Weekly Update: I won my first wrestling match, wrote a sonnet, and arted.

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Hi guys! We have officially made it into February!

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, it has been quite the week (and a half) for me! Before I get into that, I’ll give you a quick update on my reading progress.

What I’ve Read/ What I’m reading:

Okay, so some sad news… I haven’t actually finished any books since my last update. Between school work and yearbook work (and Netflix/Hulu), I haven’t had that much time to sit down with a book.

However, here is what I’m in the middle of:

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: This book is taking me forever to get through. I think it’s mostly because of how traumatic the ending was for me the first time around, so I’ve kind of been putting it off. That being said, I do what to try to finish it this week and move on to Tower of Dawn.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about this book so I decided to start it. I’m about 10% in right now and it’s pretty interesting so far, so I’m excited to see what happens next!

Run by Kody Keplinger: I haven’t read any of this since the last time I checked in, so I think I might just take it off my “currently reading” list and try to pick it back up later.

I did also post my review for By Your Side by Kasie West (I ended up giving it 2 stars). You can read that here.


I mentioned briefly last week that I joined my school’s wrestling team this year. It’s been amazing so far (although sadly the season is going to be coming to an end soon), and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life.

Last weekend on Sunday I had the chance to go to a women’s wrestling tournament at another boarding school. In the morning there was a clinic with Leigh Jaynes, who is a bronze medalist at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships(!!!). She taught us some of her favorite take-down techniques before the tournament started.

There were about 50 girls that showed up for the tournament (which was an amazing turnout)(, and we were split up into weight classes. There were two other girls in my weight class. One of them was about 5 pounds lighter than me, and was also a first year wrestler, so we were a pretty good match up. The other girl had a good 20-30 pounds on me and had been wrestling for 6 years, so as you can imagine, that match up was not ideal (for me).

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I almost escaped from her, but she was hanging on my leg and I couldn’t get it free.

I wrestled with the more experienced girl first. I was so nervous! I ended up trying to take her down too fast and didn’t do the move quite right (but remember, this was only my second match ever…). After that I didn’t really stand much of a chance. She crushed the air out of me and I literally couldn’t breathe.

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Incase you can’t tell, in this picture my head is stuffed under my body in an attempt to roll me over.

For a second there I was like “This is it. This is how I die.” She pinned me in just under 1 minute and 30 seconds. But I’m pretty proud of the fight I put up, and my coach was really proud of me too.

My second match went a lot better (for me). I actually worked with that girl during the clinic with Leigh Jaynes, so

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I took this match a lot slower and focused on getting in a good position before trying to take her down.

we were really excited for the chance to wrestle each other. I took this match a lot slower and really focused on my form before I

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I got her in a headlock which led to a pin!

tried to take her down. That strategy (along with both of us being relatively inexperienced) served me well, and I was able to take her down and get the pin! That was my third ever match, and my first win!

It was such an amazing feeling walking off the mat! I couldn’t stop smiling!

After all of the wrestling was done, we had an awards ceremony, where the girls in each of the weight classes were awarded medals. Because I won one of my matches and there were only three of us in my weight class, I walked out with the silver medal!

The day was rounded off with some yummy pizza with Coach, his daughter, and my teammate, and lots of singing along to the radio on the ride back to school.

I wrote a Sonnet!

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a professional poet!

In AP English, my class had a poem project. We got to make our own quills (feather pens?) by carving the tip of a feather with a knife. It took me a few tries to get the tip quite right, and even then it kept bleeding a little bit on the page.

Then, we had to write a sonnet.

A sonnet is 14 lines long, and follows a specific rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG (There are actually a few different rhyme schemes you can use, but this is the one that my class did) . Each of the lines also has to be 10 syllables long.

To make this project even harder, we had to come up with our own topic. It took me a while, but I decided to go with “College”. Then came the struggle of actually writing the thing. Here is what I came up with:



Everybody wants to go to college
The only way to get ahead in life
Study hard and do your best and pledge
To not end up as a stay-at-home wife.
Sending in applications is a chore
An honest test of character and time
Don’t resent as a show off or a bore
Don’t be too loud or quiet as a mime.
Just be yourself, not like that, be better
Your greatest accomplishments are mundane
You’ve done nothing to deserve a letter
I guess your life has just been far too plain.
Just as you begin to give up hope
News arrives that makes you not want to mope.


I arted!

I’m not a particularly artsy person.

Don’t get me wrong, I like doing art occasionally… I’m just not really great at it (which I have accepted and am perfectly okay with).

But one day my friend asked me to come keep her company in the art room and paint, so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.

I went for something abstract (because then if I messed it up I could say it was intentional). Here is my art!


Pretty snazzy, right? *flips hair artistically*

Talk to me!

What have you been reading lately? Have you done anything exciting or interesting? Is there anything you are looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!


