Hello, and Goodbye…I’m changing things up

Hello, and Goodbye…I’m changing things up

For years now I wanted to create something that allowed me to express my thoughts and opinions for others to listen to or watch, and maybe learn from.

I created this blog to do just that, and have loved doing it since I started it.

I’ve hit a few bumps along the way, and I’ve gotten over them and have always come back to this blog and am super grateful that I have.

Because of this blog, I have also started a Podcast about the Wheel of Time series, called The Winespring Inn.

I really enjoyed doing it at first, but it quickly became a lot of work that I couldn’t find time for and I lost interest.

It was kind of lonely doing a podcast on my own, and I am half glad half upset that I won’t be continuing with it any more.

I’m no expert on the subject matter, compared to other people, and I find myself dreading the time researching stuff to make the script.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy making a podcast, it’s just I’d prefer to focus my attention on other projects that I want to try out.

My podcasts used to come out on Saturdays, when I did post them.

Now that I won’t be continuing it, I want to start a new review series…reviewing TV shows and Movies.

I know this doesn’t really fall under the “book” category, but I think it does in the sense that it is storytelling. Movies and books are part of the same umbrella of storytelling. Movies are visual, books do the same, they just use your creativity and imagination.

The one stipulation for a movie/TV show review…it needs to be adapted from a book.

That’s how I am going to tie it into the book genre that I currently follow.

I hope you are all as excited to do the book/TV show reviews. I think it’ll be less time consuming for me, but also more fun for me and for all of you.

For the most part, I’ll try to cover modern movies that I’ve seen, but I’ll probably throw in a few classics/older movies if things slow down.

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Stealing People’s Ideas…Creatively

Stealing People’s Ideas…Creatively

In today’s world, every idea has been taken. It is literally impossible to come up with a 100% original idea.

If you call yourself a creative person, I bet you constantly have ideas rolling through your head, and probably more so if you are a content creator. Writing a book, making videos, or any sort of content making will do wonders on the creative part of your brain.

Yeah, sure, you can have an idea for a space elephant wearing a unicorn onesie fighting robot pandas in the deserts of France. Sounds like it’s a pretty original idea right?

I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s not. It’s not original. The idea has already been taken. Maybe not all at once, but aspects of it. This idea belonged to that author. That idea belonged to this author.

Some aspect of every story, idea, or even thought has been used by someone else. Every possible idea has been taken…but that’s not something that should deter what ideas come to your mind.

That’s why I believe in one simple rule. A rule that I think all creative people follow when they think of new ideas.

Steal people’s ideas, but steal them creatively.

I don’t mean think of a creative way to steal their ideas. Stealing ideas outright is wrong. Stealing someone’s hard work and time is wrong.

What I mean by stealing creatively, is be inspired by them.

Be inspired by ideas you see everywhere, absorb them, and them take them in and use them.

Take everything in. Live your life, take in every sight, sound, and sense that you experience and use them to inspire you. Incorporate aspects of people ideas into your ideas.

Add your twist to them. Make them your own. Make them you. Make their ideas your own. Steal people’s ideas, creatively.

Be inspired by the hard work of others, and work hard to make those ideas yours.

When and where do you like to read?

When and where do you like to read?

This is a bit of a weird topic to talk about, because it seems like such a simple part of life.

Everyone has their spot they like to read, and everyone has certain times of the day they like to/can find time to read.

Some are in bed, just before they go to sleep. Some people like to cozy up in a nice comfy chair after supper, and I’m sure others like to read in the bath, when they are absolutely relaxed.

There’s not really a wrong answer to this. Everyone has their preference of time and spot.

For me, I prefer reading on my couch. Legs up, in a nice comfy position and a good book on my lap, I could sit there for hours.

My problem, is that I don’t find the time often enough to read in my favorite spot.

I’m usually pretty busy, between work and friends and school and dogs, there’s a lot to do that keeps me from reading.

I don’t often get the chance to read while curled up on the couch, but I still find time to read.

The place I read the most is on the bus to work. It gives me about 20-40 minutes of quality reading time, depending on traffic and other bus occupants. I can channel out the noise for the most part, and I can usually snag a seat somewhere in the back corner which gives me a chance to whip out my book to read for a bit.

Other than that, I don’t get a lot of time to read. I try to read now and then, but with so much going on, I can hardly find time to sit and read a few pages even.

But enough about me. What about you? Where do you like to read, and when do you find the time to read your book? Do you sit down for hours, or do you steal a few moments now and then?

Ask Me Anything + The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Thank you to Joanna Nicole for nominating me for this award! If you haven’t checked out her blog – The Geekish Brunette, I highly suggest checking it out! My content pales in comparison to hers, so do me a favor and follow her blog too!

Last week I also posted an Ask Me Anything, so it was perfect timing that these two events ended up on the same day. I’ll throw in my AMA questions and answers in at the end of the tag.

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WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
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Questions from Joanna Nicole @ The Geekish Brunette:

1.) What book has had the biggest impact on your life?

This is a really tough answer, because I don’t really know. It might sound a bit silly, but the books that have had the biggest impact on my life have probably been The Magic Treehouse series. They were some of the first books I ever remember reading, and I think they made me fall in love with reading when I was a young kid.

2.) What was your last book hangover?

Great. First two questions and I have a hard time answering them. I’m not really sure what to say for this because I am always reading at least two different books at one time, so there’s never really a chance for me to take a break from reading…I may be misunderstanding what book hangover means though.

3.) Favorite book quote and why?

Life before Death
Strength before Weakness
Journey before Destination.
It’s a quote from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, and there is so much meaning behind each of those phrases that it really means a lot to me. The way I think of the quote is a little different than what Sanderson’s characters do, but I think he made it so that it can be interpreted differently. If it means anything I’m thinking of getting a tattoo of that quote.

4.) What is your favorite color and what book cover best shows it off?

Blue. Not even a question. Maybe I am just a stereotypical guy who likes the “boy” color. In terms of what book cover, I’d probably say what I’m reading now. A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan.

5.) Favorite book boyfriend/book girlfriend?

I’ve never thought of this one before, but probably Clary Fray/Fairchild in the Mortal Instruments series. Don’t ask why…but if you do I’d probably answer you.

6.) Do you prefer standalone or series?

Series for the most part, but I’ve read a few standalones recently that have tipped the scales just a little bit.

7.) Who is your favorite villain and why?

It’s a tie between Napoleon from Animal Farm and Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Both very different characters, but I liked seeing Napoleon grow into the villain throughout the book, but I also like Sauron’s presence and power, but we never actually get to see HIM, so it’s an interesting type of villain.

8.) Do you like morally grey characters?

Depends on the book/series, but overall yes. I think they make books more suspenseful as a whole, and add an interesting look at the world. Straight good or bad and you know what decisions will be made, but add a touch of grey and you never know what you’ll get.

9.) What got you into reading?

Like I said, The Magic Treehouse series was the first one I remember really getting into, and it opened my eyes to the fantastical possibilities that books can bring you.

10.) Favorite book-to-movie adaption?

As much as I am not a fan of how hyped the series is, I’d say Harry Potter. They did a good job adapting the movies for the big screen.

11.) What is your least favorite book genre?

Probably romance. I don’t hate it entirely, but it’s something I’ve dipped my toes into, and I haven’t been able to go any further. I think romance and I just don’t get along too well.

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My Questions:

1.) If you could get one book quote tattooed on your body, what and where would it be? (keep it clean people)
2.) One book series you want turned into a tv show or movie?
3.) If you could live in any book world, which would it be and why?
4.) If you had the power to read something, and make the words become reality in front of you, what book would you read first?
5.) What’s one really popular book you dislike?
6.) If you could have a pint with one author, dead or alive, who would it be?
7.) Where is your favorite place to read?
8.) What book death hit you the hardest?
9.) What book has been on your TBR the longest, and why?
10.) What is one idea for a book/series you wish you could act on and write?
11.) What’s one book you love that you think everyone should read?

I don’t know 11 other book bloggers well enough to tag them, but if you’re reading this and want to participate in the Award, then consider yourself tagged. Otherwise I have a few people I’d like to tag. Enjoy!!! (If you’ve already done it please ignore me I’M SORRY)

Witty and Sarcastic Book Club Ashes Books & Bobs The Bibliophagist
Hamlets & Hyperspace Chocolate’n’Waffles

Below are the questions to my Ask Me Anything I posted last week. There weren’t many submissions, but here they are.

Question: What was the book that got you into reading?

I said it above, but The Magic Treehouse series really opened my eyes to the possibilities of worlds and imagination.

Question: What’s one book you think you’d love to read- but either you haven’t found it yet or no one has written about it yet? (For example- I’d love to find a dark fantasy based on Hawaiian folklore.)

I’d like to see a book based off of a video game I don’t remember the title of. The concept is that these 4 people were all chained together and they had to figure out their way out of this tower. I think it could be a really cool concept, having characters physically bound to each other the whole story.

Thank you guys so much for asking me these questions, and thanks again for tagging me in The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Ask Me Anything

Ask Me Anything

I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but I never really had the platform that enabled me to.

Since I started my blog, I guess I’ve built up a bit of a following, and I figured it might be a good time to start a little Q&A thing to answer any questions my followers had about me.

I don’t know how many of you are actually real. Maybe you’re all a very elaborate hoax put on by my family to make me feel accomplished, I don’t know.

Either way, I’m putting it out there.

