Reading Habits of The Dancing Writer

Reading Habits of The Dancing Writer

Zach Chop nominated me to discuss my reading habits, which I am more than happy to do, especially because this blog has been rather empty lately in my sad attempt to find some sort of balance in my life.


The Rules:

The rules are simple, answer a bunch of questions about your reading habits and then nominate a bunch of people to do the same. Don’t forget to tag the person who nominated you! 

OK! And now for the questions:

  1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next? That’s a super good question, because I’m not the most organized person in the world. In fact, organization isn’t even in my language. Honestly, the only way I would decide is to go with whatever book I’m feeling at that time. If I want an edgy YA book, I’ll read that first. If I’m in the mood for some fantasy, I’ll go toward that. I always get in these weird reading kicks where I only want to read a certain type of book, and I’m not interested in anything else. Right now I haven’t *gasp!* been reading for fun since I started my senior thesis class, have been tortured by work, and I’m now studying to be a fitness trainer, which is loads of reading in itself–one manual in exercise science and one manual in ACE’s IFT model, for a whopping total of over 1,000 pages! But I do have a HUGE TBR list waiting on my Kindle from all the free book deals I’ve snatched off Amazon. I need someone to hand me a whopping dose of time. I haven’t even been a good author lately!
  2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or commit?
    I oftentimes commit, especially because I did buy the book. But there are rare cases where the book is just too boring that I simply can’t continue. I am THE WORST when it comes to coping with boredom. And it’s not even that I made a conscious decision to stop reading it. I just put it down when I feel like taking a break from reading–and I don’t ever return to the book and don’t really care to.
  3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close yet so far away on your GoodReads challenge. Do you quit or commit? I’ve never done the GoodReads challenge. I’m just not interested. I don’t want to read books for the sake of meeting some intangible goal of reading ‘x’ amount of books in ‘x’ amount of time. I’d rather read books at my own pace and enjoy the experience of reading as well as the book. Heck, I’ve never even tried any writing challenges, like NaNo.
  4. The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. How do you cope? I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a series of books with covers that don’t have a pattern, so I honestly can’t say how I’d feel. I might be bothered, just because patterned book covers can make it easy to determine the order of a series, but, otherwise, I can’t really know how I’d react unless I actually come across it one of these days.
  5. Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? My best author/buddy/friend/whatever from Canada. Her and I have VERY similar dislikes when it comes to books, so I rant to her when I come across a blatantly poor book and wonder why, even among authors, it’s being hailed as some remarkable piece of literature. I’ve learned over my short time as an author that it’s just best to rant in private about a book you strongly dislike, instead of blogging about why you hate a particular book.
  6. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a summary on GoodReads? Cry in frustration?
    Uh…I don’t re-read. I just continue the next book in the series. If I truly loved the first book, then it’s almost impossible for me to forget what happened. In fact, there are several sequels I need to read that came out a few years ago! But I can still recall some major events from their predecessors.
  7. You don’t want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people “nope” when they ask? I primarily read on my Kindle, so I don’t have this problem. But I have let people borrow my books in the past, so there really is no straight answer for this. I really don’t know how I’d politely tell someone no since I don’t have an inclination to not let people borrow my books.
  8. You’ve picked up and put down five different books in the past month. How do you get over the reading slump? I don’t have reading slumps. I have periods where I don’t read, but that’s often because I have to prioritize other types of reading over pleasure reading.
  9. There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
    Depends on how much money I have. Since I’m using a great deal of my money to pay off my ACE certification course, I’ve been having to trawl through the free books on Amazon, so I’ve been swiping those up in copious amounts. Otherwise, I might buy two at a time. Usually I just try to buy one at a time so as to not have a huge TBR list, which I am failing miserably with right now.
  10. After you’ve bought a new book you want to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf until you actually read them? I try to get to it immediately after I’ve bought it so it won’t sit ten million years on my bookshelf or Kindle. I don’t like to keep books waiting for too long, unless I have no choice, like right now.

All righty. Here are my nominees:

Mariah E. Wilson

S.A. Starcevic

Ryan Attard

(I have been so inactive in the blogosphere lately, so I really can’t fairly choose any more people.)

