Friday, September 30, 2016

Twitter and A Book Taught Me

If you've ever stepped into the chaos that is Twitter you've probably been overwhelmed--at least at first--by the flood your feed undergoes. Who only follows 10 people? Or even 100? Now, I'm sure there are people who only follow that many, but as I've seen from my own "followed persons" most everyone quickly passes over that 100 mark and goes into the thousands(or even 10's of thousands!).

Now, if you're like me, you think "how in the world do people keep up with this?" I'm a person who's got a very small social circle. I've got 4 siblings, my mom, kids, husband, a smattering of inlaws, and probably 5-10 other people I associate with. Then there's my writers group which I probably interact with a good 20+ people through there.

When it's all said and done, that's not nearly as many as people who have tons of family, coworkers, friends, etc.

I like to invest in people. I like to find people who I can connect with and build a relationship with them. Twitter was not designed for people like me. It's designed for people with a lot of patience, time, and willingness to make it work.

In most situations, you have to make Twitter "smaller". You have to form lists, make a spreadsheet of hashtags to interact with, etc. It's simply not possible to interact at a deep level(or even a surface one really) with that many people.

So that notion needs to go right out the window. *opens window and launches mass-interaction idea*

Everyone's got a different way of handling Twitter, but mine's been game hashtags. Twitter games enables me the most freedom with positive results. I can join if I feel like it, and pass on days I don't. I can find a current game that fits me, and I've fallen in love with Tweetdeck which allows me to schedule tweets ahead of time. I can add a picture, the hashtag(s), and whatever I want it to say, set a time, and I'm good to go.

This means if I want I can get all the game tweets for a month scheduled in advance, and then just check the hashtag everyday(or whenever I want) and see what other people have to say.

I also get a lot of responses in various forms to game tweets, and if I'm participating in a game, it's most likely because it appeals to me and what other people playing post is interesting. In that way it makes it easier to build a surface relationship at least with other people.

For the month of September, I joined Fellowship of Fantasy's #ABookTaughtMe game and found the prompts interesting, as well as what people posted throughout the month. I decided to share at least a couple with my readers here as well as some more details that I couldn't fit in a tweet. Darn the restrictive word count on Twitter!

One of the things I loved the most about this game is it allowed me to reminisce about some old favorites, and see people post other favorites and have something to connect over.

Day 1 - A Book Taught Me About Love.

The month kicked off with a REALLY hard one because so many books have love as a central theme, or just happen to have a really good romantic subplot. Then there's love of a non-romantic nature. Love between siblings, parent to child or vice versa, etc.

In the end this was an easy one as I just picked my all time favorite romance and one of the few "romance as a main plot" books that I've liked.

Lynn Kurland has 9 books currently in this world and they're set in storylines of 3, which each set taking place after the one preceeding in terms of time line.

It's the first trilogy about Morgan and Miach that I love. It's romance, not lust. It's an adventure. It's magic. It's mystery. Besides having a lovely world and back story, it's the chemistry between the characters and how the romance is handled that really makes me love this series.

My favorite thing about this day though was that someone put my book as their choice. :D It's always a great feeling to see someone mentioning my book or characters on social media.

Day 6 - A Book Taught Me About Nature

This one was a choice that just jumped out at me. As a kid I thought running away and surviving on the land would be an awesome adventure! To tell the truth it sometimes still does. :D My Side of the Mountain was like a wish-fulfillment story. Kid runs away, not because something terrible happened, but because he wanted to see if he could do it.

Not only was there all the lovely bits where Sam is being smart and figuring out how to survive, but there's this amazing sense of peace and tranquility from a story told from perspective of someone surrounded by nothing but nature.

Day 11 - A Book Taught Me About Heroism

I'm so excited to share this one because it's one of my favorite stories of all time.

I don't think I'll ever fall out of love with this story. Addie and Meryl are princesses. But while Meryl is brave and outgoing, Addie is shy and quiet. Addie's the typical princess who wants nothing more than to stay home with those closest to her and sew, hide from spiders, and one day meet her true love.

Meryl wants to go on adventures, fight dragons and ogres, and save the kingdom. She wants to find the cure for the deadly Grey Death that plagues the land. She's destined to become queen and wishes to be a hero. The only thing holding her back is Addie's desire for her to wait for adventure until Addie is married.

But this isn't Meryl's story, it's Addie's. Because when Meryl contracts the Grey Death, her days are numbered and now Addie must choose between staying safe and spending those last days by her sister's bedside, or go out in search for a cure. 

