Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books I Read in 2013

I didn't read quite as many books in 2013 as I wanted to, but I did put a decent dent in my reading list and I am hoping to make an even bigger one in the year to come. I've decided to share everything I've read this year with a simple star rating to let you know how much I enjoyed each read. Most everything is a part of a series and I'll make sure I give you the book numbers so you know.

The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison
  • 5. For a Few Demons More ****
  • 6.  The Outlaw Demon Wails ****

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Claire
  • 3. Clockwork Princess ****

Night World Series by LJ Smith
  • Night World, No1 (Books 1-3) ****
  • Night World, No2 (Books 4-6) ****
  • Night World, No3 (Books 7-9) ****

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  • 1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone *****
  • 2. Days of Blood and Starlight *****
  • 2.5. Night of Cake and Puppets *****

House of Night Series by PC & Kristin Cast
  • 10. Hidden ***

Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan
  • 7. The Calling ***
  • 8. Changeling ***

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • 1. Vampire Academy ****
  • 2. Frostbite ****
  • 3. Shadow Kiss ****
  • 4. Blood Promise ****
  • 5. Spirit Bound ****
  • 6. Last Sacrifice ****

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  • 1. Bloodlines ****
  • 2. The Golden Lily ****
  • 3. The Indigo Spell ****
  • 4. The Fiery Heart ****

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • 1. The Raven Boys *****
  • 2. The Dream Thieves *****

Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
  • 1. Shiver ****
  • 2. Linger ****
  • 3. Forever ****

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
  • 1. Divergent ***
  • 2. Insurgent ***
  • 3. Allegiant ***

The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo
  • 0.5. The Witch of Duva (fairytale) *****
  • 1. Shadow and Bone *****
  • 1.5. The Tailor (novella) ****
  • 2. Siege and Storm *****
  • 2.5. The Too-Clever Fox (fairytale) *****

Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee
  • 1. Angelfall *****
  • 2. World After *****

Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin
  • 1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ***/*

Greywalker Series by Kat Richardson
  • 2. Poltergeist ****

Stand Alone Books
Out of this list I 100% recommend: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone books, The Raven Cycle books, The Grisha books, Good Omens, and The Scorpio Races.

You can check out what I plan to read next year here. Now what about you guys -read anything good this year? I am always open to recommendations!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Look! Another 2013 in Review Post

In an ideal and organized world this post would be filled with links to my best posts from the past year, a positive outlook on what the last 12 months have been like and my high hopes for 2014. Unfortunately, that is not the world I am currently living in.

When it comes down to it, 2013 was a pretty crappy year for me and just about everyone I know. My anxiety has gotten worse, I haven't been able to find work, I fought with my best friend, my relationship has been up and down and everything in between, my brother's in lock up, my sister got pregnant and lost her baby, and my mom's gone through hell with her ex-boyfriend and had to move too many times. Jobs lost, hearts broken, crying, numbness, panic attacks, burning anger, and exhaustion. This has been my 2013.

I'm glad it's behind me. Usually I don't get too excited about the new beginnings of a new year. But I am desperately hoping that the Universe has something better in store for me and my loved ones for 2014. I'll be bringing in the new year in my new (old) home with my cat for company, probably watching cartoons on my laptop, hopefully with a bottle of wine. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

And normally this is not something I would share on my blog. I've always tried hard to keep this a positive space. But this year wasn't very positive and I'm too tired to lie about it. I can't even rustle up enough energy to add a picture to this post. Isn't that a blogger faux-pas? Eh, not a fuck to be given today.

So here's to the new year, hopefully it doesn't suck.


p.s. a post about my year in books will go up tomorrow -book wise life was better in 2013. I read a lot of good stuff.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy The-Day-After Christmas

I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday!

Things have been hectic around here, but my holiday was okay -as good as it could have been considering everything that has been going on. My mom bought me a new camera which was the highlight of my gifts and I am so excited to use it and snap some pictures for the blog. I also got tea, chocolate, makeup, gift cards, and a new Monster High doll (because my mom knows me that well.) And I have eaten more pie in the past two days than I eat all year. Granted, I don't really eat pie other than at Thanksgiving & Christmas, but still.

Embedded image permalink
Mug from my sister. It came with lemon tea as well!
And now that Christmas is over I am spending my time packing, cleaning, and going through my stuff to see what I can get rid of. Because I am indeed moving. Again. I am losing track of the amount of times I've moved in the past few years to be honest. I'm lucky that Eli adjusts to being in new settings really well, although he's a pain in the butt when I'm tying to pack. He really loves boxes. But I really love him, so it's okay.

