Monthly Archive: October 2016

19 Things in 19 Years

My friends and I at me and Brittan's 5th birthday party.

Hello friends,

Today is my birthday! Many years ago I had a birthday party with cupcakes, specifically baked for smooshing into my friends faces. That’s what happened in the picture. It was definitely, the best birthday party, I’ve ever had.

I, along with my twin sister Brittan, turned 19 today. I thought it would be fun to follow the trend and make a list article of nineteen things I’ve learned in the years leading up to this moment.

  1. It’s okay to not be friends with people that are making you unhappy or you don’t like hanging out with. You are not required to be friends with everyone.
  2. Never get your hair thinned. It only makes the frizzing worse.
  3. It’s okay to change your mind about something even if you were very adamant about your original opinion.
  4. Reading a book will make you feel better.
  5. There is actually a way to clip your toenails without giving yourself ingrown nails.
  6. I am not good at cleaning up after myself.
  7. High heels are amazing.
  8. Apparently, my boobs are not done growing yet.
  9. There is no reason not to take a risk when it comes to hairstyles because it always grows back.
  10. Everyone around including your siblings, parents, friends and extended family are all their own person living their own life that is just as complex and important as yours.
  11. Wolves are some of the coolest animals in the world.
  12. All of your opinions are colored by you privileges and experiences.
  13. Living alone is difficult, but doable. So long as you go outside almost every day.
  14. Onsies never go out of style.
  15. You don’t really need that random trinket from when you were seven that has little to no significance.
  16. You can write fifty thousand words in a month while working full time (Still not sure how I managed this for Camp NaNoWriMo 2013).
  17. Good content should be determined by how proud you are of it, not how many clicks it gets.
  18. The newest Vlogbrothers video may be long or heavy, but it’s still worth a watch.
  19. Journaling usually makes you feel better, especially if you can keep up with it for an extended period of time.

Some important life lessons. Some silly facts about me. All of it adds up to me: a person who is has now been on this world for 19 years. How wild is that?

Until next time,

– Alora

Learning How to Juggle Life

Hey guys,

If you did not know season one of Supergirl was recently added on Netflix. I’ve watched a couple episodes of it so far. I’m currently on episode seven which means I recently watched the one where Kara watches Cat Grant’s son: “How Does She Do It?” (episode 5). All of them are amazing, but this one in particular has a theme that really stuck with me. At the end of the episode, Kara asks Cat Grant, her wonderful #GirlBoss who has it all, how she does it, how she maintains her life. To which she responds “How do you juggle it all? You learn. That’s how.”

Since hearing that, that idea has been rolling around my head, pounding on my skull and all around clambering for me to think about it. Learning how to juggle it all: the career I want to have, the family I’d like to have eventually, posting here, posting on my YouTube channel, maintaining a social life, devoting plenty of time to my girlfriend. I have been in Atlanta for nearly three months now and if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s how to live here. I’m figuring out how to juggle this ball. I’ve got a schedule worked out. I pay my bills and rent on time every month. I keep my fridge stocked well enough that I don’t starve. I’m writing, reading, posting videos, and blogs. All while still working from 8:30 to 5:30 everyday.

Up until quite recently I was very sad because I felt like I couldn’t lead the life I wanted to lead. I even wrote a blog post detailing the kind of schedule I would like to have and now I have that schedule. I’m learning how to juggle my life. I’ve got work handled. Now I’m adding back in writing after not regularly writing for three weeks. I’m handling my YouTube videos and I still make time to call my family.

It’s okay if I drop the ball every now and then on one of these things because I’m still learning how to juggle them all. That’s what Cat Grant has taught me. Well with those words anyways. I’m kind of in love with her. She’s a boss.

This realization may seem small, but it’s more than a little life changing for me. It lets off the pressure. I don’t have to be perfect all the time in what I’m trying to do because I’m still learning how to do it. TV, guys, it has a huge impact.

In related news, Supergirl is amazing and you should go watch it.

