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24. 3. 2016

Book or ebook? Which one is better?


Welcome to the blog post in which I declare my love to books because they are adorable bundles of joy and they smell good and oh my the feeling of turning the next page, not knowing what's going to happen. How can ebooks even compare? They don't smell nice. You turn pages by clicking. You cannot randomly shut the book and admire the beautiful cover. I mean... you can, but it's a lot harder. So, are real books really better? Let's look at that. 
1. The smell. We all know how good real books can smell. When I get a new one, I immediately bury my nose in it. I cannot be the only one. Right? RIGHT?! 

2. The feeling when you hold it while reading. Ok, can we agree that there's nothing better than sitting in your favourite reading place and have the actual copy in your hands? Maybe have your favourite snack at the reach of your hand. Yeah, that's the perfect moment. Just imagine that hard spine and the paper under your fingertips... and don't let me start on the way the paperbacks bend. 

3. The fact that you can appreciate them standing in your bookshelf. I love looking at my bookshelf and it's not just because my granpa made it for me. When I see how it overflows with beautiful books that are dear to me and mean so much to me, my heart melts. 

4. It easier and more fun to take photos of real books. Have you seen the amazingness that is bookstagram? People are so talented with composition and they have incredible ideas when it comes to book photography. But have you seen ebooks there? Because I haven't. Maybe one or two and it's sad. I'm sure they want to model as much as real books! 

5. NOTES! Ok, this one is totally personal preference but I love to write notes in the book when  I'm reading it. I know, I know, it's barbaric, please don't kill me! I just love them sooo much I want to give them something in return and the something is piece of my chaotic mind and soul so basically it's beautiful thing to do, right? Again, please don't kill me
1. We are saving trees because we don't use the paper, right? At least I like to thing about ebooks as a ecological reusable books that are nicer to the world around us. In reality, the technology probably wants to brainwash us and take control over our civilization...

2. You can take your whole library with you when travelling. Ereaders are actually really handy. I always pop them in my handbag when I go to school and it's awesome because they are light and I can read whenever I want. Even during the boring lecture that last for two hours. And I can pick whichever book I want!!! ISN'T THAT AMAZING?! Also, public transport is much more bearable with ebook in hand and I cannot read real book while standing in the bus - I'm clumsy and it would end up badly either for me or for the book. Or the passangers. Basically, it would be one painful mess.

3. Ebook are cheaper. Yeah, we pay for a digital file but still, it's cheaper than the real book. I buy ebooks especially when I'm not sure if I'll like it because I don't know the author or for some other reason. Also, there's netgalley or amazing deals on amazon. There's this bookbub thing that will send you email with amazon discounts and notifications which is pretty cool. 

4. You won't get cramps while holding it. I'm sure you've all had a really heavy book that was nearly painful to hold in your hands. Well, that won't happen when reading the ebook. I mean, I like to workout my arms but in the gym not while reading. That's probably after my gym time and I'm too weak to even lift the page. 

5. It shows you how much percent you have left. I like to track my progress and how fast I'm reading because I'm obssessed with improving my speed and it's easier to look at percents rather then count how many pages I've read in 10 minutes. It save time! But that's probably just my weird obssession. 


All in all, it depends on YOUR personal preference. Whether you like only book or only ebook, or like me, you love both of them the same, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that we are reading amazing stories and for all I care, you can read on your phone or computer or even listen to the audiobook. I constantly hear hate on ebooks because they are not real and yada yada yada. But why cann't we except that we're all different and we like to read differently? I use my ebook almost every single day and I also give love to my real books. Everyone is happy and dancing on the rainbow clouds. 

Ok, now it's your time to tell me what is your preference. Do you like real books or ebooks? Are you fan of both? Would you add something to the pros? 

13. 3. 2016

To read or to write, that's the question!

I am indecisive person. And it's not like I cannot make an important decision. I can. But when there are two small things I love to do and I don't have that much time for both of them, that's when the problem begins. 

Reading vs. writing is the biggest problem for me. 

Sometimes I feel like writing. You know the moment when you desperately need to sit down and just open the folder with your story and pour all your emotions into the imaginary world you created? Yes, that feeling is amazing! Of course up until it's broken by you actually opening the document and staring at the blank page or rather at your last sentence, not knowing what to type next. Anybody feeling the same? Please, tell me I'm not the only one who's got troubles continuing with her story even though she knows how it should go. 
But the martyr I am, I stare at it for a few long minutes, sometimes it stretches to half an hour, when I close the document and the folder, frustrated because this is another day I didn't write anything. Oh, don't worry, sometimes it's better and I add one new sentence to the pile that tries to look like a decent story. And that's the moment when I say screw it and run to the nearest book because I'm in big need of therapy and what better way to brighten your mood with already existing world and great storyline? 

