cycle and Lunar Chronicles Are Mah Besties

You know what time of year it is?


My Christmas resolution is to have gifs on my blog. So far it's going great. :)
And you know what else it is?

The end of the year. Crazy coincidence, huh?

So the fabulous Cait @ Paper Fury improvised a delightful 2016 Character Awards! Which I will present to you! Cue the confetti! Cue the celebration!

Warning: The Raven Cycle and Lunar Chronicles will feature quite prominently in this post. Just so ya know.


*goes and stares at bookshelves*



The Penderwick Clan.

Okay, so for a while I was extremely and exceedingly upset that I wasn't a Penderwick. I love these girls SO MUCH. (plus I have no sisters, so... #whattheheckisthatlike?) They all have such real aspects. I would say I'm mostly sensible like Rosalind, sarcastic and in love with clean rooms like Skye, a writery dreamer sort of bird like Jane, and...a Batty like Batty. I don't know. I love Batty. 


The first thing that came to mind is Puss from K.M. Shea's rendition Puss in Boots. (All the linky linky links!) I admit, I have quite a fondness for sassy talking cats. Hound, also from the Penderwicks, is worthy of mention, for his loving doggyness.

Ooh, and Heloise from I Capture the Castle


Well...not that kind of Cinder. But who can resist Jack-Jack?

I mean, the lady is just so cool. She'd rather be a revolutionary than a princess, she's an awesomely awesome CYBORG, and, you know, she fights. Fiercely. (This is The Lunar Chronicles, by the way.)



Um... Iko.


Iko is the best. Lunar Chronicles, you got me. An android that longs for humanity? Iko is so. Cute. Can't wait for Wires & Nerves!


To get the Lunar Chronicles one out of the way, THORNE. He started as an unimportant, bigheaded jerk, and he ended as LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, INTRODUCING CAPTAIN! CARSWELL! THORNEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

*thunderous applause*

And knew it was coming...

Celeste Newsome, from The Selection.

*quiet sobbing*

Okay, I'm not going to write much here, because SPOILERS. But just know...AHHH I'M DYING.

Thank you for your patience. :)


Hands down, George from Lockwood & Co. I've so far enjoyed this series immensely, which is sort of surprising because I'm not a fan of creepy. But really, it's not that bad. Maybe just ancient brutal murder doesn't bother me? Anyway, GEORGE.

"There was a profound silence, abruptly broken by an enormously loud rumble from George's stomach. Plaster didn't actually fall from the ceiling, but it was close.
'Sorry,' he said cheerfully. 'Famished. I think I'll have another doughnut, if you don't mind. Any takers?" 


You're a mean one, Mr. Gray.

Raven Cycle!

Mr. Gray is the best. I mean, sure, he's an ex-hit man, but this series is proof that even hit men just need a little love.


IDK. Let's go with...lsdkfjsdF:J I don't know. I can't think of anyone, so *skippy skippy skip*

Who says I need to follow the rules, hmm?


    Back to Lunar Chronicles, ADRI. Seriously, you idiot.

    Raven Cycle: I must agree with Cait about Adam's parents.

    Adam's Dad: Punch all the Adam.
    Adam's Mom: Keep all the quiet.
    Ronan: Punch all the idiots. Merry Christmas.


      SALLY! JACKSON!  She's the sweetest and kindest and BLUE COOKIES.

      Raven Cycle: Maura.

      Maura, Maura, Maura. 

      “Are you really going to work in that?" Maura asked.

      Blue looked at her clothing. It involved a few thin layering shirts, including one she had altered using a method called shredding. "What's wrong with it?"
      Maura shrugged. "Nothing. I always wanted an eccentric daughter. I just never realised how well my evil plans were working.”







      ooh, plus whatever Ginny + Harry is.


      Um um um um um um um...

      WOLF. (Lunar Chronicles again, folks.)



      Cassia Reyes, star of Matched, wins the blandness award. Sure, she was brainwashed by the Society, but the whole story was just so meh. #sorrynotsorry


      How about...Gansey? No? BUT BUT BUT--TECHNICALITIES.

      Or, you know, Cinder. Again.

      OH OH OH OH! Prince Maxon. <3


      Mrs. Hudson from The House at Baker Street. Because she's a little old lady investigating brutal murder. (which, you know, is the best. :) )


      First of all, Lorelei Gilmore.

      Second of all, ROSE MORTMAIN MY GOODNESS. (I Capture the Castle) She needs to fix something in her life.

      Oh, and Katy from Katy! I could not finish that book. There were too many humiliations, and I cannot do humiliations. I just cannot.