Weekly Update: I got the flu and almost died… and those two things are only mostly related

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Hey guys!

So as you can probably tell from the title of this post, my week has been one of cough syrup and trying not to die. But before I get into that, let me tell you about all the reading I’ve managed to do!

Books I’ve read in the last week!

Seeing as I was sick, I spent a lot of time in Heath Services (the nurses office) instead of going to classes. Which meant a lot of time to read. So between sleeping and trying not to feel like I was burning alive, I read. A lot.

By Your Side by Kasie West: This was the only book I read this week that wasn’t a re-read. I honestly didn’t like it that much (I rated it 3 stars on Goodreads), and hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and write a review of it soon!

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger: I loved this book just as much as I did the first time! I love Keplinger’s writing! (review here)Ruby Red (trilogy) by Kerstin Gier: I remembered loving these books, but reading them again made me love them so much more! This series is really a masterpiece! If you are looking for something to read, please please please consider these books!! (reviews: Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green) Currently Reading!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: I am slowly making my way through this beast of a book, and (like my other re-reads) loving it!! I can’t wait to finish this one and finally write a review for it! Then finally read Tower of Dawn!!

Run by Kody Keplinger: I’m only a few pages into this one, and I think I may just start it from the beginning. I haven’t really had time to get into this one, but I’m hoping that I love it just as much as Keplinger’s other books!

How I almost died:

Alrighty. So here’s how it happened:

I started feeling sick on Wednesday. As in chills, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness… the works. I went to the nurse at the end of the day and she told me to lie down and take it easy. But Wednesday is game day and I wanted to at least go to the wrestling match and support my team. So she let me go on the condition that I didn’t wrestle.

When I got back, I was feeling pretty rough. I did my homework and went to bed and I had to take like 30 cough drops to make my throat feel okay enough to let me fall asleep.The fire alarm went off at 12:30 in the morning.And guess who didn’t wake up?


I slept through 10 minutes of the fire alarm.

Then woke up to my phone ringing ON VIBRATE. Because apparently my brain thinks my vibrating phone is more important than the fire alarm.

Turns out, it was one of the dorm parents calling me to see where I was, and the conversation went something like this:

Dorm Parent: Emma, you need to get out of the dorm.

Me (still super groggy and hasn’t realized that alarm is going off): Why?

DP: The fire alarm is going off.

Me (still not registering that the beeping is, in fact, the fire alarm): No it’s not.

DP: Emma! Get out of the building!

Me (finally hearing the alarm): Ahh! Coming!

So I slid out of bed and pulled on my boots and wrapped myself in a blanket. Then, right as I was opening my door, a security officer was coming in to get me. He kind of looked at me like “how do you not wake up to a blaring alarm?” (good question dude) and then I walked downstairs. There were firemen on the first floor and it smelled like smoke. One of the firemen looked at me and went:

What are you doing?

And then I just kind of went:

I didn’t wake up.

And hurried out of the dorm feeling stupid and sick and tired and trying not to cry. So basically, if there had been a real fire instead of one of the washing machines starting to smoke (actually it might have caught fire… I’m not super clear on what actually happened), I probably would be dead. In my defense though, the fire alarm in the dorm sounds like a super loud microwave beeping and not like an actual fire alarm. So it’s not my fault that my sick brain didn’t think it was worth waking up for. Right? What else has been going on with me?

Besides missing two days of school and pretty much sleeping all weekend, I haven’t been up to much.

But I do have one bit of good news….

I GOT INTO MY FIRST COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Honestly the weight off my shoulders with that one letter was something that I don’t even know how to begin to describe. I was just such an amazing feeling.

Talk to me!

What have you been reading? Have you ever almost-died? Are you too a victim of flu season? Do you have any good news to share? Let me know in the comments below!!

Thanks for reading!

Since I’ve Been Gone

Hey guys!


It’s been almost two months since I’ve had time to sit down and write a post. That’s way to long!!

Sadly I’m still super busy with school (and life in general), but I thought I’d check in and let you guys know what’s going on in my life… and what books I’ve had a chance to read in these past few months.

What’s been going on with me…

For those of you who don’t know, I am a senior in (a boarding) high school this year. That means A Lot of Stress™ and The College Process™


Yay me.

Okay, in all honestly it’s not that bad. I’m getting really good grades, and I applied ED (early decision) to my top choice college. Now all I have to do is wait (which honestly is worse than anything else).

My school has trimesters, and the first trimester is ending tomorrow. I have my last final exam tomorrow morning (calculus… aaaahhhh), and then I have 10 days off for Thanksgiving break.

This fall I decided to play JV volleyball, and it was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I never played VB before, but it was so fun, and I’m so sad that it is over.

For the winter trimester I decided to try wresting. I had a couple practices this week and I am so sore that I can barely walk. But it is fun, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season.