If there are more days like this one, it's easy for me to abandon the story I created and read books rather than write. I mean, I can either sweat blood and cry pieces of my soul because I cannot think of any good fight scene or I can safely lay in my bed with a book in my hands and the only bad thing that could happen is me not liking the book. And even that would be okay, because I'd be able to close it and pick another one. 
Yeah, balancing those two is hard for me and I can either write or read... and mostly I read. That's why I'm writing my story for two long years. I love books too much and I have a lot of them in my TBR list and there's this neverending pressure that I won't read them all and so I try to go through them as quickly as possible because I want all of them to feel my love... but then I forget about my own story and my own lovely characters. 

It can be hard to stick to your story and not reading books for a while when they're calling out your name and pleading for you to pick them up. Especially, when you're not in the writing mood for like... ehm... three months. I set my goal to read at least 5 books a month which should leave me plenty of time to actually write my story and it works, unless there are amazing sequels coming out and you need them all right in that moment. Argh, the life of bookworm and writer is so difficult! 

Okay, your turn. What are your tips and tricks to stick with your writing as well as reading? What are your secrets? Please, tell me, I'm desperate. Are any of you suffering from indecisivenes when speaking of writing and reading?

5. 3. 2016

How to be creative while being a student

Studying at a university or at a high school as well as being a creative person is sometimes quite difficult. Especially when you are a blogger. Or a writer. Or both of them. And even though I consider myself capable of anything and I like to put myself under a slight pressure by planning a lot of activities in my planner, I must admit I'm not perfect. I can fall into a deep hole of procrastination. I bet as I am writing this blog post I will be distracted by youtube or instagram or better yet, pinterest. Pinterest is the worst because it just sucks you up until you are not able to see the exit thanks to all those pretty pictures. 

Sometimes school can be too much and you feel like you don't have time for blog, for reading or writing or drawing... I've been dealing with this problem for about four years now and I think I know what works for me so I decided to share it with you.
Finding time for blog is a real challenge for me. Especially when I don't have internet on the campus and so publishing my posts is quite difficult. But seriously, it's 2016 how is it possible that there are four floors without any internet conncetion? That's like a crime. This is why I try to prepare post in advance and plan their publishing. 

This is also good when you have free time, no extra amount of assignments or projects and it feels like calm before the storm. That's the best time to sit down and write some posts ahead because who knows when you'll have free time? At least I cannot be sure. 
If you know you have to do a project or a presentation or anything else in the future, do it now. The sooner you finish it, the more free time you'll have later. If I know I have a presentation in two weeks, I will do it now because then I have free time for writing or whatever else I want to do. If you don't do it now, then you fall down the procrastination hole and you won't have time for creativity or the project. It's best to get it out of the way as soon as possible. 
Or, you could procrastinating by being creative. I'm not going to lie, the best ideas come when I have to study for my exams and that's a cruel battle I'm fighting with myself. 
Easier said than done, right? We all know how good it feels to get lost in the waters of the endless sea that is the Internet. Sometimes I have free time, I have all my reading done for the courses as well as the assignments but I still rather watch youtube videos than actually do something creative. STOP! I'm telling you. You can finish this article but after that, go do something creative! Don't waste time on the Internet, be productive. 

This one may sound easy, but it definitely isn't. Even when you organize your whole day, there can be something unexpected and BAM your "creative hour" changes into "creative 15 minutes". It's important to know how to find time for creativity. For example you can either spare an hour of sleeping and turn it into an hour of writing. Yeah, I'm doing this a lot, that's why I look like a zombie the other day. 

Finding time is connected with your priorities. I can go to the party my not-so-awesome friend invited me or I could skip this one and plan some blog posts instead. I mean, there are going to be a lot of parties, surely you can miss one. Sometimes it's difficult to actually get rid of things that are less important than being creative but it can help. 
Those are my tips and tricks for being creative even though your school keeps you occupied. It takes some time to know how to balance everything out. I find it really easy to slip and focus solely on my school and social life and put creativity in the corner of my mind. It's hard to have everything in your life but it's not impossible. 

What are your ways to keep being creative while being a student? Are you a student? If not, can you imagine being student again and be creative? Also, does Pinterest steals your time the way it steals mine?





26. 2. 2016

Is chasing dreams a waste of time?

I was freshman at high school, when I realized I want to be a writer. Crazy idea? Maybe. But at that time I was so wrapped up in my own imagination, that I didn’t think about how real the dream is. I just wanted to be a writer. If others can do it, why not me? 

