“Do I Have That Book?” Challenge

So I recently discovered @keepin.tabz‘s lovely Bookstagram and her Do I have that book challenge/tag (original video of Tabetha doing her challenge here.)

Now, my family’s books are scattered around several rooms and two levels, so I wasn’t about to attempt to time this! But I thought it might make a good blog post. See how I did, then see how your shelves measure up!

The Challenge!

1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?
I’m only aware that I have one. It’s a book of hymns with piano music and the story behind the hymn.

2. Do you have a book with 3 or more people on the cover?
I’m positive I have some on my Kindle, but I decided to try and limit myself to physical books for this. This one technically has more than three, some of them are just hidden behind armor. haha

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?
This might be the most famous tale of King Arthur, and the basis for many later re-tellings, but it hardly started the legend of Arthur.

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?
I had a moment of oh no, this could take forever! And then I found this. Sweet!

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter? 
Another one I thought might be a challenge, but ended up being pretty easy.

6. Do you have a Mass Market Paperback book?
Clearly, I have several, haha. They’re hardly my favorite format, but they’re so affordable!

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?
I don’t know…? Seems like a possibility, but I don’t know of any off the top of my head.

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?
I’m pretty sure I have a few, but this one was the easiest to find.

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?
Oooh, I have several! But I picked this one, but I’m so obsessed with this series.

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?
So I literally just discovered (thanks, Google) that PBS made a Little Women mini series this year. Has anyone seen it?

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/tv personality…) 
I kind of think this book is part of why he’s famous, but he was a renowned neural surgeon first and that’s the reason he wrote (well…it was ghost written, but still) this book. Which is excellent, btw, even if I felt a little squeamish a couple times. 

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?
Apparently, I do not. I find this somewhat surprising. At least, not that I’ve found. We have so many books, I could have missed one, haha.

13. Do you have a poetry book?
Gross. No. I once took a poetry class because I had to take an English elective, and it worked with my schedule. I hated it. With a passion. No offense to those who like or write poetry, but to each their own. I can count the poems I like on one hand. (Okay, maaaaaaaybe two.)

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?
Pretty sure my family owns a few, but we have this one at least.

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?
Sadly, it does not appear so.

16. Do you have a book of short stories?
I used to have a collection of sci-fi short stories, but I hadn’t read it in years, so I got rid of it. Sigh.

17. Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?
I have plenty over that, but can’t find one in that exact range.

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?
I have so many! So how about one that for some inexplicable reason was made into three?

19. Do you have a graphic novel?
Not exactly, but I have several comics.

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?
Novels? No. I do have a novella collection. And plenty of non-fiction with multiple authors.

So, do I have that book? Well, I got 14/20. How did you do? If you take the challenge, be sure to let me know so I can see your books!

Until next time!

3 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration

Where do you get ideas for your writing? How do you stay creative? Where do you look for inspiration when you’re in a creative dry spell?

I find anything can be a source of creative inspiration if you stay open to the possibilities. I’ve gotten ideas from video games, movies, comments people have made, and dreams. But when the ideas aren’t pouring in, here are three ways to get the creative juices flowing.

Psylocke cosplay
Photograph by/of me
  1. Browse artwork online
    There is so much amazing artwork by talented individuals out there! What’s your genre? You want to write steampunk? Look up steampunk artwork and try to figure out what’s going on in a piece. Need a setting? Look up landscapes. Need a character? Type your genre and “character” into Pinterest and see what comes up! Not even sure what you’re looking for? Let DeviantArt or Pinterest pull you into the never-ending whirlpool of the Internet until you’re drowning in inspiration. Imagination often ignites more imagination, so let others inspire you!
    I actually keep inspiration boards on my Pinterest. Character costume inspiration, weapon inspiration, setting/location inspiration, building inspiration… And then if I’m at a loss, I’ll go look at those boards. Sometimes I’ll go looking for something specific—“what might this character dress like?” or “what would this character’s home look like?” Other times I’ll go in without any idea of what I’m looking for, and work backwards—“what kind of character might use that weapon?” or “Why might my characters find themselves in this scene?”
  2. Listen to music
    My go-to focus music when writing is epic instrumental. I love film and video game soundtracks, especially when writing an intense scene or a fight. I can’t concentrate with lyrics while writing, and I also avoid super recognizable soundtracks (if I start picturing the film scene in my head while writing, everything falls apart for me). Plus, throwing on a pair of headphones and cranking epic instrumental music helps drown out the distractions. Here’s some of my favorite Youtube mixes from Pandora Journey for getting in the zone (note: I put these on the background, so I have no idea if all the featured artwork is appropriate):

But when not actively writing, music with lyrics can be awesome for getting ideas. Think about a song you like. Could it apply to one of your characters? Does it spark a plot idea? Why might a character like or dislike that song?

Painting of Thor by me

3. Take a break!
Sometimes the only way to cope with a dry spell is to stop trying to pump from an empty well. Let it fill up again! Do something else you enjoy. Go watch that movie, regardless of what critics say. Go read that book you keep meaning to get to. Binge that TV show. Try a new hobby or pick up an old one. Knit that scarf. Dance in your room while singing into a hairbrush. Make that bracelet. Paint that picture even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Go for a long walk or take a drive out into the country. Tell yourself not to focus on your creative slump. Let yourself think about anything and everything else. Procrastinate a little—or even a lot. Sometimes your brain just needs a break. Don’t feel guilty about doing things you want to do just because it’s not what you think you need to do right this minute. Your story will be waiting when you come back energized from your break.

How about you?
What are your tried-and-true methods to stay creative and keep inspiration coming? Let’s chat!