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Monday, June 29, 2015

Maggie's Music Mondays (37)

A meme created by yours truly to share with the world good music, and hopefully make Mondays slightly less dreadful.

Today I'm going to introduce you to Korean pop music, or more commonly known as: kpop.

Here's the thing. You don't know what you've been missing out on.

Much the way I fell into a One Direction hole Way Back When, about seven or eight months ago I got swooped up into a straight up kpop tornado. It started with a friend I'd made online constantly talking about a "GD" on twitter. I found myself asking, who the heck is GD? And why is he supposedly so wonderful? 

Thus began my adventure.

GD stands for G-Dragon. G-Dragon is part of the band BigBang. BigBang is one of the most popular boy groups in Korea and FOR GOOD REASON. They've been releasing their newest album in sections with two new songs coming out at the beginning of every month, and it's awesome.

At the time, GD had just put out a single with another Bigbang member, Taeyang. I was instantly hooked.

(Good Boy; GD x Taeyang)

At this point I still didn't know that BigBang was a thing, so I went straight for G-Dragon's music. He was the one with the braids in the video. I fell in love. Once I'd acquainted myself with his entire discography, I realized how dimwitted I was and found the band. This is one of their latest songs released:

(Bang Bang Bang; BigBang)

Two new singles should be releasing within the next couple of days. Yaaaas.

Once the band was found, I realized that my new boyfriend is TOP. Surprise! TOP is the one in the weird space suit section of the video... dat voice doe. After BigBang, I discovered a girl group called 2NE1. They're one of the most popular female groups, also FOR GOOD REASON.

(Come Back Home; 2NE1)

One member of this band is actually starting to make it pretty big over here in the US, and I think she's making her debut soon. She goes by CL, and she's my girlfriend. Surprise surprise! That song wasn't one of their more upbeat ones, but I love it a lot and think it kind of shows another side to kpop.

There are too many Korean pop bands/artists that are pretty big right now. Currently I'm obsessed with this song (would it be a surprise to say I have multiple boyfriends in this band?):

(Call Me Baby; Exo)

and this one (just guess what I have to say):

(Catch Me If You Can; Girls Generation)

Like I said, there are an endless amount of artists, but I think these four are a good starting point for beginners. If you notice in the last two videos, there are a ton of people; yes, they are in fact all band members. I KNOW.

Anyways, please, I beg of you, enlighten your soul. 

And for those of you who have literally zero interest in learning about kpop, I'm also really digging Selena Gomez's new song.

(Good For You; Selena Gomez)

Have a great week! I'll be back on Thursday with another writing post, this one including lizards. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Maggie's Monday Music (36)

A meme created by yours truly to share with the world good music, and hopefully make Mondays slightly less dreadful.

To follow today's first post, I thought this would be a fitting song for the return of our music Mondays. Can we take a minute to discuss how this is totally not how I thought James Bay would look? But, listen, I'm not complaining. I'm into it.

(Hold Back The River; James Bay)

And to throw in the total opposite kind of music, have a song that I CAN'T GET OUT OF MY DAMN HEAD. This song is not kid friendly. But look at these talented dancers! Dang.

(Bitch Better Have My Money; Rihanna)

Rihanna makes me feel bad. Like, in a good way. So I thought it'd be nice to include her as well. I, too, love money; it's almost like we're friends.

If you have any song recs, be sure to let me know. Otherwise, let's all try to have an awesome week.

how not to live half a life

I've spent a lot of my more recent years trying to figure myself out.

It's been bumpy, to say the least. I've gone through an abundance of experiences which have morphed me and my views into things I'm happy with. I do feel more myself, in many ways, than I ever have. In other ways, though, I feel like I've also lost something integral.

This is going to get confusing for a minute, as life and emotions usually are.

The last few years I've focused solely on trying to keep my mental issues at bay. In an effort to focus on staying happy enjoying life not crying, I think I've left an important part of myself trapped somewhere.

I do not like negative emotions. Who does? I spent a lot of my younger years suffocating in them, which is why I shy away from them now. But I've blocked them out so purposefully that I don't think I'm experiencing life the way I should. My plan for fulfillment has backfired.