How was everyone else's holiday? Any good plans for New Years?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blogging Confession

This space has been so quiet lately, and part of that is because I honestly don't know what to say. I don't know what I want from blogging anymore. I don't particularly think that I want to give it up, but I also know I can't return to the way I was doing things. Not because it was bad, but because it doesn't feel right anymore.

I love the blogging community -the people, the content, the dialogues that open between individuals all over the world. It's incredible. And I love weekly features, sponsor programs, giveaways, all of that. But I feel like I have been trying to fit myself into a blogging space that is just the wrong shape for me. I am not, by nature, an organized person. And despite how positive I try to make this space, I am not always a positive person. There's a lot of dark things in my life, I struggle with anxiety and depression, and sometimes I'm just angry. And I try not to let all that seep into my online life, but it's difficult sometimes.

And when it comes down to, although the upbeat and loving persona you all see on this blog is a part of me, it's only a small part. That's only who I am sometimes, and it's tiring to try to be that person for my readers every time I post. I feel like I'm lying, something that I really don't want to do.

So here's the truth of it. I love bohemian aesthetics, exploring spirituality, spreading love, and all of that. But I also love to be up to my ears in books, write about monsters and magic, get trashed and dance all night, marathon fantasy/supernatural tv shows, talk about literature and mythology, swear like a sailor, bake at two in the morning, and sometimes dress like I'm ready to kill a man.

I don't have a "brand" -something that for a long time I thought I needed to be a successful blogger. I have spent a lot of time trying to pin my brand down, never satisfied with what I came up with. But now I can honestly said that I don't want a brand. I can't fit my personality into a single aesthetic and I'm sick of trying.

I'm not sure where that leaves me in the blogging world, but I do know that I want to be more honest in my posts. We'll see where it takes me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Style Inspiration: Glam Punk

Lately I've been feeling the glam punk look as far as style goes. I move between so many different aesthetics on a regular basis, but the past week or so I have wanted nothing but sparkly dresses, heeled boots, plaid leggings, and leather jackets.

"street style" by sisaez on Polyvore

PUNK - Sarah Co Mode ton Look

cascading chain, inspiration for suit adornments

glam punks not dead by jessica prautzsch

sosungalittleclodofclay:fashinpirate:I’ve tried this on in red and black in both New York and London and every time I want to smother my entire naked body over it because it’s an obscenely perfect piece of craftsmanship and I am sexually attracted to the perfect wardrobe. It’s just… BONING??? KNITTED?? RIBBED??? THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING? SO many things that are happening.If I owned this I would just walk around in lingerie and this all the time only. Maybe also a PVC skirt. But mostly just be as naked as possible. God. One of my favorite (and also the most unexpected) of partnerships of recent past. I want it

That last jacket is soooo expensive, but goddamn it is beautiful. Also I am hoping I can figure out how to do something similar to that braid faux-mohawk with my hair now that's gotten longer. I'll probably make a mess of it but at least it will give me something to do.

Manda Rave

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hello December

So it's December -the last leg of 2013, can you believe that? This year has disappeared so quickly. I know everyone always say that about ever year, but this year really did seem to go by in a blink of an eye. And it's strange because it's already the third and we still don't have snow here. It's gotten cold, and we've had a few light flurries, but nothing that has even remotely stuck. Usually we've had at least one small storm by now. Not that I'm complaining, I'm not a huge fan of snow. I like it better in pixel form falling over my blog. Did you guys notice that? :)

I do, however, like the holiday season. I don't like it before Thanksgiving, but now that we're past November I an feel myself getting into the holiday spirit. I love all the light people put up and seeing Christmas trees in people's windows. And I love decorating the house. I started on that today, just putting up some glittery snowflakes that my college roommate gave to me awhile back, as well as stockings.

Technically, all three of those stockings are mine. Two of them were from college celebrations and bought or me by friends and the bottom one is from my mother -she has a tendency to get me a new one every year and then bring it to me. I used to have another one that had my name on it but I lost it in one of my moves last year. Anyways, I put up all three because I like them all and I figure I can give the extra one to Eli and stuff it with toy and catnip for him.

I know I used to make goal posts for each month, but I'm not sure I'm up for that right now. My only real goals for December is to continue writing my novel (I "won" Nanowrimo! 50k in 30 days!) and decorate some more.

Manda x

Friday, November 29, 2013

Name & URL Change

You may have noticed that there have been some name changes occurring here on my blog. I decided recently that I outgrew the name "Unlaced Heart" -it doesn't have quite the ring I want and I don't feel like it depicts who I am right now in my life. So, the new name is Strange Ink & Wine which I am thrilled with! I also re-did a few of the graphics, although the layout is pretty much exactly the same.

