Top Ten Tuesdays || 10 Wishes to Ask The Book Genie


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I couldn’t pass up The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday link up today! I’m attempting to read more as 1) it helps me write, and 2) I miss reading and doing these types of things make me want to read more. 😄

Ok, on to my ten reading wishes to the book genie! Which will you agree with? 😄

1st Wish: The ability to read books while watching things.

I need time in the day to not only do life’s regular demands, and watch anime, but also read books! I could ask for more time in the day, but how awesome would it be to be able to watch and read things at the same time without losing the enjoyment of either? 😄

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2nd Wish: The ability to look at any book and know if its worth my time.

I hate looking at popular books or books I’ve never seen before and wondering: “Will I actually like that? Is it as good as everyone says? Would I personally get anything out of it?” I need mini fireworks to go off around books that I would definitely love so I can skip all the crappy books and just read the ones I’ll like. 😄

3rd Wish: A pass to enter book worlds as a character to join the story.

I don’t just want to just enter books, I want to experience them! I want to run with Harry, Hermoine, and Ron, and have them actually acknowledge my presence. I want to trot the London streets as Doctor Watson’s second chum, the two of us puzzling over Holmes’ methods and genius. I want to perform an important act in the black and white tents of The Night Circus; I want help Sam protect Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. I WANT TO BE IN ALL THE STORIES.

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4th Wish: A manga/book cafe in my neighborhood with food and wifi for overnight stays.

Because a dependable place to go read books in peace in my own private corner would be fantastic. Japan has these already as manga cafes, why does America not have them?!?! THIS ISN’T A FAR-FETCHED WISH, AMERICA HURRY UP AND CREATE BOOK CAFES.

5th Wish: Unlimited book funds for anything related in the slightest to books.

This includes more than books, people. It includes book merch, book clothes, book movie adaptions and merch, ANYTHING THAT MIGHT TIE BACK TO BOOKS. I WANT A BOTTOMLESS PURSE TO BUY IT ALL. I like stuff, especially books and book stuff. 😄

6th Wish: To own the library from Beauty and the Beast.

Because. Who. Wouldn’t. #faints

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7th Wish: NO MORE SCREWY SHERLOCK HOLMES ADAPTIONS ALLOWED.

Wait, why isn’t this my first wish. This is extremely important to me. People need to stop messing with my favorite book character. He’s not in love with Irene Adler and he’s actually extremely polite to women. He gets adapted so poorly, it’s not fair! *grumble grumble grumble*

8th Wish: That George R.R. Martin would quickly finish his Game of Thrones series.

I don’t want the TV series to branch off from the books but I think they’ll have to at the rate he’s writing them.  I NEED THE BOOKS FINISHED PRONTO SO HIS CHARACTERS’ STORIES ARE TOLD PROPERLY ON SCREEN.

9th Wish: To meet authors of interest, both alive and dead (but the dead ones brought back to life.)

I really, really want to meet Agatha Christie, and JK Rowling, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and Dr Seuss. I must pick their brains and then just stare at them as they go about their day. They would seem so ordinary…but in a fascinating way!

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10th Wish: That authors would be empowered to write stronger books.

This is pretty straightforward. I want fewer cheap rip-offs of popular books and more genuine originality. I want fewer flat characters and cliches and more characters that are rich, dimensional, and fascinating. To do all this and more, I will spend my final wish on all my fellow writers and authors, wishing them strength and ingenuity to fill the world with better, stronger, more wonderful books.

What wishes would you make to the book genie?! Which of these can I get an amen?! 😉

~Jamie

Currently:


Currently liking: that I know how to take real screencaps now. It’s been very helpful and fun! I’m also really enjoying my second Tumblr.

Currently listening: I’ve been listening to a soundtrack non-stop the past week or so. The types of music genres incorporated in it are so diverse and fun; jazz, band, orchestral, techno, soft guitar, it’s amazing. Here’s the playlist link: I’ll be featuring it tomorrow on my other blog. (Tracks 8 and 16 are my top favorites, but as a writer, I highly appreciate how versatile this entire OST is.)

Currently drinking: milk. I made chocolate chip cookies with Nathan over the weekend, and I always need milk with cookies. Yum. 😄

Currently reading: I’m between fictional books right now and I’m not sure what to read next. 😦

Currently sitting: up in my mom’s bed, next to my sleeping brother. He’s been fighting his first flu and he asked me to sit with him. I’m trying to type quietly.