The reason we love books so much is because they touch us somehow. A good majority of my favorite books are my favorite books because they have taken things, screamed about them, and then let us move on from them. When I say this, I mean they tap into a character's emotions over something and ride them out, and then they move on. I've been skipping the screaming stage, and have instead been tucking them away in some deep, dark place to harbor and fester.

This isn't to say I'm festering inside or anything (gross). But this is to say that I think my writing is lacking emotion, because more recently I have not wanted to explore emotion. I try to write scenes that would touch me if I were the reader, and they feels like words. They don't feel emotional. This is the issue.

Like I said, this whole ordeal has been bumpy. Each book I've read reminds me what I love. Each one invigorates me. Each one has allowed me to tap into negative emotions without going overboard and drowning in them. And if there is overwhelming negativity, I'm able to ride through it with the characters. I haven't worked on the project I've been thinking about because it still scares me. I'm still not one hundred percent on if I can tackle it.

But books are patient, and writing is understanding. I think part of why I love YA so much is because there is no restraint. It's raw, and it's crazy, and it's beautiful. It's why adults love young adult literature. We're all still feeling that craziness inside, we've just been told to handle it differently.

Writing is tough, tough work. You're forced to tap into every emotion you've got, even the awful ones, and you live there. Sucky things happen. You get anxious. You get sad. You can't decide to just avoid them. You can't avoid life. I've avoided half of my life.

I may be sitting alone in my underwear looking like a haggard mess, but reading and writing have always made me feel alive. And I can't wait to live again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

itchy insides?

I don't know how to get back into this blog-thing.

I miss it. When I was posting content consistently, I felt like I was doing what I needed to be doing. I loved the community I found, and I loved what I was writing about. This blog and the literary world encouraged me to go to school for creative writing, which was a huge decision!

Here's the thing: I've dedicated thousands of dollars and countless hours of my life to this field, because I love it. I know I do. In my deepest-deeps, I know books and writing are what make me feel most at home.

But somehow, since I started college, I can't seem to remember what street I live on, you know?

All of my assignments started piling up and blocked my view of the purpose of it all. I went to college to study writing and books because I wanted to perfect my craft and analyze the craft of others. Suddenly, though, writing was no longer something I liked. I was criticized for wanting to write young adult books, for enjoying genre fiction, for loving what I'm inclined to love. I was told to write "literary fiction," which is--I consistenly argue with my peers--SUCH a dumb concept. What keeps a book from being "literary?" Literarlly nothing. So, so dumb.

Anyways, for a long while now I haven't felt right with myself, so I'm coming back to where it all began. I'm spending the summer before my senior year catching up with what I love and reminding myself why I love it. Reading is what inspires my writing and also keeps me sane. (Maybe this is why I've been struggling so badly, since I haven't had time to focus on books that don't melt my brain.) Including my blog in this process will be awkward and bumpy, I know, but we'll truck through it together.

I'm starting with my favorite authors and their new books, and I'll work my way out from there. I can tell you I just finished Jandy Nelson's, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, and already my insides are starting to feel itchy.

Normally I'd be alarmed by itchy insides, but in this case, I'm feeling pretty good about them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

places i like to hide

It has been approximately seven point three million years since we've last spoken, and so a mediocre amount of things have happened.

  • At the beginning of the month, I turned twenty-one. (I still instictually call myself a teenager. I'm having a hard time grasping the term adult.)
  • My favorite and most loved dog, Jasper, passed away in November last year. It may sound silly, but it's crazy how much I learned from a little Sheltie dog.
(I'm sure that in his doggy heaven there's constantly a nice cool breeze to blow through his fur. He was such a model.) *

  • I had my life altered by a music festival, of all things, and have since been encouraging others to attend. So, uh. You should attend. I'll even help you with your face paint.
  • I've transferred to a different college, one smaller and closer to home, where I feel more comfortable. Mizzou was a lovely school, but sadly, not for me. (I do miss its squirrels though.)
  • Speaking of college, I'm a junior now. Still a Creative Writing major. Still battling off the awkward and rudely pointed question: "What kind of work can you get with that major?"
I'm sure a ton of other things have happened, but since it has been approximately seven point three million years, I couldn't even begin to recall them.

