2018 ~ A Year in Review

Not sure about all the rest of you, but when 2018 dawned, I didn’t have much expectation or hope for this year. Honestly. 2017 was pretty bad. I’m not going to go into detail right here, but it was not a good year at all. So yeah, for some strange reason I made a ton of resolutions (I think there’s eleven of them, but I’d have to take a peek at my diary to make sure). All in all, I began 2018 rather without expectations.

And then, something changed.

It wasn’t a big change, like a sort of explosion type of change, but little changes that happened day after day, almost barely imperceptible. I went from finishing 2017 with a lot of losses to gaining things I never thought I would have. And I’m not talking about material things, though yes, that could be considered.

2017, I lost friends and opportunities; my piano teacher moved out of state; our pastor retired from the ministry; my best friend moved away.

2018, I gained a new music teacher, one that is helping me learn in better ways than I ever did before; I gained opportunities for dance lessons; I was able to compete and take part in a dance recital, things I could only have dreamed of previously; I was able to go to a Riverdance concert; I gained a new pastor; I grew closer to God; I was able to conquer my anxiety and control it; and most importantly, I gained new friends.

I’m an extreme introvert by nature. I want to have friends, close friends, but I’m not that good at figuring out how to achieve that with being extremely shy. Good news, I’m not alone. God saw my need, and gave me more than one friend this past year of 2018. A whole group of friends that I love, in spite of their weirdness and differences, who have been so kind and encouraging to me not only in the Lord, but also in life, many of them “adopting” me as another sibling.

All in all, I’m looking forward to 2019. Events that happened in 2018 showed me in plain daylight, if you will, of God’s power and handiwork, and I can’t wait to see what He will bring about in the New Year!

 

Song for this week is, appropriately, Auld Lang Syne. I love this version by Celtic Woman. It’s very mellow and bittersweet, much like the poem itself. ^.^

 

Graphic for the week is a contest entry for a friend of mine’s book:

Midnightwithwatermark

 

 

The review for this week is one of my favorite books of all time. I can’t wait until this is in print.

A bit about the author:

Ellie is a young writer who enjoys bubble tea, traveling (especially to Germany), historical fiction books, violin, and swing dancing. Her motivation to write is: “I write to inspire.”

Which I think is excellent. 

download

Title:

Seems a simple enough title. Definitely something that’s easy to remember and original. Reading the blurb, I see the reason for the title, which makes it something that fits the story and not some meaningless word. Good job.

Cover:

Cover’s fairly simple. I honestly think it would look better with the author’s name at the bottom, else there’s too much type in one area. Also, the boy in the silhouette has an army uniform on, which made me confused the first time I read it, since Luka isn’t in the army at all.

Blurb:

Brilliant. While I think there are a few phrases here and there that aren’t necessary, it’s well-written, and the last line is perfect for captivating your reader in.

The Good:

Well, more than one person in my acquaintance on Wattpad and also in real life has heard me rave about this story more than once. (And when you do get this published, lemme know. I already have at least four people–including myself–who want to get it.)

Anyway, overall, this book was really good. Your prose and style of narration were just… *searches for the right word*…something I want to learn. Honestly, how in the world do you write like that??? I love the imagery that was in each and every single chapter. (And yes, I’ve shamelessly have started copying your tactics. ^.^)

Your dialogue was spot-on, to the point I could hear the characters speaking and interacting in my head like it was a movie. (Btw, did I mention that I’m writing a music piece for this book yet?)

Your characterization, was well, is some of the best I’ve seen yet on Wattpad. Especially the meeting with Luka and Lina. Most of the time, (including in my own stuff *grimaces*) it’s so unnatural that it feels off. Nope, not with this. Your story, I could tell, was well-thought out, and flowed logically not only with characterization, but also with thoughts, plot, story-pacing, and then the conclusion.

The Bad:

But of course, any WIP, whether ongoing, or completed and going through the horrendous processes of editing, is not perfect. And believe me, I’ve even read published books that had errors.   

There were a few typos here and there, most of which I pointed out (because hey, that’s what a beta-reader’s for). There were also a few grammar mistakes, missing coma’s, etc., that I also pointed out.

In many places, there was too much spacing between lines; which might have been the formatting issue on Wattpad and Google docs (I noticed it on both). I believe I suggested/edited those.

Also, when you had scene breaks, most of the time you wouldn’t have any symbol there, just more spacing. Other times you did have a nice paragraph break. I would encourage you to be consistent with that; either use a scene break or not.

My only other issue was that, since Lina doesn’t talk for most of the story (sorry, spoilers ;P) and only writes or signs, you should be careful with her “talking.” I know I pointed it out in your Google docs, but just another reminder. Consistency is always a good goal to strive for.

What the Reader Thought:

Now, to the part where I can have free rein…

Honestly, and I mean, honestly, this is the most tragic book I have ever read in my life. The Children of Húrin doesn’t hold a candle to it. (And for those of you who have read my favorite book by J.R.R. Tolkien know that this book must be even sadder.) Every time I read it, I start bawling my eyes out.

When I first started reading this story for that book swap, I wasn’t that sure how it would turn out. I was interested, because it looked “good enough” to interest me, and because it was historical fiction, but I did not expect how much I would love it in the end.Let’s just say I was proven wrong.

I fell in love with the characters, time in history, even though I’ve never had that much interest in the 1930’s era, the descriptions, pretty much the book itself. The descriptions were so beautifully poetic and your characters were right on. I literally was crying and laughing and “aw”-ing throughout the entire story; few books have impacted me so much, even published ones. I’ve (to date) never had a book that made me cry that much as during the latter half of Stellina. Written during one of the saddest and darkest times in history, it beautifully executed the sorrows and struggles of life during that time, not just for the poor, but also of the Jews. The ending, while sad, was just the right touch to finish it off. The bittersweet happiness was more than I could expect a few chapters earlier, when my heart was broken (I’m still not fully recovered from getting my heart broken like that, and that was months ago!). Bittersweet, yes, but if it was all happy laud-di-da, it wouldn’t make sense and have the same kind of impact.

I will never forgive you for breaking my heart and putting my precious Luka through all of that pain *starts crying again*, but I love your story so much and always will. It makes me cry every time I read it, but I love it because of that.

Even beta-reading it, having pulled on my critiquing glasses and prepared to tear your book apart, I was not disappointed. Yes, it had errors, but it was still brilliant. It’s not a prosey book in the sense of most books. But its raw pain made it beautiful, much like Luka is to Lina.

Definitely one of my favorite books of all time; I cannot find words enough to say how much I love it. Please, please let me know when you are prepared for publishing and when this gets published!

Score: 10/10

(If I did any more, it wouldn’t be logical to have one google out of ten.)

Anyway, that’s all, folks! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

~ Gwynnedd

One thought on “2018 ~ A Year in Review

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