Currently writing: blog posts. I’ve paused “100 Levels” for now so I don’t feel drawn in too many directions. I’m about ten days away from taking my next GED test, so I thought I’d put writing on pause while I study.

Currently watching: Toy Story for Nathan (who am I fooling, I picked it out for myself.) I literally just finished the fourth episode of Nagi No Asukara, a story about people who live in the sea, whose children must take classes on land with the land people. It has some interesting themes on prejudice and coming-of-age—and the visuals are gorgeous–so I’m really liking it.

Currently obsessed with: anime. I’m not sorry that I like amazing stories and visuals. Not sorry at all. 😛

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Currently tired: from the very crazy, busy past week. No more drama please. Drama is only fit for slice-of-life stories and soap operas, not for real life. 😯

Currently excited: that I finally own all 14 Basil Rathbone 1940’s Sherlock Holmes movies. Amazon had the set for half off! I was desperately missing the movies my dad had kept, so I thought it was time I buy the full set for myself and let go of the VHS tapes.

Currently failing: at my yoga again. *sigh* I really need to stick with it, because after just a few days my flexibility really improves!

Currently scaring myself with: taking my science GED test so soon. I never feel very prepared before my tests, which is a little scary since I have to pay to take the test in the first place. 😯

Currently stuck in my head: the credit song for Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. The song repeats easily so it stays in my head very easily. I shall conveniently link to that here. I have rewatched it about fifty times because the animation sequences are amazing (and the guys are so cute. 😄)

Currently wishing: that my chocolate chip cookies would last forever. Bottomless cookie jar. Isn’t that the dream?

Currently praying: that Nathan gets better soon and that I don’t catch the flu from him, if that’s what it is. I haven’t had the flu in years, I don’t want a revisit with the old meanie. 😐

~Jamie

Favorite Bromances


Bromance.

It’s a pop culture term that summarizes two guys (usually fictional characters) who have a deep/brotherly relationship (and/or often pertaining to actual romance, which I leave out when I use the word.) I don’t use this term that much but sometimes it’s feels appropriate when I’m trying to talk about a great friendship between two male best friends.

Personally, I love seeing deep, platonic relationships between guys in my movies and TV shows–usually those connections reach out from the screen to me and are near-unbreakable, which is why the movies and shows become near-unbreakable too!

These below are my personal favorite fictional best friends. They’re listed in an attempted alphabetical order to avoid the heartache of ranking favorites. 😄

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Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee | The Lord of The Rings Trilogy

I’ve worked on this post for a long time but I could never complete it for some reason. Now, after seeing The Lord of the Rings, I know why. It’s because this list was incomplete without Frodo and Sam, one of the best bromances ever. 🙂 These two were easily my very favorite part about The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Sam such a bad*ss best friend–he always had Frodo’s back, even when the ring began effecting Frodo’ judgement for the worse. And Frodo, when he was thinking straight, really appreciated Sam’s loyalty and brotherhood.  And of course, the moments on Mordor: #THEFEELS

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Han Solo and Chewbacca | The Star Wars Trilogy

I think they’re usually viewed as “character with sidekick” sort of relationship but just because Chewbacca isn’t a main character in the Star Wars movies doesn’t mean that he and Han Solo aren’t bros for life. Besides Wookies are very intelligent and all, so their connection is completely legitimate.

The movies don’t even need to make a big sub-plot demonstrating their strong friendship because it looks so natural and real on the screen. They’re a classic addition to idea of brotherhood and kick-butt partners.

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Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings | A&E’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Ever since I first watch the show over five years ago, I’ve absolutely loved this detective duo. They’re such a great addition to the bromance group since, in many ways, they’re a rather mismatched pair. Poirot is very particular, sharp, and proper, while Hastings is a relaxed chap who walks the line of being a little clueless.

But they work because they care for each other’s companionship! I’ve loved these guys since day one over five years ago, so the fact they’ve managed to stay within this list speaks to their true and memorably fun friendship.

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Jake the Dog and Finn the Human | Adventure Time

Adventure Time is one of my more recent favorite shows because of its quirky stories, characters, and stylistically simple, magical world. The two main characters are unquestioningly one of the best broships you’ll ever find on TV. They were even raised to together as brothers. Finn and Jake go on adventures, take quests, woo princesses, play video games, and contemplate simple life lessons of friendship.