I have also changed my url to manda-rave.blogspot.com, so you should all update your bookmarks. I still own ladyraveunlaced.blogspot.com and it currently just has the link to my new url posted on it. I realize I might lose a few people because of this switch but I thought it was necessary.

What do you guys think?

Manda x

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I got a new laptop!

gratuitous picture of my face
Yep, this lady got a brand new laptop courtesy of the love and generosity of my wonderful boyfriend.  I am so excited! I have missed having a usable laptop to work on. Desktops are nice but I like to be able to write/blog/tumblr/watch hulu anywhere in the house I feel like it. Plus I can take it with me places (you know if I want places.)

I have been having lots of fun personalizing everything and getting used to using Windows 8 as I have been using 7 for quite some time. The apps threw me off at first but now I really kind of dig it, mostly for the 8tracks and mahjong apps that I installed, haha.

On top of playing around with my new computer I am trying to get my writing done as we are in the final week of Nanowrimo -only a few more days! Currently (as in right now while I'm typing this and before I go back to work on it) I am at 41.6k words out of the necessary 50k. So close! Although even when I hit 50k I won't be anywhere close to finished with the novel. Right now I'm probably half-ish the way through, maybe less. I tend to write my novels kind of long and slim it down in the editing process.

Aaaand Thanksgiving is this week for me and my American readers. I am going to be eating with my grandfather and some of my family, which I haven't really done in a few years. I'm not super close to a lot of my family but I love my grandfather and am happy to get to spend some time with him.

Welp, this has been a random update about my life. Hope everyone is having a good week!

Manda Rave

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sweater Weather

So I wanted to update but I couldn't think what to talk about because literally all I've been doing is writing my novel and reading and marathoning random tv shows -so I decided to answer the Sweater Weather questions!

Webcams are fun, aren't they? Haha


1. Favourite candle scent?
 Right now I'm really enjoying a raspberry sangria scented candle.

2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Toss up between coffee and tea. I'm a coffee in the morning person always and then I usually drink tea the rest of the day.

3. What's the best fall memory you have? Honestly, I have no idea. Probably something centering around Halloween.

4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Dark lips, definitely. Give me a nice dark shade of plum purple or a deep red and I am a happy camper.

5. Best fragrance for fall?

 Anything musky or spicy. I currently have a roll on perfume oil that fits both of those things and I love it.

6. Favourite Thanksgiving food?
 Pumpkin pie. So tasty!

7. What is Autumn weather like where you live?

 I live in Massachusetts so lots of changing leaves, chilly winds, crisp air, and temperatures that go anywhere from 25 to 65. Because New England.

8. Most worn sweater?

I have this oversized black cable knit sweater that I wear a lot, mostly because it's super comfy and it matches just about everything (because I wear a lot of black) -I thrifted it for a few dollars last year.

9. Must-have nail polish this fall?

 Black. Most of my warm clothes are black or grey and I tend to get pretty monochromatic as the temperatures go down. My nails usually stay black or charcoal or dark red.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

 Jumping in leaf piles. I don't care for sports.

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?

 Leggings, if only because they're comfier for lounging around the house in as well as going out.

12. Combat boots or Uggs?
 Combat boots, always combat boots. I think Uggs are, well, ugly.

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
 Yes absolutely 100% it is :D

14. Favourite fall TV show?
 Right now I am really into Sleepy Hollow as well as The Originals.

15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
Anything by Fiona Apple, Metric, Mumford & Sons, or Tori Amos.

Welp, there you have it, my autumn season.

How is everyone doing? Well, I hope. I've been okay, just lost in alternate fictional realities, which is fine by me. I'm at my best while engrossed in a book, either one I'm reading or writing.

Manda Rave

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Lean & Hungry Look

I've been listening to this song a lot lately. I absolutely love it and it fits with the music I've been listening to for Nanowrimo. Just thought I'd share.

Manda Rave

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Am Grateful 11/11/13

Be Grateful Stitched Artwork
Purchase this here
It's been awhile since I've made one of these posts and I feel kind of bad about that because I fully believe that we should take the time to reflect on what we have and be grateful for it. So, here are some of the things I'm grateful for right now...
  •  Books. I have been reading so much and I am beyond grateful for all the books I have at my disposal.
  • Nanowrimo -it gives me an extra boost of motivation to get my writing done and I really appreciate that. I love to write, but having a deadline is a nice little push to get my butt into gear.
  • Patience. Specifically my boyfriend's patience with me as I muddle through my emotions on a daily basis.
  • Hot beverages. They warm my hands and my insides and make me feel a little bit better at the decreasing temperature outside.
What are you guys grateful for lately? I'd love to know.