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Serious Topic Tuesday Part One: Thoughts on Religion

Serious Topic Tuesday Part One: Thoughts on Religion

deism_symbolI might do two of these today, because on the one hand, I really want to talk about this, but on the other hand, I also want to talk about how women should handle compliments from men, as I have seen a lot of vitriol toward men who compliment women in a respectful way. In this same post, I will finally decide to talk about my sexual abuse, though I will never, ever get into the horrendous descriptions, save through prose poetry in subsequent chapbooks I will be writing.

I just have to say again that Rachel Thompson has been my incredible inspiration. I wish we could meet in real life. From what I’ve read on her blog and how active she is in social media, she is an incredible woman–while also being brutally honest about publishing, which is a breath of fresh air.

Yet, I cannot forget Mariah E. Wilson, whom I know I will one day meet, as it is on my list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die. Canada isn’t a crazy place to travel to, and it’s a very realistic thing I can do.

I hope this topic is not controversial. It’s simply my thoughts on religion. I want to think Annette Abernathy for helping me to shape my thoughts on religion. Though we do have vastly different opinions on certain things, they are different because we actually thought through our beliefs, instead of simply parroting what our different religions told us to think–or politically correct society, as would the case be for me. Funny enough, a lot of Deists are against abortion, but let’s not get into that.

To start off, I am a Deist. Before, I was a weird mix of atheism and agnosticism. But a few near-death experiences created from my own internal struggles changed my thoughts on the world. They are both negative and positive. I am a Deist because I look around our natural world and don’t need faith to know there is a Creator. I’m not sure how my mental near-death experiences drove me into this natural religion, which is what some Deists argue it is. It’s considered natural because Deism didn’t need a divine revelation to create it, like many religions do. It isn’t based on faith. It’s based on confidence.

Deists have vastly different thoughts on our Creator, just as many religions do. For me, I believe our Creator is, in a sense, apathetic, and I have no issues with this. I like this, because it gives us freedom to be human, to learn from our mistakes, and hopefully humanity will slowly begin to change, though humans have not changed at all since our birth into this world. I believe our Creator wants the best for us, but, otherwise, the universe is left to its own devices. Some think our Creator does intervene if our Creator knows that person will make an enormous difference in the world. Some will pray to our Creator to help strengthen them for the day ahead without expecting our Creator to do anything at all.

My other thoughts on this is that our Creator created a primordial soup, that being the Big Bang, knowing the end result. After all, we seriously had less than a 0% chance of our universe coming into existence. This alone leads me to believe there is an intelligent being out there. How that intelligent being came to be is no different from Stephen Hawkins arguing that something can be created from nothing–and we are supposed to suspend our disbelief about that. I love him, though. I truly think he is agnostic in the guise of an atheist.

However, Deism is heavily science-based. To put this in perspective, if science could conclude with 100% certainty there is no Creator, we would have no issues adapting to this. I can’t imagine science ever would, because our Creator is too vast to understand with the human mind, but Deism is, and always has been, very adaptable.

Now on to other religions. I struggled for a time with religions like Christianity because of all the hatred against LGBTQ+ individuals. I had to give the ax on two individuals because of their cruelty toward people who didn’t adhere to the Bible. One said I was going to be a pedophile because I am asexual. That makes zero sense.

My dad considers himself a Follower of Christ, and I was insulted when a man older than my dad said he’d be going to Hell because he doesn’t take the Bible literally. As of now, I don’t believe in a Heaven or Hell, unless science can prove otherwise. But it miffed me, made me so angry. Those are Dad’s beliefs, and I would never, ever rob him of them, no matter how different our beliefs may be. In fact, I’d be more upset if Dad stopped believing, because people who usually stop believing have had something horrible happen to them, and I feel like their religion kept them anchored and grounded to the world, keeping their thoughts positive–the good ones, anyway, like Annette, who believes that God tests people, who believes God lets things happen for a reason. I would be heartbroken if she stopped believing in him, because from what I know of her, her belief in God is what keeps her going, and I want her to keep believing in him for this very reason.

Annette has her own struggles, struggles of which she is very open about, which is why I am not afraid to talk about her on this blog. I want people to realize what an incredible young woman she is. Despite her pain, she has beautiful dreams that I WANT to come true for her. She is intelligent, not blind, and she is someone I look up to. She is beyond inspirational. I could gush about her throughout this entire post, because she is representative of what Christianity should be.