It’s sounds similar to many kid shows, but Finn and Jake’s friendship feels so special and authentic in a simple way. They’re partly why Adventure Time’s been embraced by young adults like myself. ❤

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James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski | Monsters Inc/University

I shouldn’t even have to talk very much about these guys: you should know Sulley and Mike are the best of classic besties ever. Their song to each other in the credits literally goes “I wouldn’t have nothin’ if I didn’t have you.” Pixar perfectly captures the epitome of best friends with a big fuzzy monster and a one-eyed being shaped like a beach ball. They’re one of my most favorite duos in film and they absolutely had to get placed here. 😀

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Jenko and Schmidt | 21 /22 Jump Street

I have a soft spot for these high school rivals-turned-cop partners. While these films are quite adult, they are among my favorite comedies: This is thanks to the fantastic chemistry between characters Jenko and Schmidt. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are exceptional together in these films, and the characters combined with wonderful comedic timing carry the movies from meh to great.

I absolutely love Jenko and Schmidt together as best buddies and cop partners, so they very easily get to make my list of best bromances.

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Kuroko and Kagami | Kuroko’s Basketball

These two were the first anime duo to pop in my head when I was creating this post. Even though I’ve only see the first season so far, these guys still easily make my best of the best list. Kagami’s passionate about basketball but struggles to control his strengths while Kuroko can barely do anything on the court outside of his amazing passing ability. The two discover that they perfectly compliment each other in-game, even if they can butt heads off the court, and their unlikely friendship is formed.

The partnership turned friendship in this anime had me hooked. The two have these epic fist bump moments where I want to fall out of my chair for love of them. Kuroko’s lack of presence annoys Kagami at first, but they eventually find, heart to heart, that they can only be better at what they love if they work together. ❤

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Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute | The Office

A little more one-sided than you might think, the duo of well-meaning but idiotic Michael Scott and the cold-with-secret-soft-side Dwight Schrute is a priceless pair for both comedy and friendship. During the first few seasons, Michael just barely puts up with Dwight’s intense devotion as “Assistant Regional Manager,” while Dwight is completely devoted to Michael’s every wish and whim.

However, as the seasons pass, Dwight’s devotion is slowly repaid by Michael with real friendship and brotherhood, which is why they’re make it on this list. Also they’re hysterical together.

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Mitchel and Cameron Pritchet| Modern Family

Mitch and Cam are the only official couple to be included here (because what’s the point of this post if I don’t mention these guys?!) While Modern Family has an amazing cast of characters, the standouts to me are the uptight yet steady redheaded Mitch who’s balanced by the bubbly jack-of-all-trades Cam: These guys are one of my favorite duos ever.

Mitch and Cam are wonderfully developed characters, both encompassing and simultaneously shattering the idea of”the gay couple” on several levels. I absolutely respect and admire the show’s writers for so thoughtfully creating such vivid, realistic, hysterical people–I will never get tired of watching these guys react to life together.

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Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon | The Walking Dead

Although not a main theme to The Walking Dead’s plot like in Adventure Time, the brotherhood between a former Sheriff’s Deputy, Rick, and a rough-around-the-edges red neck, Daryl, is one of the best parts of the show! Especially since these two guys are my favorite characters!

Daryl’s real brother Merle was abusive and bad-tempered, so when Daryl is no longer around his bad influences and begins to mature, he finds a better older brother-like friendship in the group’s leader, Rick Grimes. It’s not at all a quick friendship to say the least, but that’s why it feels so authentic. And without the zombie apocalypse it would never have been formed!

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Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

Easily one of my favorite duos of all time (if not my ultimate favorite,) the classic literary duo are represented here with my two personal favorite pairs (technically the only two sets that I genuinely love) with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman from Sherlock and Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce’s 1940’s classics. Of course I adore Holmes and Watson in the books, especially since those are from Watson’s perspective.

Much like Poirot and Hastings, they sometimes seem a bit mismatched (especially in Sherlock) but they have one of the truest friendships in all fiction, as far as I’m concerned. Not because they have a perfect friendship without flaws, but because through the flaws they still can stick together.