Now, I guess I should tell you something about slovak book market. It’s really small. I mean REALLY SMALL. There aren’t many slovak authors and most of the books are translations of foreign books. Is it because we Slovaks cannot write a good story? Is it because we are judgmental nation and what is ours cannot be good? This is difficult to answer because honestly, I enjoy english books more than the ones written by slovak authors. I guess, we are so used to the translations of foreign books and that we cannot appreciate a good slovak one. But then again sometimes it seems that our authors don't know how to work with words and with sentences and everything sounds clumsy and unnatural.
Yeah, the dream of being an author was a little bit far-fetched. 
When I was at high school, I felt uncomfortable saying I write because it was something you cannot do for a living. Apparently, making enough money is more important than chasing your dreams. And so when I mentioned what I want to do in my future, everybody tried to discourage me. And for a certain period of time it worked. I stopped writing because what is the point when I cannot publish it. I was told I am not good enough to be published on slovak market and other options were impossible. 

Then I started writing in English and I fell in love with my creativity all over again. I didn’t know how much I missed it until I get back to it. People are still telling me than it’s a stupid thing to think that I could be published in foreign countries because I don’t live there. I could believe them and give up again and focus on other aspects of my future. I could focus on my teaching degree and how to be a better teacher but do I really want to? I mean, I feel passionate about teaching and influencing the younger generation but it's not exactly my ultimate dream.

Dreams are an important thing in people’s life. Without them we wouldn’t be pushed to do our best and to move forward. What would we do without dreams? Should we be satisfied with ordinary things when we can work hard and have the life we dreamt about? If I was asked this last year, my pessimistic me would answer that you won’t be able to change your dreams into a reality. But, I’m not that pessimistic anymore and I want to believe that chasing your dreams actually makes sense. Otherwise, this world would be a really sad place. 

Yes, my English is not perfect even though I’ve been studying it for about fourteen years and yes, I am from a foreign country but I won’t let those voices get to me. Believing in yourself is a crucial part of your existence. You have to be your best friend. You have to root for yourself when no one else is. You have to chase your dreams, because at the end of the day, it’s better to know you’ve done everything within your power to have it than knowing you’ve done nothing for it. 

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. So whatever everybody’s saying, don’t give up. I believe in you. Finish that novel even though you think it’s a stupid thing and no one would want to read. Travel if that makes you happy even though your parents think it’s a waste of time. Do it for yourself! Life is too short to care what others think, so don’t let them hold you back.

Dream.
Dream big.
Dream like it’s the only thing keeping you alive.


I may sound crazy and that is fine, because I’ve never said I’m sane, but I want my story to be published in English. This is what I feel passionate about and I won’t stop till I have it. 

Have anyone told you that your dreams are too big and you cannot achieve them? What are your dreams? What advice would you give to those who are scared to chase them because someone discouraged them? 

17. 2. 2016

Things I love in books

We all have preferencies when it comes to books. Someone love historical finction, other loves new adult. There are many topics that when I see mentioned in the synopsis, I know I have to read the books. So here are my five most favourite topics I would die for to read. 

1. ROYALS, PRINCESSES, KINGDOMS, KINGS...

This topic is my biggest weakness. I can see a glimpse of princess in synopsys and I know I need the book. Seriously, if you saw my TBR pile, then you would know most of the books there are exactly about kingdoms. I take it as a research for my own story, but also I just really love them. There is something fun about princess and picturing a handsome prince... may I just say that all the Disney movies just made me too demanding as far as men are concerned? I mean how can ordinary people go against princes in movies and books? Anyway, here are my favourite books in this category: 

2. WITCHES, MAGIC, SPELLS... 

Who doesn't like a good dose of magic? Magic is the ultimate power because you can do anything with it. Literally anything. There's nothing magic wouldn't be able to do and that's why it's so much fun! Also, I grew up watching the TV series Charmed and reading Harry Potter, that's why I love witches and magic so much. If I could be anything other than princess, I'd be definitely a witch. And a dark one I guess, because it's way more fun than doing good all the time. People would fear my power... anyway, these are my recommendations: 

3. SPIES, SECRET ORGANIZATIONS, MAFIA...

Do you know the show Totally Spies? No? Then go watch it! Those, who know what it's about, get why I like spies so much. Totally Spies were my childhood. My friends and I were pretending we're spies and were spying on our neighbours in our block of flats. Everytime someone shouted, we came up with a case about a murderer or a drug dealer and then we pretended like we have to save the world. It was a lot of fun! And we definitely had a big imagination. I like the topic of spies because it reminds me of my childhood and once again, I think I'd be amazing badass spy. That just reminds me how ordinary my life is. 