That’s all from me this week. 😀

Lots of love,

– Alora

Top 4 Book Series About Dragons

Hello everyone

Today I am sharing my top four series with dragons in them. There is always a different way to imagine dragons and write about them and these books all do it quite differently and I love all of them

1. The Last Dragon Chronicles

all seven book covers from http://zookiesnotepad.blogspot.com/

The Last Dragon Chronicles is a seven book series of middle grade books by Chris D’Lacey. I was given the first two by my aunt when I was in second grade and the last one came out when I was in 8th grade so I pretty much grew up on these and I love them to death. The first book is title The Fire Within and it sets up what becomes one of the most elaborate and intricate worlds I have ever experienced. These books are set in contemporary New England, but there is a twist. The main character, David, rents a room from a woman named Liz who sells clay dragons, some of these dragons also come alive. The whole series is fantastic and exciting. It explores new types of dragonlore and creates an entirely new rich universe. Also, in book two, polar bears become a big part of the story and the series starts to address climate change. The first few books are definitely middle grade, but the series’ complexity increases with each book, culminating in the immensely complex finale.

2. The Inheritance Cycle

The Inheritance Cycle Covers from https://brownbooks.org/2012/09/09/the-inheritance-cycle/

A very good argument could be made for The Inheritance Cycle to be number one instead of number two and to that I say, please ignore my numbering system because all of these books are ranked the same in my heart. The Inheritance Cycle by Christoper Paoloni is another series I grew up on. These books are definitely at least YA, bordering on adult fantasy. They are written in a very high register and resemble Lord of the Rings in their epic quality. The first book, Eragon, begins the story of my favorite farm boy and the unimaginable heights he will reach. I don’t want to say too much and spoil anything for those of you that haven’t read it, but if you haven’t please go read it now. The books are thick, but totally worth it. As it true of all the books/series on this list, the dragons in this universe are wildly different from anything else I’ve read. They have an intricacy that is portrayed so well and so elegantly. Please read these books and then come back and we can talk about them in the comments because they are amazing.

3. Seraphina & Shadow Scale

Seraphina and Shadow scale covers from https://splteenmachine.com/2015/10/16/seraphina-and-shadow-scale-by-rachel-hartman/

Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman make up the most refreshing fantasy couplet I’ve ever seen. Her imagining of dragons is yet again completely unique and much more science fiction than the first book would lead you to believe. These two books blend fantasy, a contemporary style and science fiction seamlessly. Not to mention that Rachel Hartman’s writing style is one of my all time favorite. She is amazing. These two books came out over the last five years. I’ve reviewed both of them more in depth previously on this blog: Shadow Scale review, Seraphina review. They are great. Please go read them.

4. The Rain Wilds Chronicles

Rain wilds Chronicles covers from http://dragonsheroesandwizards.blogspot.com/2014/04/fantasy-series-review-rain-wilds-chronicles-by-robin-hobb.html

I don’t know if you still believe me when I say fresh perspective on dragons, but Robin Hobb’s Rain Wilds Chronicles has a fresh perspective on dragons. Her universe is full of backstory and she has other series that exist in this same universe, but at different times. It’s amazing. This series has a fantastic cast of strong female characters from varying backgrounds. It also combines some more contemporary style with the traditional fantasy style like Seraphina but past the dragons, the similarities stop there. Hobb’s writing style is entirely different from Hartman’s and this series confronts the challenges of societal interactions between humans and humans and humans and dragons and dragons and dragons. It’s got all the permutations and it handles all of them so well. These books also confront resource allocation and sustainability, but it’s really subtle. Everything in these books are so subtle. Hobb blends the world together so well.

What are you favorite dragon books? Please tell me. I need more dragon books to read.

In the meantime, if you’ve read any of these books let me know and we can chat about how awesome they are.

Until next time,

-Alora

P.S. I got my pictures from the following: The Last Dragon Chronicles, The Inheritance Cycle, Seraphina and Shadow Scale, The Rain Wilds Chronicles.