      17. CUTEST DORK

      Gansey. Gansey. Gansey.

      Oh, and I have to agree w/Cait on Magnus Chase.

      Oh! Oh! Kile from the Selection series.


      "Geniuses, lower your voice..."

      Shh, Hamilton side of Ilse. It's naptime.

      Lockwood! (Lockwood & Co.) I mean, he does have like, 86.12 plans, soo...


      Once again, I agree with Cait, because GANSEY. Srsly. (Why do I keep being agreeable? I think I need to start a fictional war or something to combat this...)


      Blue and Gansey Blue and Gansey Blue and Gansey Blue and Gansey

      Guys! You did it! You survived my mammoth posting! Here's a cookie. Be sure to link me to any end of the year/holiday posts/tags you guys have! Thanks!

      Wednesday, December 7, 2016

      Top Ten Tuesday: New Authors

      Can we take a moment to admire my new header? Please? Thank you. Because CHRISTMAS. If any of you know me, you may know that I am not, in fact, a member of thine "homo sapiens" clan, but in fact a RABID CHRISTMAS MONSTER who has been counting down since 70 days before.

      18 DAYS, PEOPLE. 18 DAYS.

      Okay, here is the link. And here is the post.

      This week's topic is " Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016 ".

      1. Maggie Stiefvater (keeping this font is accidental, but it's pretty, so I'll stick to it.)
      Image result for maggie stiefvater
      Okay (looks like no more pretty font), absolutely all the credit for this one goes to Cait @ Paper Fury, who screeched about this fabulous author until I obeyed and checked out The Scorpio Races from the library. (Actually, she didn't stop screeching about it, but I felt free to ignore the screechings once I complied to her wishes. By the way, check out her blog. They are rather hilarious screechings.) #freepromotionyourewelcome Warnings, her books will obsess you, (GAAANNNNSSSEEEEYYYYY) but they do contain curse words and sometimes a bit darker content. They are amazing nonetheless.

      2. Jonathan Stroud
      Image result for jonathan stroud
      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to my friend Ashley, for forcing me to borrow his Lockwood & Company in return for me forcing HER to borrow Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys.
      The basis sounds odd, but it's AMAZING.

      3. Kiera Cass
      Image result for kiera cass
      THE SELECTION has captured me and tortured me and turned me to little bits of Ilse. Seriously. It's that amazing. Normally I would hesitate around semi-romantic dystopian, but honestly The Selection doesn't feel like a dystopian. You know what I mean? Anyway, READ IT. NOW. I COMMAND THEE.

      4. Michelle Birkby
       See full-sized image  (sorry for the tiny picture)
      I found The House At Baker Street in a tiny Paris souvenir shop and FELL IN LOVE. I mean, I was a little disturbed by the gruesome murder, but I'll definitely look for the sequel coming out soon.

      5. Chris Colfer
      Image result for chris colfer
      It totally counts. It's not like I haven't even completely finished a book of his, riighhht??
      (Also, who else gets uncomfortable looking at pictures of writers? Like, HELLO, this world isn't real? Or you're the one who created it?) Anyway, Land of Stories was recommended to me A MILLION times so I had to read it. :)

      That's ten. Definitely.

      So, what about you guys? Be sure to link me to your Top Ten Tuesday posts, so I can check them out, or any other posts on your blog! See you in the comments!

      Monday, November 28, 2016

      Hilarious Me

      Hey guys! NaNo update:
      So far, the first line of Jessa & Tiff is: "It would probably be the greatest day of my life, except maybe my wedding day, and Ginny Lee had to go and ruin it." It's going well, except for the whole trying-to-figure-out-the-plot-on-day-28-thing, but I'm definitely not making the deadline. Oh, well, I can finish it afterwards.

      Anyway, I decided to post about the ridiculous things I did/thought when I was younger. Trust me, you will laugh your socks off. I make no promises about stockings. They are way thicker. 

      (Side note, we had our first snow! It happened to fall during recess and immediately melted away, but still.)

      1. Firstly, please realize that a lot of these will have something to do with Taylor Swift. I used to be obsessed with her. Anyway,  you know her song "Mean"? I used to think that it said, "Someday, I'll be living in a big white oak tree, and all you're ever gonna be is mean." I was disappointed when I learned the truth. 

      2. When I was really small--oh, around three or thereabouts--I convinced myself that babies enter the world via waterslides, in, I kid you not, "little tiny swimsuits." I refused to believe that babies are born without clothing.