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Many Character Duos | in The Cornetto Trilogy

I’m encompassing three sets of bromances here, all portrayed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The characters they play have very different types of friendships which are all priceless. Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead are the hysterical duo where the one character is more worried about his future while the other acts a burden. The fantastic friendship in Hot Fuzz is between the uptight Sergeant Angel and the soft-hearted sidekick Danny: they create a a wonderful cop duo (and the purest bromance of these three.) And in the last one, Pegg and Frost portray a broken friendship which is poorly reunited.

This British trilogy of stand-alone films features these brothers and it’s FANTASTIC due to excellent writing, character development and amazing comedy chemistry between Pegg and Frost. ❤

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Stewie Griffin and Brian Griffin | Family Guy

Although Brian’s creation was as sidekick for family patriarch Peter Griffin, the absolute best episodes of Family Guy are when he’s teamed up with the one-year-old, English-accented, evil genius Stewie Griffin, in the “Road To” adventures. They’re another badly mismatched pair who start off hating each other but eventually become great buds.

Even non-“Road To” episodes with the two characters interacting are hysterical and completely awesome as zing each other and time travel. I adore them too much to leave them off this list!


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The original list of guys to include here was twice this big but I kept only my favorite of favorites for length, which means Woody and Buzz, Arthur and Merlin, Tamaki and Kyoya of “Ouran,” and Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are only honorable mentions. But that’s life, I suppose. (And to tell the truth, I enjoyed Steve and Bucky more when it was only The First Avenger; all the fangirls got annoying during Winter Soldier and nearly ruined them for me. 😦 )

So: How many bromances have you seen from my list and would you agree with me? What are some of your favorite pairs of best guy friends? Any pairs you would include that I didn’t (I can think of some popular pairs that are very absent from my list)?

~Jamie

Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes


Happy Birthday Sherlock Holmes

Today I’m joining Hamlette’s blog party for Sherlock Holmes’s birthday. The party is taking place at her blog Edge of the Precipice! I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes for almost as long as I can remember, so there was no way I was not doing this!

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The Good Old Index of Questions

1.  When and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?

It was one of the Great Illustrated Classics through which I first discovered Holmes. It had three stories: The Red-Headed League, The Speckled Band, and The Copper Beaches. I read The Adventures and Memoirs soon later and then fell madly in love with Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes not too long after that. And that’s only the beginning!

2.  Please share a fact or two about yourself related to Holmes.  (You’ve read the whole canon, you’ve been to Baker Street, you’re an official BSI member, etc.)

I acknowledge Sherlock Holmes as my number one hero/favorite fictional character of all time out of any genre or medium of fiction ever. Ever. That’s how much I love this character and his adventures. I’m incredibly protective of the character; I’m very picky over what I like or don’t like when it comes to film/TV adaptions of his stories and I don’t regret being that way in the least. 😄

On a different note; during 2012, my best friend and I read the original stories every week; on Sunday we’d discuss them together. We read all four novels and nearly every single short story within a year! My friend even gave my a humongous, gorgeous Sherlock Holmes book that contained nearly every story! I still count that year as one of the best reading experiences of my life!

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3.  What are three of your favorite Holmes adventures?

A story that stuck with me to this day was The Man with the Twisted LipThe Sign of Four was amazing and had me laughing so hard (although I loved all four novels pretty equally, there’s not one I didn’t enjoy less.) The Blue Carbuncle had one of my favorite moments of Holmes cleverly getting information out of someone; that one vividly stuck to me as well.

4.  What draws you to the Sherlock Holmes stories?

Everything; the characters, the narrative, the adventures and mysteries. Especially the mysteries, I’m a who-dun-it mystery addict if ever there was one. There’s too much to explain as to why I love these stories so much, so I’ll just leave it as this: Sir Doyle’s characters captured my attention from the beginning and hasn’t let go in over ten years. ❤

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I’ve had this on my sidebar for 2 years and I’m keeping it there!

5.  If you were going to give Sherlock Holmes a birthday present, what would it be?

A brand new revolver for him to take out on his adventures, for self-protection!

6.  If you could climb into a Holmes story and replace any one character for a day, who would you like to be?

Dr. Watson. I already relate to Dr. Watson in so many ways, but I would love to actually be him for a day. I’d chase after Holmes scratching my head till the mystery is solved, and then write about it later from baffled amazement. ❤

7.  Please share some of your favorite Holmes-related quotes!

Here are two:

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This is the story of my life. I observed nothing as a child. 😄
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This is a classic quote but nevertheless it is still one of my favorites.