4. MENTAIL ILLNESSES... OR OTHER ILLNESSES

I know this topic can be a tricky one and it doesn't hav to suit everybody but I like reading about illnesses. I think it's important to talk about them, especially about the mental ones, because if we shut our eyes, it doesn't make them any less real. I think we should adress bulimia, anorexia or depression because they are more and more common in our society. I'm not saying that reading these kind of books is easy, but I always get something from them. Or I just cry a lot because I need to release all the emotions. 

5. RETELLINGS

I've heard opinions such as "originality is dead" and that "every story is just copying of what we've already read" and retellings may be considered as not original because we take a story that already exists and just change it a bit. Wrong! Retellings are just as original as any other story. Why should we discriminate them. I think it's really cool if someone can take an old story and give it a new coat and create a completely new one. The author can show you how he/she perceives the fairytale. I don't know, I fell in love with retellings because there are moment when I know what will happen but then again, I don't know what the author added. That's the good stuff. 


So, now it's your turn. What topics do you like in books? Have you watched Charmed or Totally Spies? And what do you think of retellings? Let me know in the comments below. 


9. 2. 2016

Beautiful People #15 | Valentine's Edition

Today I'm participating in a monthly linkup called Beautiful People hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. It is time I finally come out of my shell and share something about my story and this seemed like a great idea. 

This month is all about that love, of course. Now, I have few couples in my story but without spoiling anything I picked out the most obvious one that's in the story from the beginning. I would like to present not so easy, but still lovely, relationship of my characters Iris and Ramir. Iris is the main one but I'm still not sure if Ramir can be considered as the main male character because... other things happen. Now, I haven't spoken about my story so let me tell you something about it at first. It is a story of a princess Iris who lives like a bird in a cage. She's locked down in castle and knows nothing about the country she will rule one day. And so she tries to get as much information as she can which leads to unpleasant discoveries. Oh, and not to mention she knows how to mix potions. So basically it's a story about her standing up for herself and being the queen she wants to be and the queen she should be, it's story about her not being afraid speak for herself and it's all about that girl power. 

Now that we have that out of the way, we can jump to the questions.


1. How did they first meet?

Well, Ramir is adopted son of the king Seffir who is close friend with Iris's father, king Mul - I know ,confusing - so I guess, once he was adopted, he and Iris met in Litien. That's where he lives. Ramir is always a little bit cheeky and he likes teasing Iris, so I can imagine them as kids playing together and running around and pranking each other. But then later, as Iris's brother Atil gets older, Ramir and Atil becomes friends and Iris is left behind. Then again, I think this is the time when Ramir would start seeing her as a girl and not as a kid. 

2. What were their first impressions of each other?

Uff, this is a tough one. I can see little Iris scrunching her nose at this boy who, at that time, didn't have manners because he didn't come from a royal family. Ramir would be having fun at her expense and so their first impressions wouldn't be that good. Both of them are stubborn characters and it can be seen in the story. 

3. How long have they been a couple?

They have been together for a longer time. They were not dating because due to political situation it was impossible for them to actually be together so they were casually seeing each other but they were not exclusive. But political situation changed and now they are engaged so... let's say they are proper couple for a month or so. It is a little bit complicated because neither of them thought they could be together so I don't think they took it seriously up until now. 

4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?

This is where the complications start. I don't think Iris is as commited as Ramir is. I mean, he was overjoyed when their parents told them about the engagement but Iris has this problem with controling people around her because her whole life she was the one controled. Does it make sense? Ramir is her equal and she was hoping she'll marry someone stupid or someone weak so she can have all the power as a queen. It's obvious she's scared of relationship with Ramir because she doesn't want to be housewife, she wants to make changes in the country. That's why I think Iris would be able to walk away from him because of some secret. It's stupid but I get her. And that's why I do not think she would be able to die for him. Ramir is much more involved, he would try to work through every disagreement and he would die for her too. 

5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

Iris loves herbs. This is mostly connected with her making potions. Her meal would be really aromatic and that's why she loves herbal tea. 
Both her and Ramir love cakes or anything sweet. 
Ramir also loves hunting so I would say his favourite meal would be meat. And sea food because his castle is right next to an ocean. 
Iris, on the contrary, hates sea food and loves vegetables because her country is known for more plant based products, her people work on fields and the time of harvesting is important to them. She also loves seeds and nuts. 

6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?