And since I clearly am not disciplined enough to keep this blog going consistently, I've decided to go ahead and leave some links to places where I creep.
  1. twitter (my love affair with yelling out pointless information will never die)
  2. instagram (i don't post here often, but i do plan on trying to get into it again!)
  3. my email (like, duh)
  4. i also have a facebook and tumblr that you may have if you ask politely 
As far as my email goes, I'd love to hear from you, but I'm afraid I will not be accepting review requests. This includes interviews and promotions as well. I feel awful having to turn people down because I haven't thought to write here about it earlier. I simply don't have the time what with school and work and the naps that get me through the day. I apologize. I'm sure I'll come back to Juniper Breeze fully amped and will let you know when I will begin accepting them again, but until then, I'm officially closing up my review cabinet.

The matter is, I do miss blogging, but life right now is busy. It's something I've come to terms with. College basically owns me, and I do little writing outside of classes. Luckily enough, specializing in creative writing allows me some outlet outside of all the essays and nonfiction that are package-dealed with being an English major. I'm working on a short story--the byproduct of one of last semester's projects--that I might try my hand at publishing. I've lost the frantic need to publish early in life and on a grand scale and come to terms that being an author is a slow process kind of dream, at least for me.

But I'm still trying my had at one day fulfilling it.

Peace out, babes. I'll talk to you later.

*I didn't mean to depress anyone, it was just an important event in my life! Here is a very compelling video of dogs who don't know how to handle cats stealing their beds to make up for it. You're welcome.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Maggie's Monday Music (35)

A meme created by yours truly to share with the world good music, and hopefully make Mondays slightly less dreadful.

I'm almost a month into summer vacation and find myself in this really odd mix of both busy and lazy. I'm doing productive things, but most of them are in or around the house, so I don't leave it super often. It makes for a strange sensation. Anyways, I've found myself entertaining my free hours with hunting down new music, which is something I haven't been able to do in quite some time.

As I've been searching I've noticed that my taste has progressed to a mix of slightly depressing tracks and high-energy, dance tunes. I'm such a teenager sometimes I make myself sick. (It's weird thinking that I can only say that for a few more months. That'll be a subject for another time.)

(All I Want; Kodaline)

The official video for this song is cute, but it frustrates me for several reasons on a very inherent level, so I decided to go with this particular video. They're performing live, but I assure you it's haunting and raw and beautiful and I may almost prefer it to the recorded song. If you have any wonderful new music finds, be sure to leave them in the comments!

Have a great Monday, and I'll talk to you soon.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

so this one time


This one time.

I met a bunch of authors and sort of almost died.

In my last post I had mentioned something about an RT Convention and that I was attending one. Well, I did attend, and I met a ton of my favorite authors.  In the process of meeting them, I made a complete fool of myself due to this thing where I get really star-struck and awkward and so I just stare and then blurt out, "I'm kind of in love with you," like a creep.

That's what happened when I met and got a photo with Stephanie Perkins. I'd post it but I am ashamed of the weird-happy-dazed look I had. Also my hair. The picture says I could have really used a brush. My hair always decides to act up before important things. Stupid hair.

(Needless to say, I'm framing it and hanging it on my wall.)

(The picture, I mean. Not my hair.)


It was the first convention that I've attended and I was surprised by the sheer amount of just... nice that radiated off of everyone there. Book people are so cool, you know? I had kind of forgotten that in the time that I was at school. Textbooks are not fictional YA novels.

And it sucks.

After the signings, I attended a few sessions of speakers. They had so many smart things to say about not only their writing processes, but just being an author in general, which was really nice. I'm continuously awed by how creative and interesting these people are. Like, I'm not that creative OR interesting. In fact, I could make you a pretty hefty list of things that authors are that I am not. And I witnessed these things in person, so I know. 

(Oh. Speaking of creative, interesting people, I'm just gonna mention really quickly that Myra McEntire recognized me from twitter. I almost passed out and died. Her accent is perfect and she's gorgeous and god, she's funny. I LOVE YOU, MYRA.)

The good news is classes are out for the summer and the only thing that's going to be taking up my time these days is a job. Which means I'll have many an hour for writing. To say I'm excited would be putting it lightly.

How about you? Have you been doing any cool bookish things lately?

Also, please tell me I'm not the only one who freezes up in front of authors. Even if I do ever make it to be one, I'll never be able to go anywhere because my creepiness will ALWAYS BE KILLING THE VIBE.