Manda Rave

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Writing away...

I am actually managing to keep up pretty well with Nanowrimo. I thought for sure I'd fall behind, and although I did briefly I caught up quickly and have been staying on track since. The month is still young of course, but I'm choosing to stay positive about it. The scenes are getting easier to write as I get further away from the beginning which is nice. The first few chapters will be a nightmare to edit later but that is a problem for my future self.

If you are interested in my Nanowrimo writing venture...

cover designed for the nanowrimo site

Maitland wasn’t the kind of girl who got doe-eyed over boys with nice hair and charming smiles. Maybe it was because she had never properly socialized with anyone her own age growing up, but she could never make sense of being infatuated with someone based on their looks. It wasn’t that she was closed to the idea of love –her parents had nursed her with a healthy idea of the concept. She believed in love and that it could be a very powerful force between two people. She didn’t believe that love spawned between two people just because one of them had cute dimples. Looks had never meant much to her. 
It was because of this, and partly because of his own insufferableness, that she found Nikandros’ steely blue eyes and devil-may-care smile so unnerving. And annoying. Who even had eyes that colour anyways?
Hope everyone is having a good weekend so far! I am spending mine writing and catching up on my reading -my usual activities.

Manda Rave

p.s. Oh yeah! I saw Thor: The Dark World last night and loooved it. The Thor movies are my favourite of the Marvel films. The second was just as good as the first, plus is was so funny. I am always much more into movies if they can make me laugh, and this one definitely delivered on that front.

Monday, November 4, 2013


It's November, which means it's Nanowrimo time -National Novel Writing Month. I know a few of my readers are also participating this year, so good luck to you my dears! I am already a bit behind as I didn't write at all on Sunday because I had a hangover and didn't want to do anything except for watch Netflix and eat. Which is exactly what I did.

The night before said hangover -went to a party as Zoe Benson.
The novel I am working on is unique because of the way the ideas for it have come to me. Usually I get characters first and a general plot idea which I can then write a good first few chapters for. Then as I continue to write more characters develop, as does the story line and everyone's background. For this I got the setting first and ideas for minor characters. My main character and plot were some of the last things to come to me. And because everything came to me so backwards, I am also having a hard time with the beginning. Right now the scenes are kind of a mess and there isn't enough dialogue. Although this is in the beginning and it's not too bad...
Maitland grew up knowing two things for sure. One, she was a perfectly ordinary human girl. Two, her parents were perfectly ordinary human parents. It wasn’t until after her mother and father got sick and died when she started accidentally raising small rodents from the dead. It was then that she realized she might not actually know anything at all.
Right now I am just powering through it, writing what comes to me even though I'm not particularly satisfied with it. The first few chapters are going to need a lot of work. But editing comes later, and in the mean time I am just going to keep going until I get to the stuff I actually want to be writing -witty banter, accidental zombie raising, monster hunting, that kind of stuff.

I know I have been on-and-off with this blog lately. That will probably continue to be the case throughout November as I am focusing most of my attention on writing this novel, catching up on my reading, and dealing with my personal life. his space is very important to me, but I can't afford to put it first right now.

As always, thank you so much to my loyal readers, you guys are great and never fail to put a smile on my face.

Manda Rave

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Tea Time

Because of my "hiatus" or "break" from the blogging world I have not done a tea time post in forever, but I thought I would throw one together in honour of my favourite holiday, HALLOWEEN. (Also, yes I know it's Thursday not Tuesday, shhhh...)

So here we go!

Tumblr Finds
this cat is so cute!

Hocus Pocus 20th anniversary
illustration: Miles Teves 
And this is just awesome! I love Hocus Pocus!

"I decided to get a little creative this year. I present Edgar Allan Ho"
This guy is dressed as "Edgar Allan Ho" and I cannot stop laughing, omfg.

Window Shopping
These skull sugar cubes are so awesome.
Witching Hour Miniature Coffin Shadow Box
I love this coffin shadow box.
Beetlejuice Handbook for the Recently Deceased Book / movie prop / Zombie, Day of the Dead, Undead, Halloween, Geek, Horror, Fun, Tim Burton
I would love to have this, even if it's just a prop book.

Reading List
1. Angie made a frightening list of things you Never Want to See.
2. Kristin made a post about Gothic Novels that my English major heart loved reading.
3. This Halloween Quiz cracks me up.
4. Last year I made a brief post about Samhain that you can read here if you're interested.

But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner. -Evan Peters

Happy Halloween lovelies!

Manda Rave

Monday, October 28, 2013


Today I broke 50,000 pageviews for this blog. I repeat, WHOA.