This was lots of fun, thanks for hosting this blog party, Hamlette!

~Jamie

All About My Editing


The final part of the Beautiful Books meme is available and it makes sense I do the last one since I did the first too. So here we go: all about the monster called Editing. [Part 1 || Part 2]

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THE QUESTIONS

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how well do you think this book turned out?

If we’re talking word count: that was a 10–my best ever in terms of 50k in 18 days. New record for me! If we’re talking plot–mmmeh, a 5. If we’re talking characters–I’m actually pleased with how my characters ended up, so let’s say an 8. Overall scale I will give a 6.9 because even though I was surprised with it, overall it is a normal first draft: very sloppy, very first draft-y.

2. Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?

I have but I hated doing it; so I’ve never gotten very far. When I edit this book, I plan to bring a theme out, fix plot holes, and then write a proper epilogue.

3. What’s your final word count? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book? 

60,043 is my word count! 60k words, 129 pages, 13 chapters! Overall it needs A LOT of trimming though. 😄

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4. What are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?

The characters. I didn’t expect to get as much resolution for myself and my characters as I did. Ultimately, that was what I wanted out the entire experience, so I’m very pleased that that’s how it worked out.

5. What’s your favorite bit of prose or line from this novel?

Too hard. Impossible. How dare you. 😉 Instead, my favorite part of the book is actually the climax that I craved to write the entire month. I first wrote a rough skeleton of my protagonist and villain meeting and it all going down and then I went back a couple days later and expanded on it by exploring their thoughts and emotions for each other inbetween the action. I was really really happy with the final results!

6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?

The writing. Outside of several key scenes which I wrote with great flourish–the rest of it is very bad, lol. Also the pacing needs to be fixed because the majority of the book–about 9 of the 13 chapters takes place over a span of three days and two nights. So…molasses slow.

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lol Adventure Time. But yes it’s unacceptable.

7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?

Again…the characters. These guys are practically my children and after leaving their story hanging for four years, it felt good to re-meet them and write about them again. Surprisingly, it was like discovering an old favorite outfit and after putting it on finding it still fits, even it was a little dated. The resolution I was able to write for these characters felt incredibly pleasing and it remains my favorite part. 🙂

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed out?

The main characters are pretty well-rounded I would say. I need to flesh out many of the side characters though–there are so many of them. My villain Kyle is probably my most bland character but he serves his purpose for a book that no one shall ever read. 😀

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?

Nothing. This was the best NaNoWriMo I’ve ever had so I must have done a few things right this time to get the results of a complete first draft so quickly. I need to replicate this work more, even it makes for messy beginnings.

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10. Did anything happen in the book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?

The one thing that didn’t go as I expected was the book’s pacing–the original span of time I wanted my book to cover was several years. This dropped to two or three weeks as I got serious about the story but when I wrote it, the story took place in a span of a week’s time, and most of that within three days! *harrumph* Not at all planned.

11. What was the theme and message? Do you think they came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring them out more?

Lol let me think…I suppose “live life while you have it” is a theme in the story, though it wasn’t intentional. A message would be “stop running” or “face your fears”. My characters spend most of the book running from both zombs and the main villain. They eventually have to face things they’d been running from since the last book too. 🙂

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?

I like either just so long as it doesn’t make me a plotter. Deadline writing can work for me although it can be absolutely useless if I feel spent or used up because then I will generate nothing. *sigh* I sound like such a mess of a person.

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13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)

Oh gosh. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Final Problem meets AMC’s The Walking Dead (OF COURSE.) I tried to think of a movie to hit all three but I honestly couldn’t think of one.

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!

I go “Whoo, that was hard,” have wild day dreams of being a best-selling novelist complete with interviews over the book and movie adaption announcements, decide I’m tired of all my music, look up more on YouTube… and bunny trails, ect (I’m an ENFP who needs self-taming.)

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?

This is how I feel about people possibly reading this book:

lol The Office. However, if the book was up to snuff, and just to play this game: I would hope they would walk away having had some thrills, finding they had cared more than they meant to, and that they can stop running away from their fears too.

I really liked doing this book meme: hopefully the creators will host it again next NaNoWriMo!

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~Jamie