Amusing Hunch (Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Tanka)

Never think too hard

Take a leap on just a hunch

All is but a game

Don’t be afraid to have fun

Life is what you make of it!

My response to Colleen Chesebro‘s Weekly Poetry Challenge #67: Play & Guess. The twist is to only use synonyms for the prompt words! For this challenge, I chose to write a playful tanka. I hope you enjoy the poem! Thanks for the prompt, Colleen!

Five More Books I Want to Read in 2018

Last week, I shared the first half of my list of top ten books I want to read in 2018. Now let’s dive into the second half! Here are the other five books I want to read this year! Enjoy!

6) A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

After finally finishing A Game of Thrones last year, I just got the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series for Christmas! Like its predecessor, A Clash of Kings is an epic story spanning a few hundred pages, and given that I’m a relatively slow reader, I admit that I probably won’t finish it this year. Still, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it as much as the first book. Hopefully this one won’t take me another three years to finish!

7) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Speaking of “the second book”, another series I started reading last year is The Hunger Games. Since I enjoyed the first book and all four movies, I’m looking forward to continuing the series with Catching Fire. And yes, I’ve heard that the sequels aren’t quite as good as the first book, as is often the case with YA series, but it seems a shame to start a trilogy I like and not finish it!

8) Arrival by Ted Chiang

This one is a slightly different choice for me, as it’s actually a collection of short stories instead of a single novel. Originally titled Stories of Your Life and Others, Arrival is the book on which the movie of the same name is based—or rather, it contains the short story on which the movie is based, “Story of Your Life”. Considering I’d like to read more sci-fi and short fiction this year, I’m looking forward to reading these stories!

9) Good Wives (Little Women, Part 2) by Louisa May Alcott

Did you know that the novel Little Women exists in two versions? One is only the first part, spanning a single year in the lives of the March sisters; the other is the full story that continues into their adult lives. The second part, when published separately from the first, is usually sold under the title Good Wives.

Well, I read Little Women two years ago and loved it, but since the copy I had was only “Act 1”, I still have yet to enjoy the whole book. This year, I plan to get my hands on a copy of the full version of Little Women so I can finally finish the story! (Yes, I’ll be sure to keep tissues handy!)

10) Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Yes, it’s another nonfiction space book by Neil deGrasse Tyson! Like StarTalk, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is another book I intend to borrow from my boyfriend, who received it as a birthday gift last year. We’re both fascinated with space and I do enjoy popular science, so I know I’ll have fun reading this book!

And that concludes my list of books to read in 2018! I hope you enjoyed it, and as always, thanks for reading!

What about you? Any books you’d like to read this year? What other goals have you set for 2018?

Word of the Week: Conlang

Word: conlang

Pronunciation: KAHN-lang

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: a language that has been artificially created; a constructed language

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

Here’s a new word I picked up from Oxford Dictionaries‘ Word of the Day segment. This one is an interesting case of a modern word created to fit a definition that’s existed for centuries. There are a handful of terms for artificial languages, but today you may know them best by the name “conlang”!

A “conlang” is a language that has been created artificially. The word arose in the 1990s with the creation of the Conlang Mailing List. This noun is short for “constructed language”, defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “a language, such as Esperanto, that has been artificially created rather than having evolved naturally through use”.

Conlangs” generally fall under one of three subcategories: engelangs (engineered languages) are used to experiment in logic, philosophy, or linguistics; auxlangs (auxiliary languages) are used to facilitate international communication; and artlangs (artistic languages) are “just for fun”, created for aesthetic pleasure or humorous effect. Some well-known examples of “conlangs” include:

  • Esperanto, an auxlang with over two million speakers worldwide;
  • Newspeak, the language of the fictional state of Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984;
  • Klingon, a fictional language from the Star Trek universe; and
  • Dothraki, a fictional language created for the Game of Thrones TV series based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series.

A notable derivative of the word “conlang” is the noun “conlanger”, meaning “a person who creates an artificial language”. You may not use the word itself in your writing, but if you write fantasy epics or other complex stories, a “conlang” or two may be a good addition to your fiction!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

Said No Writer Ever

I have the most fantastic story idea!
I just know it’ll make a bestselling novel!
I can’t wait for everyone to read it!
Said no writer ever.

I’m loving every single day of writing!
The words come out exactly right every time!
I can’t believe how perfect my first draft turned out!
Said no writer ever.

Editing is so much fun!
I’m so proud of what I’ve written!
Every change I make feels so right!
Said no writer ever.

Self-publishing is a piece of cake!
Book cover design and formatting are easy!
Everything is going so smoothly!
Said no writer ever.

All this marketing is a breeze!
People are already flocking to buy my first book!
Writing is the easiest job in the world!
Said no writer ever.

Writing is the worst!
I hate writing stories that nobody reads!
I swear, I’m giving up writing forever!
Said no writer ever.

Five Books I Want to Read in 2018

January is a time for starting fresh and setting new personal goals, and in my case, that includes reading more! Every year, I make a New Year’s resolution to read at least ten new books, and 2018 is no different. After last year’s selections turned out to be enjoyable reads, I’m looking forward to diving into this year’s list!

So to start off my 2018 goals, here’s the first part of my list of the top ten books I want to read this year. Enjoy!

1) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

I know, as an avid Harry Potter fan, I really should have read this one by now. The good news is that I received Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a birthday present last year, so I have no excuse not to read it now! I finished reading the Harry Potter series close to a decade ago, so it’s been too long since I’ve read J.K. Rowling’s work. Even if this book/play was written mostly by another writer, I’m looking forward to being “reunited” with Rowling’s beloved characters!

2) Misery by Stephen King

Would you judge me if I told you I’ve never read a Stephen King novel? As a writer, it’s just embarrassing! Despite having wanted to read his books for years, the great Mr. King remained absent from my bookshelf until last year, when I received a copy of Misery as a gift from a family member. I wasn’t yet sure which King novel I wanted to start with, but my mom has recommended this one to me in the past, so I already know I’ll love it!

3) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

After reading 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 last year, it seemed only too obvious to want to read this book next. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World always appears on lists of “must-read dystopian novels” alongside George Orwell’s 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, and given the strange times we’re living in, it feels like dystopian fiction is more “must-read” than ever. Not to mention the elements of genetic engineering in this story will certainly appeal to my biologist side!

4) The Martian by Andy Weir

Here’s another book I got for my birthday last year! The Martian was added to my to-read list in 2017, though I haven’t yet had a chance to dive into it. I’ve heard it’s a very fun read, and given how much I enjoyed the movie (and how much I like stories about space in general), I’m sure I’ll enjoy the book even more! Now that it’s finally on my shelf, I can’t wait to read it!

5) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Much like 1984 until last year, To Kill a Mockingbird is a book I’ve been wanting to read for years but haven’t yet had the chance to enjoy. So as not to overindulge in dystopian fiction (again) this year, I decided to include a historical classic in my list of books to read in 2018… but, you know, one that still feels relevant to modern times. Being a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and a classic of modern American literature, I know I can’t leave this book off my bucket list!

What about you? What books are you planning to read in 2018? Any other resolutions for the new year?

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