What I’ve been able to read…

Room by Emma Donoghue– What an emotional read! I watched the movie first, so I got all my crying (and there was considerable crying) out of the way, but the book still blew me away. I gave it four out of five hearts.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows– I was so excited to read this one because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it. Sadly, this was way over-hyped for me, and I ended up quitting at about 20%. This book just wasn’t for me.

180 Seconds by Jessica Park– Dammnnnnnnn. I didn’t really know what to expect from this one, but it definitely surprised me. There were some clichés that took away from the story IMO, but for the most part I really loved it. I gave this one four out of five hearts as well.

In 27 Days by Alison Gervais– This book was another one that was really good, but was very predictable. But it definitely was a great break to distract me from all of the school work. I also gave this one four out of five hearts.

Books I’m in the middle of now…

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab– I started this one on audiobook a while back. I really like it so far, and I think I’ll end up finishing it at some point… but I don’t know when that will be.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee– I just started this a couple days ago, and it is really good so far. I hope to tackle this huge book over Thanksgiving break!

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen– I started this book a few weeks before school started and honestly my motivation to read this book is pretty much non-existent at this point. The writing style is a little strange, and I think that’s what’s been throwing me off so much about this book so far. If I don’t pick it up again soon it’s probably going to be a DNF.

Looking forward…

Over Thanksgiving break I am going to stay with my best friend. I’m really excited to see her again! However, I have a lot of work to do over the break…

I hope to write reviews for the books I’ve read and do the tags that I have been tagged in.

I’m going to design some pages for the yearbook (I am an editor in chief this year!).

Do the homework I was assigned over the break (because apparently AP classes are allowed to do that).

Get some much needed sleep.

Eat some good food.

And then school starts up again on November 28th… which also happens to be my 18th birthday. So happy birthday to me…. 🙂

How have all of you been? What blog posts have I missed? What have you been reading? What has been going on in your lives? Let me know in the comments below!

Author Q&A- Kendare Blake

Today I had the honor of interviewing one of my favorite authors; Kendare Blake! When she agreed to let me interview her, I screamed with excitement. My brothers thought I was crazy (just kidding, they love Kendare too). She is the author of several amazing books, including Anna Dressed in blood, which I must have read at least ten times. But in all honestly, everything she writes is amazing.


Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?

A: I’ve been writing with the hope of publication since I was about…twelve. I loved books so much, and really wanted to tell stories. The first book I wrote was about wild horses. Of course it was crap. I wrote several more crappy books after that before I found a good one.


Q: What inspires you to write? Do you have a muse?

A: Different things inspire me with every story. I never know where inspiration is going to come from. There are things I’m intensely interested in that never spark-off anything original. And there are things that I only notice in passing that end up spinning into the next thing I work on.


Q: What was the first novel you wrote? What inspired it?

A: I already talked a little about those wild horses, so I’ll talk instead about the first novel that was published: Sleepwalk Society. It’s a coming-of-age college story about three best friends and how they and their relationship changes after high school. Since I wrote it when I was going through a similar time, I imagine that’s what inspired it. Lots of confusion about the future and the desire to work it out on paper.


Q: If you could give advice to yourself before you became a published author, what would it be?

A: Don’t be hasty. When you’re trying to “break in” everything feels like a race. Like someone will beat you and take your place but that’s not true. Do good, thoughtful work, and do not waste time on anything you do not want to be writing.


Q: What is your favorite book? Why?

A: Can’t possibly answer this. Too many favorites. My favorite coming out soon is April Genevieve Tucholke’s WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT. Favorite recent horror is Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. Favorite classic…. today I’ll say Jane Eyre. I just read The Sad and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton and that was great. Read I’m most looking forward to: The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera.


Q: If you could spend one day inside one of your books, which one would it be?

A: None of them! They’re fairly brutal places, and I’d probably get insta-killed. Plus, I spend so much time in them already, on the page and in my head, I feel like I practically live there.


Q: You have written books in several genres, including horror, contemporary, and mythology. Which is your favorite to write? Which is the hardest?

A: Still can’t pick a favorite. I love them all. The only genres I don’t think I’ll ever write are hard sci-fi (too lazy for the research) and mystery (not tricksy enough). So far, my fantasy book has been the hardest, but I probably only think that because I’m working on it right now. Everything seems easy in hindsight.


Q: What are some of your favorite things outside of writing?

A: Animals. Food. I like going to museums and learning new things, learning about wine and beer at tastings, learning about cheese in cheese flight tasting, hiking, playing bad tennis, seeing films and of course reading, reading, reading.


Q: What bad habits do you have that you want to get rid of?

A: None, actually. I like my bad habits. I embrace my bad habits.


Q: What is one thing you want the world to know about you?

A: Not anything in particular. Just what they can learn by reading my fiction. The work is what matters.

You can find Kendare Blake online: