New DIY MFA Articles, Plus Facebook and GoFundMe Updates

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(NOTE: Due to this week’s DIY MFA post, the weekly blog post will go live on Thursday, December 15th.)

Do you believe in destiny, or a higher power conspiring to help make things happen? Or are you convinced that our lives are what they are because of our choices? Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether fate or free will plays the greater role. This mystery, however, hasn’t prevented writers from exploring it through story.

Today I’m tackling “fate versus free will” for my Theme: A Story’s Soul column at DIY MFA. Using Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus as examples, we’ll discover the common elements that both books use to examine this enigmatic theme and brainstorm ideas of how we can write our own stories on an age-old debate. (See the link after the jump.) Continue reading

Favorite Reads of 2015, Part 1: Books Published Before 2015

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Finally! It’s time to reveal some of my favorite reads of 2015! 😀

Last year I almost twice as many books as I did the year before, and a fair number of those books were published before 2015. So, I’m going to share not one year-end Top 10 list, but two!

Today’s will focus on my favorite pre-2015 books I read last year. Each entry will include my reasons for its inclusion on this list and a link to the full review. Also, since I like to keep you all in suspense, the list will go in ascending order, from #10 to #1. 😉 Here they are:

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Recent Reads: November 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Ohhhhhhhh, I came SO close to reading more books this month than I thought I would! But when you’re a night reader like I am, and life suddenly gets so crazy that both braind and body crave more meditation and sleep, you just don’t have the energy to stay up late to finish another chapter. So, I’m content with November being a three-book month, and especially happy that I finally made time for the story that I picked as my Read of the Month. Speaking of which…
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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 17: The Birthday Haul, Part 1

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

Some of you know my birthday was last weekend; and apart from other presents I was happy to receive (bed linens, an indoor-outdoor thermometer, a beach umbrella), I got MORE BOOKS. 😀  A couple more arrived after I finished preparing this post, so that’s why this is Part 1. (Part 2 could be up as early as next Saturday.) In the meantime, here’s what I’ve got so far:

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