In any case, I DESPISED religion, mostly because it seemed like it wanted to rob marginalized groups of inalienable rights, like oppressing those in the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, the more I became entrenched in Deism, the more I realized it wasn’t religion’s doing. It is people and people alone. They use their religions as an excuse to hurt others, even though I believe, in my heart of hearts, religion would not want this–unless you’re part of religions based on extremism. Annette has shown me this.

I remember one conversation I had with an ex co-worker who told me her mother believed in God. Her mother has a hard life, but she keeps going because of God. Some people NEED this in their lives to keep going. Without God, who knows if she’d still be around. So it is an amazing, beautiful thing religion exists. Regardless of whether or not religion was created to control people does not matter. Religion has evolved to the point where people believe because of how the creation of life is everywhere and too perfect to be mere chance. If Christianity is right, Christianity is right. And I have no issues with this, so long as people like Annette spread that Christianity should be about love and not hate.

I used to rail against religion on my Facebook from articles stating that ‘x’ religion doesn’t believe it should allow certain people rights because their religion tells them not to. In fact, and I may be wrong, several laws have been put into effect that allow people to discriminate based on “sincere religious beliefs.” There are conflicting things in the Bible–and I could be wrong about this. Yet, there are incredible religious people who would NEVER use their religion as an excuse to hurt people. They use their religion almost has a type of mentor to fight against this.

Religion has arguably made some people hateful, but I truly believe those people would be hateful without it. We do become warped by our beliefs and anything that influences us, but I think there is something more than religion going on to make people truly hateful. They’re just using their religion to convey why they hate in the manner they do, though they claim it’s out of love.

Love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I love to talk to people who are willing to talk about their beliefs without being preachy. Conversations like this help me understand that individual more and what positive impact that religion has had on that person.

Religion can be an incredibly beautiful thing when in the hands of the right people. Am I saying everyone needs to believe in a God? No. Atheists and Agnostics have come to their own conclusions through serious thought. As long as they are happy and don’t feel the need to believe believers are stupid, they deserve their beliefs as much as religious people do. Some people don’t need a god in their lives to keep them going forward. Others do. However, I want to point out a few things:

  • If you live your life only doing good things because you’re afraid of going to Hell, then can you really be called a generous person?
  • Don’t even believe that without religion, people would fall into anarchy. I mean, before religion was revealed, do you truly think people went around and killed and raped whomever they wanted? That goes against the survival of our species in the first place, and goes against the rational thoughts gifted to us. In fact, that is downright insulting to the human race.
  • What is it with wanting people to be afraid of God? Shouldn’t god be loving? Fear suggests God isn’t as loving as he seems. I could be wrong.
  • I think people should only believe in a god through careful consideration and not be a believer because that’s what the Bible says or that they don’t know any better. If God is real, he gave us rational thought processes for a reason. Think about why you believe what you do. Don’t believe blindly.
  • Don’t let scientific discoveries shake your faith.
  • Don’t randomly go up to strangers and preach to others. Let those strangers come to you if they wish to know more.
  • Love people without judgment.
  • Don’t be afraid to be MUCH louder than the voices of people wanting to oppress others while making their religion(s) look awful. Change how people view religion. Start movements. Heck, start a parade if you want to fight against those who use religion to be hateful. I’d march along right with you.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for your own religion if you feel others are being ignorant about it. I used to be completely ignorant, fighting against it at every turn, believing religion was actually responsible for the downfall of society.
  • Be confident in your beliefs. Don’t shut down because this is what society seems to want. Blog about it. Write about it. Do whatever you can to teach people without preaching. Look up Matthew Turner’s blog. I love reading his thoughts. He is a strong believer in Christ.
  • Keep believing. It’s okay to stop believing, as long as you don’t do so because life has beaten you down. Be rational if you decide to stop believing–have a level head, in other words.
  • Most of all, find the beauty in the varying beliefs in our world. After all, you have to realize you’d believe very differently if you grew up somewhere with another dominant religion besides Christianity.
  • Believe people can be good without religion.

Expect that other article later! Much love, Stars.

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Cover Reveal: Mariah E. Wilson’s We Walk Alone

Cover Reveal: Mariah E. Wilson’s We Walk Alone

WalkAlonefront (1)Yes, my PA is having a collection of poetry published by WAMM! I hope you all will add it to Goodreads.