Thanks to politics, the king of the third kingdom, king Orwin, disapproves of this marriage because it means two countries will join and his country will be a lot smaller so he's just afraid they will go after him. 
Also, many rebels are against this marriage because of political reasons. It seems like everything is influenced by politics in my story. 
Oh, and let's not forget the minor group of mysterious people who wants Iris as far away from Ramir as possible due to her mysterious power. Man, not spoiling anything is so difficult. 

7. What would be an ideal date?

An ideal date would be a picnic on the  meadow behind the castle. Iris and Ramir went there a lot when they were younger so it's their place. Or a picnic on the beach. Iris loves the sun and the smell of the sea because she lives in the mountains where's colder. They would eat cakes and laugh and just have a great time. Also a wine would be involved. 

8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?

As I said, their personality are similar. Both of them are subborn and powerful so I can imagine them fighting over the power a lot. I mean a LOT. But on the other side, they are a good combination because they come from the same environment and the same social class. There's a lot of passion between them and I like their playful bickering. And thanks to the fact that they know each other so well, Ramir knows how to handle Iris... most of the times. But I also like that they can reach compromise from time to time. 

9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?

Their best moments were I guess before the engagenment because they were more playful and didn't take things so seriously. They went through a puberty together, you know, trying things and drinking wine and it was all genuine and fun. 
Their worst moment already happened in chapter 15 where they had a massive fight and it all went down. Sorry for a vague answer but I would spoil the story and I don't want that. It was nasty. 

10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?

Well in a few years they would certainly be married and have kids... if Iris will agree. But thinking about the current events in the story I think their relationship won't be the same. I think the two of them would grow apart from each other. There is stuff Iris won't forget and it would complicate their relationship so I don't know. It certainly is not a bright future but we'll see if they work it out or not. 


Those are my answers and I hope you liked them. Iris and Ramir are close to my heart and their relationship so complicated. Sometimes I just feel bad for the things I throw at them but then again I love their dynamic and their way of dealing with those things together. It's exciting to see how they grow throughout the story and hopefully their relationship will survive. 

Do you have a couple with complicated relationship? Or do you prefer easy one where the characters know about their feelings and would die for each other? Or do you like both like I do? 


2. 2. 2016

How to get back to writing after a long break

Considering you're reading this post, I guess you took a long break in your writing process and you'd like to get back it. Or you just like my writing style which makes me happy. Either way, this happened to me too when I got to uni and I didn't really have a time for writing because school was time-consuming. Recently I started writing again because I realised that my life was dull without it and I missed it dearly. So let's jump to the list of advices I prepared for you. 

1. STARTING IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT


Writing is like riding a bicycle - once you learn how to do it, you can't really forget it. And it's totally true. This summer I went cycling for the first time after 10 years. Trust me, I was terrified I fall off to one side but after a while it was like a I've never stopped cycling. 
The exact applies to writing. Sure, gettting back to it will be hard. I was rusty and my writing style was just terrible but the most important part is that I was writing. Did I want to stop? Sure. Was I satisfied with my story? Hell no. But I didn't give up. So if you're sad about how your writing got worse or how you can't get into the story just be persistent. It will get better, trust me. 

2. DON'T WORRY IF YOU DON'T HAVE STORY 

You may feel like you want to write but you don't have particular story in your mind. Fear not, that's not the end of the world. Also, it's not a reason for you to not write. If you feel like writing, then write. Start a journal and write about your days. Or use a story prompt and write a scene as a form of exercise before you got the fabulous idea for you story. And who knows, maybe you will like the story prompt so much that one scene wouldn't be enough and suddenly you're going to have a whole book. I find pinterest the place where to find them, but tumblr can be used as well. You can also pick up a book as the 642 things to write about.

3. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

Especially not to those who write consistently. You're starting again and it will take a while for you to write faster and better. No need to stress over word count of your friend who's been writing for two years and finished 2 books. You're at different level. Also, why should you be worried over a word count? If you write one measly paragraph you should be happy because some people aren't able to write even that! Instead you should be proud of yourself for sitting at your computer and creating that piece of work. With each paragrapgh you're one step closer to better writer. 

4. FIND YOUR PASSION

Now this one depends solely on you. Getting back to writing when you lost your passion for it and don't really care about it anymore is going to be a lot of pain. On the other hand if you find your passion and love for writing and when you know writing is what you want to do, it's going to be a lot easier than you think. You shouldn't be doing it because your best friend is doing it or because you want to be famous like J.K. Rowling. Those things doesn't matter. 

Those are my advices for getting back to writing after a long break. Is there anything you'd like to add to the list? Did you take a long break from writing? How was your return? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments down below.