Addie may not be a hero, or brave, but she loves her sister. And so she sets out on what seems like the most hopeless mission, to save her sister. 

Armed with only a handful of magical objects, the occasional aid of a sorcerer-in-training, Addie's journey is fraught with dangers and she learns not only that there's a hero inside of her, but that she doesn't need to be Meryl to be brave. 

This is a story of surprises, with an ending you won't expect, and it's my definition of a hero: someone who does puts their life in danger to save others despite being terrified. 

Day 18 - A Book Taught Me About Growing Up

I hear a lot of people talk about how they identified with x book character growing up. And for the most part, I don't really have a personal understanding of that. I've never tried to identify as characters. I see all the ways we're different, rather than the ways we're the same.

It's a bit of a curiosity to me to try and see oneself in a character, but it seems to be common. It's also one of the reasons, I believe, that writers are encouraged to write diverse characters. And I mean diverse in every sense of the word. What they do, how they act, personality, looks, hopes, dreams, weaknesses, strengths, etc. Because the world is full of diverse people and readers want to find that person who's "like them" in some aspect.

Which is why this was a fun prompt for me.

Ha, yes, I'm the fantasy lover(with a strong leaning towards YA/NA) and I'm telling you the one character I remember thinking "She's like me" at any point in my life was Berta. A character from an adult inspirational fiction novel. 

This book meant a lot to me as a child. I was the weird kid that was reading books way above my reading level and I've now backtracked to mostly YA lol. So I probably first read this book when I was about six at a guess. 

I've read it over and over, though not in recent years as I no longer see myself in Berta.

Berta was the plain older sister who became intensely jealous when her beautiful baby sister was born. The two girls could've been such good friends, but Berta read into every situation and Glenna was more than beautiful. She was vivacious and happy and magnetic. Everyone loved her. Glenna was the soft-hearted one that wanted everyone to be happy, while Berta was more reserved and observant.

It came to a point where Berta decided she'd be whatever Glenna wasn't. Berta's battle with herself and the competition between her and Glenna progressed into her adult years, and I use to read about Berta as an adult thinking "That'll be me one day". And honestly, it could've been. 

Now I went down a different path and thank goodness, I didn't have to learn the same hard lessons Berta did. 

But I did understand her self-criticism and feeling like she didn't measure up the to the younger, more perfect siblings. Not because anyone ever said that to me, but because I decided they were better than me and therefore read into every situation as validation of that.

Being an adult, I now wonder if Glenna struggled with hidden things like my younger sister's do/did. 

This story taught me that it's okay to be the sparrow and that we have our own special gifts and are loved just the same.

Day 21 - A Book Taught Me About Fear 

I was sure I wouldn't have anything for this because, frankly, I don't like reading anything that'd fall into this category. But then I remembered one of my mom's favorite books.

If you've never read this book, you're missing out! Especially if you ever read to kids, this is a great one. It's one of those fun interactive books where Grover talks to the child and the person reading it gets to go crazy with the voices as Grover panics over the child turning the pages.

Day 27 - A Book Taught Me About the World

This is the only book I'm sharing here for the challenge that is a recent favorite. It's Across a Star-Swept Sea. It's actually a sequel, but stands alone and I slightly preferred it to the first book.

This is a recent(within the last 2 years) read. A YA steampunk novel that revolves around how the world is needing a change and how one young woman is doing her part to make it better. I think the above quote says enough about it. :D

And that wraps up some of my favorite choices for that challenge. I'm probably going to take the next month off, but I'll be looking for new games in November!

What Twitter games are your favorites?


  1. I had so much fun with #ABookTaughtMe! I'm looking forward to playing more games like that in the future... Been neglecting them the past couple of weeks, but did manage to keep up with that game through the end.

    I need to read The Two Princesses of Bamarre again sometime, because I remember disliking it as a kid for some reason. Maybe reading it again as an adult would change my perspective, especially since I usually love Levine's books.

    1. You should! It was my favorite for years. :) I love a lot of her books too, though mostly the older ones.

      I'm glad I had all my tweets ready to go since the month got pretty crazy and I probably would've fell behind too.

  2. Great post. Games are a great way to interact naturally with other people on Twitter. I went for #wipjoy this month and really enjoyed that.

    1. I started out trying to do #wipjoy too, but I think about halfway through I got so busy I gave up trying to keep up!

  3. Great list of books, Kristen :) I loved 'The Star of the Morning', the entire series in fact.
    The monster at the end of this book seems really interesting too. Have to search it out for my daughter...