Any APPROPRIATE questions you guys ask me, I will answer next week on Thursday. If you ask a question and you have a blog, website, or social media handles of your own, please let me know and I will make sure to tag them in the next post!

Why I Like Short Stories

Why I Like Short Stories

I’ve been interested in reading and writing since I was a little kid, and my go to type of book to read was a nice long chapter book. The thicker the better.

My philosophy was, the thicker it was, the more time and effort were put into it, therefore the book must be good right?

Well that’s not completely wrong, but it does have its faults. Just because a book is long, doesn’t mean it is good, but I would say a majority of them are.

What I didn’t realize until the last few years, is that short stories and anthology series really good. I read them in high-school and university, but they’re usually pretty bland and full of symbolism, plus schools rarely ever pick good reading material.

I didn’t mind short stories usually, but they weren’t my favorite thing, until recently. I’ve read a handful of short stories over the past few years, and I’ve really enjoyed them.

Usually a book with a more fleshed out story is better, because they have answers to all the questions and all of the story lines typically end some how.

What’s to complain about in that case? I’m getting the complete story, I should be happy about it.

That’s true, at least in my opinion, but there is another truth that goes along with it. Just because you don’t get the full story, doesn’t mean the story isn’t good.

There is some sort of magic that comes with creating your own story, or finishing a puzzle, and I think that’s something that short stories inspire in people.

They let people fill in the remaining pieces of the puzzle they started, and give people a chance to finish the story how they want it.

If a short story is done well, it tells just enough of a story to satisfy your needs, but not a complete enough story that it gives you all the answers.

It finds the fine line between mystery and answer. Giving you the steak, and you bring the potatoes.

It’s a near magical thing, creating a short story that makes the reader want more. I put the success of short stories up to a test. If a short story is done well, I imagine at least a half dozen different things that could happen in that story.

If a short story is done well, I go looking for more content from that world, author, or anything, just to help me finish it.

If a short story isn’t done well, that’s all there is to it. The story ends at the last word. There’s no wondering what happened next, there’s no finishing the puzzle. The story lives and dies in its own pages.

You might be thinking that you haven’t read a short story that was good, or maybe you haven’t read one that was bad. Either way, everyone has their opinions.

I’ve read a few short stories that fall into both categories, but its the ones that I crave more of that made me fall in love with short stories.

Write your story…not someone else’s.

Write your story…not someone else’s.

When I started blogging, I never thought that anybody outside of my friends and family would read it.

I mean I’m just an average guy from a smaller capital city in Canada. There’s nothing special about me. I’m not a genius, or a fantastic writer, or even overly successful. I’m okay with all that of course, but I still don’t expect anyone to read this blog I’ve thrown together.

What’s really surprised me, and has made me excited to keep posting, is seeing what countries my readers are from. Canada is the most popular country for my readers at the moment, but the United Kingdom is quickly catching up to them, so for all my UK fans, HELLO! thanks for being your awesome self, and beat these damn Canadians! I know you can do it!

One of my “goals” is to have the WordPress map completely colored in one day which would be so cool! I check the progress every now and then and slowly but surely more countries are being added to the list.

When I started this blog, I did a bit of research into how blogs work, how people come up with ideas, how to get more viewers, and different things like that. I actually had a few pages of notes that I wanted to follow, but I soon dropped all of that.

I didn’t want to fit into some formula that other people made. I didn’t want to do the same things other people were doing. Where is the fun in that anyways?

I’m Andrew, I’m not Peter, or Martin, or Susan, or Erika. I’m me, and I am going to do what I want.

Yeah, my ideas might not be the best, and they are definitely not the most popular, but I like them. I enjoy making them. Some are more fun than others, and some are easier to write, but in the end, I like them all for some reason.

I mentioned a piece yesterday that was all about not taking writing advice from other people, and just doing it your way, and that’s what I want to do. I’ll take advice along the way. I’ll steal ideas and make them my own. I’ll do what I want to do because I’m me, and On My Bookshelf is my voice.

You have to be true to yourself. At the end of the day, the only person you are stuck with for eternity is yourself, and if you can’t enjoy you, or enjoy what you’re doing, then what’s the point?

I don’t come up with some elaborate script for my blog posts, or write every post with the same analytical process every time.

I write in my own way, and if that gives me less followers than someone who posts in the same format as everyone else, I am fine with it.

Don’t let others tell you no. If you want to try something, then try it. Don’t let others say this is a bad book, or that’s a bad makeup line. If you like it, then own it.

Be the outlier.

Be you.

People might want this picture perfect idea that hundreds of thousands of people change themselves to fit into, but you shouldn’t want to be everyone else. You should want to be you.

Love your quirks, love your weirdness, write how you want to write, tell the story you want to tell.

Anyways that’s it for my little “rant”. I just feel it’s important to do things the way you want to do them, not how other people want you to do them.

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