Title: We Walk Alone
Author: Mariah E. Wilson
Publisher: Writers AMuse Me Publishing
Release Date: TBA


Writers AMuse Me Publishing


The poems in We Walk Alone examine the journey we take in our head. It’s about the struggle to connect with people and the world around us.


Finishing the Sequel to When Stars Die: The Stars Are Infinite

Finishing the Sequel to When Stars Die: The Stars Are Infinite

This is not the real cover art.
This is not the real cover art. Photo provided by Tumblr.

I have finally finished–for now–the sequel to When Stars DieThe Stars Are Infinite. Finishing When Stars Die and having my book published by a press was an awesome reward for hard work, but finishing The Stars Are Infinite is an even greater reward. Do you know how long I have been working on this book? I have been working on it since I was 14, and I haven’t exactly shelved it since that age. There was a time where I shelved it for almost two years, but that was so I could whip When Stars Die into shape, knowing that it needed to be the first book in The Stars Trilogy. But The Stars Are Infinite was so much harder to work on than When Stars Die, simply because you look at the first book and wonder how you can beat it. I know many, many authors, including bestsellers, struggle with trying to make the sequel better than the previous book, and I hope I have managed that–after some hardcore edits of course, which I am expecting for this book, as it is about 20,000 words longer than When Stars Die and was so much harder to write. 

I know Shannon Thompson mentioned that she had a low when finishing Seconds Before Sunrise (though she is still in edits), but I have no such lows for TSAI. I am glad to be done with it, glad to be FULLY done with it. This book was a monstrous 700 page novel when it first began; as I’ve said, I was fourteen and didn’t know at the time what the appropriate word count should be for a first YA novel. It’s still going to be a longer book, as is expected of sequels, but I’m still hoping that at least a few thousand words can be parced from it, as I managed to parce about 3,000 words from WSD through edits.

I am primarily glad to be done with this book because for years I couldn’t peg down the ending. Oh certainly with the first draft I had the ending done, but I never really tore the book apart. I just kept picking at what was there instead of trying to figure out what wasn’t there, which was an entire re-vampling of the overall story. But writing When Stars Die first and having it published by AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. has given me a lot of inspiration for The Stars Are Infinite, especially the few three star reviews the book has thus far. It is especially the three star reviews that have pushed me to make the sequel way better than the first book. Now I know reviews are meant for readers, but as writers, I think we can flourish from the three star ones. 4 and 5 star ones boost the ego, and 2 and 1 star ones often aren’t that helpful in helping one grow as a writer, but 3 star reviews are not inherently bad at all. In fact, several of my 3 star reviews have said they are looking forward to this sequel, and I’m hoping I do not disappoint. After all, my beta reader, Mariah Wilson, was absolutely blown away by the sequel, so hopefully everyone else will be as well.

So what can you expect from this sequel? I know one reviewer wanted to know a lot more about Amelia–AKA Dervla, now–but with the way she changes at the end of WSD, I figured her perspective was not necessary, because if I were to put it in her perspective, the entire book would be her pining after her little brother, and that isn’t a plot at all. Instead, I’ve relegated her to a minor character, but she is still very much present–pining after her little brother, of course, which is a sub-plot of the book.

At the end of WSD, if you pay attention, I do hint at who the next protagonist is going to be. Her name is Alice Sheraton, and you will begin to understand why it’s in her perspective within, about, the first five or six chapters of the book. So here’s a summary of the book (totally not edited or approved):

Alice Sheraton wishes she could free herself from her corset and instead put it on somebody else. But this corset soon becomes haunted and binds her in ways she didn’t think was possible. Eventually she has to go on a dark adventure to remove this corset, which ticks her life away day-by-day. Eventually she comes across a boy named Nathaniel Gareth, who suggests she remove her bloomers to loosen this corset. When this doesn’t work, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. As her life dwindles by the days, she either has to accept her fate, or find someone to undo the curse. 

JUST KIDDING! This is not the summary at all. In fact, I don’t even know where to begin summarizing The Stars Are Infinite. In the meantime, I’m going to get back to work on When Heaven Was Blue, which I have several great ideas on how to fix it, along with professional edits and my fabulous beta reader’s suggestions. So you’ll just have to wait until later to find out what TSAI is about.