      3. I think I read too much, because for a whole day I convinced myself that I must like my nemesis (ah, I miss having a nemesis) because we were "probably" going to end up married. Gee, thanks, L.M. Montgomery. (Don't worry--I got over it very quickly.)

      4. Louisa May Alcott convinced me that engagements always last three years. 

      5. In Kindergarten, I was introduced to Taylor Swift via You Belong With Me and made up a hilarious dance to it. 

      6. Also Kindergarten. This wasn't me, but I had a friend who was exceedingly popular, so she had to have specific days that specific people could sit by her. Seriously. 

      7. Still Kindergarten. At the end of the day, we had free time and the girls all flocked to this play kitchen. However, there were never enough purses/wallets to go around, so most of us made do with play food. Anyway, I had stuck a toy asparagus in my pocket and accidentally took it home. (Oops. Sorry Mrs. Falader. I stole from your toy asparagus. Deep apologies.) When I got home and realized what I had done, I was extremely upset. Like, I literally freaked out. I returned it and all was well, but it was still horrible. 

      So there you go! A few reasons why I was hilarious as a youngster. So what about you? What funny things did you do or think? Tell me in the comments!

      Thursday, November 24, 2016

      NaNo Update


      I haven't posted in forever.

      I'm sorry guys! I know my posts lately have been few and far between. Life just got busy, what with school and NaNo and everything.

      I'm sorry.


      But obviously I have four half finished posts and no ideas, so how about a Jessa & Tiff update? Okay?

      Here's my new blurb:

      Jessa Corden is not enjoying seventh grade. For one thing, her only friend has abandoned her. For another, chronic anxiety has not made life easy.

      Tiff Lawrence was enjoying seventh grade when all of a sudden she was uprooted to tiny Candace Brooks, Virginia by her scatterbrained novelist father. She's used to it, but that doesn't mean she wants to. Anyway, no one really knows her under her cheerful and daring facade.

      When Jessa and Tiff meet, ordinary middle school lives can become intertwined with destiny, fears can be fought, and friendships can be made. When Jessa and Tiff meet, two unknown girls can know each other.

      Okay, I'm aware it's terrible, thank you very much. But yeah. That's it.

      I've added this sort of "destiny" theme to my story. For starters, my girls have the same birthday, and throughout the story they'll get a little bit of a fateful feeling. Anyway, at the moment they're systematically working through their fears, fighting them one by one. I wrote a very fun scene in which the girls discuss fate, destiny, and all of that while Tiff is suffering through claustrophobia on a Ferris Wheel. I enjoyed it, especially throwing Oedipus into the mix.


      At the Library:

      Tiff smiled at me. I could feel it, though I didn't look away from my book. I wasn't reading anymore, just grinning to myself. Somehow, I already felt so comfortable with Tiff, as if she was an old friend I had half-forgotten, or I had known her in another life. I imagined myself as an ancient Grecian crone, and tried to think up a suitable reincarnation for Tiff. But it was no use. In my mind she was Tiff, always Tiff, halfways an angel and halfways a clever devil and halfways a broken promise that fit into each; a promise for the angel and broken for the devil.

      It was odd that I knew her so well, so soon.
      But it would be odder if I didn't.


      "Can we make cupcakes?" Tiff asked.
      My mother looked at me and I could see her x-raying my soul.

      Later in the story...

      "Okay, chocolate or yellow?" Tiff asked, literally weighing our options in her hands.
      "Chocolate. Duh," I said, forcing fake cheeriness. I could tell it wan't fooling Tiff, but she played along anyway.
      "Chocolate it is. Do you guys have any frosting?"
      "Yes. Chocolate."
      "I'm liking this arrangement."

      Meet My/Jessa's Brother:

      "Timothy, do you know Amelie, Tiff's sister?"
      "What instrument does she play?" he responded automatically. I rolled my eyes. People, to him, were their music,
      "Viola," I said.
      "What chair?" he prompted.
      I turned to Tiff. She said, "Second."
      Timothy nodded, putting his headphones back on. "Yeah, I know her. She plays well."

      Not. Even. Exaggerating.

      Hey, please direct me to your blogs so I can read your NaNo snippets or thoughts or whatever! How do you like Jessa & Tiff? Are you doing NaNo? Has it left you sane? Tell me in the comment section!

      Saturday, October 29, 2016

      Beautiful Books: Jessa & Tiff


      big deal.

      I mean, it's not like NaNo starts in 4 DAYS or anything.


      Breathe, Ilse. Breathe.

      Okay. So here goes.

      beautiful books

      Yeah. I'm too lazy to say anything about what this is. So just go to some other blog or use one of the addresses in the pic if you don't know.

       What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

      Okay, so I recently started using an idea journal to record thoughts, quotes, and inspiration. I highly recommend this! I have kept so many ideas/quotes this way. I've had this idea for a month or two now. It reminds me of another brainchild I had, which is very unwritten but has the title of "One Mad Crazy Summer". Aaand I just realized that the six paragraphs or whatever I began are set in the school year. Points to me for crazy. (By the way, One Mad Crazy Summer is loosely based on my mom's childhood and best friend, Charlesty. Great name, right?)

      Beyond that, this story is close to my heart because the protagonist, Jessa, struggles with anxiety, as does my family, including me. For the first time maybe ever, I'll be drawing on my life experiences with this book and follow it where it takes me.

      Describe what your novel is about!

      So, my outline's very rough. (It has two entries. Sad, right?) But the rundown is this:

      Jessa is a girl with anxiety, so no one fully gets her. Tiff is a girl with spunk and a constant smile, so no one fully gets her. When Tiff moves in to Jessa's sleepy town, maybe two girls no one gets can get each other.

      There may also be:                                      
      --Awesome parents
      --Mean parents maybe??
      --Great American Road Trips
      --Child psychologists obsessed with dolphins

      What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

      small town//open road//dolphin offices//cozy houses//wooden rollercoasters//yellow

      Introduce us to each of your characters!

      JESSA: A 7th or 8th grade girl who doesn't really have any friends, not because she has anxiety, but because no one is the right fit for her/it just didn't happen for some reason. She has anxiety and no one really understands that but her parents, until Tiff comes along. I'm trying to add to this but honestly?? I have nothing to say because NOT PREPARED HERE. :(

      TIFF: A girl in Jessa's grade who has a lot of outer spunk and chutzpah. She knows how to make Jessa smile and calm down, but really she needs more hugs. She may or may not have mean parents, I don't know. Daring.

      How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

      I'm a very "jump in this thing" writer. Usually an idea comes to me and I start it...and then I don't finish it. :)
      So maybe howling.

      What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

      Writing it, honestly. Getting past the beginning, meeting my characters, and taking them on an adventure.

      List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

      1. Contemporary (WEIRD for me!)
      2. Little town
      3. Big (state?) fair

      What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

      Jessa's goal is to get over her anxiety, but her anxiety stands in the way. She doesn't really understand how something so bad could  be a blessing, or how she can be normal regardless.

      How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

      Jessa learns to be more okay with herself. She gets some chutzpah and tries doing things that scare her. She worries less.

      What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

      1. Friendship
      2. Just a can-do attitude. Don't be afraid. Fear doesn't have anything for you. Go out and have an adventure, and if it doesn't work out, you can learn from it.

      I want readers to feel connected to the characters and to just feel like they can do anything.

      You made it! Okay, I have one written snippet ready for you:

      "C'mon." Tiff pointed to the coaster. "Let's go."
      "Are you CRAZY?" I yelped. "People die on roller coasters!"
      "No, stupid people die on roller coasters."
      I gave her a look.
      "Look, one out of a billion idiots dies on a roller coaster. And one out of a billion people is that stupid."
      I said, "Your numbers are very off."
      She said, "Are you coming?"
      "Fine, but I"m not putting my arms up in delight."
      "Naturally. That would not befit a Jenna."

      Note: I do not discredit the memory of anyone who has died on a roller coaster. I think it's sad. Please note that Tiff is just trying to get her friend on a roller coaster.

      Yay! You made it to the end! Please link to your Beautiful Books posts so I can read them. Are you doing NaNo? What do you think of Jessa & Tiff? And did you google the word "chutzpah" while reading this post? Tell me in the comments!

      Thursday, October 13, 2016

      Hamilton Nicknames

      For your enjoyment;

      Alexander "Nonstop" Hamilton 

      Aaron "Talk less. Smile more!" Burr

      John "Sally in on a stallion" Laurens

      Hercules "BRAH, BRAH!" Mulligan
      (That one was easy.)

      Marquis de "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman" LAFAYETTE 

      Angelica "it's completely platonic *sigh* Schuyler 

      Eliza "too good for this world" Hamilton

      Peggy "and Peggy! Schuyler

      Samuel "heed not the rabble" Seabury

      King George "I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love" the Third

      George "The General" Washington

      Charles "but there's so many of them!" Lee

      Theodosia "Dear" Burr

      Phillip "Making my father proud" Hamilton

      Thomas "In Love With France" Jefferson

      James "Thomas's Campaign Manager" Madison

      Aand I think that's all. Have a great day!