That is so incredible, I am so grateful for everyone who takes the time to stop in here and share this piece of the internet with me. I love you all xoxo

Manda Rave

P.S. Do you guys like Merlin? I love that show, I wish it wasn't over.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Hello lovelies, how is everyone doing? The blogosphere has been a relatively quiet place lately so I thought I would drop in and liven it up a little bit. So here's my life currently.

Watching: I have been watching a lot. TV shows have been starting back up and this season I am watching The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time, and American Horror Story. I also saw the first episode of Reign and enjoyed it so that might be added to the list as well.

Reading: I have been reading soooo much. I read the entire Vampire Academy series and all that is currently out for the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. I've read The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and I just finished Night World vol 2 by LJ Smith. I am thinking about picking up the Divergent trilogy next.

Listening to: I have been switching between my Lorde, Imagine Dragons & Panic! at the Disco, and Feveray Pandora stations.

Wearing: Lots of leggings and t-shirts with fuzzy socks to keep my feet warm. And I have been making it a point to do my makeup on a semi-regular basis again which just makes me feel better about life in general. It's amazing what some eyeshadow and lipgloss can do for my mood.

Eating & Drinking: Lots of coffee and tea as far as beverages go. Eating has mostly been stuff like toast and tomato soup. I'm settling into fall eating habits. I want breads and soups ad everything pumpkin.

Thinking About: My novel for Nanowrimo as well as a lot of personal stuff. My world is shifting again. I try to get all my thoughts out on paper to help keep them sorted. I've been emotional lately. I went from feeling anxious and sad to feeling angry and ready to rip people's eyes out. It's been interesting to say the least.

Doing: Job hunting. I have put out tons of applications the past few weeks. I've heard back from a few companies about writing positions and have been writing sample articles and the like. I've also spent a large amount of my free time dancing around my apartment to loud pop music. Like I said, lipgloss does wonders, haha.

What are you up to currently? Does anyone have any book recommendations? I'm always looking for more. I'm particularly interested in anything fantasy, especially if it's YA lit.

Manda Rave

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Sale in the Shop

Yep, I'm having a sale in the shop for Halloween that is going on from now until October 31st. You can get 40% off your order with the code GRAVEYARD at checkout!

Manda Rave

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Some Halloween Humour

So this blog on tumblr makes these ridiculous skeleton Halloween comics and I love them so much and wanted to share my favourites with you guys.

haha h oh wow
hah ah ah hahhahaha
yes it’s booberry pie ok dont ask me

I love bad puns you guys, seriously, these are the best ever.

Manda Rave

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I was bored so I took webcam photos and played with them in photoshop and then I made a gif of myself. Because why not?

Is it Halloween yet? I wish it could be October all year round. This is my favourite month, hands down. Leaves changing and falling, weather just cool enough for boots and a sweater but not cold enough for heavy jackets, and everything pumpkin and Halloween. I am a summer child, definitely, but there is something so magical about autumn that I cannot resist.

Still not sure exactly what I am doing for Halloween though. I will of course have some sort of personal ritual, but I'm not sure about party plans or anything like that. I haven't even really decided on a costume yet. Luckily I'm the type of person with a weird enough wardrobe that I almost never need to buy things to dress up.

Also, the new NBC Dracula show starts up in about a week. Anyone else going to watch it? I'm super excited. Victorian era vampires is pretty much everything I need in life. I don't care how much "hype" vamps get, I am a dedicated fang-fangirl for life. Whoo, alliteration, haha.

Also, I have this song stuck in my head because it's awesome, don't judge me for listenignt o Victorious music, okay?

This has been a pretty random post. Tell me what you're up to!

Manda Rave

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I am not ready to come back to blogging full-force. Honestly, I think my blog is going to be a bit different when I do anyways. But that's to think about later. For now I figure I'll just post some updates every now and then. Not worrying about posting all the time is nice but I miss feeling connected to my lovely blogging friends -you know who you are. I am at a place in my life where I really need my friendships, even my internet ones. They're important to me.

So anyways, things are okay on my end. A bit emotional. I am working my ass off trying to find a job. It's hard, I am not in an area with a lot of opportunity. But I am filling out applications and looking everyday. I heard back from an arts & culture magazine today about writing for them which is exciting. It doesn't pay a lot, but it sounds interesting and would look great on my resume. Hopefully I'll be writing a few preliminary pieces for them to see how they go over and if they like my work then I'll have a job. Fingers crossed!

I've also been working a lot on planning my novel for Nanowrimo. I really wanted to do a whole fiction writing series here on the blog but I just can't bring myself to put the work in right now. I have so many other things on my mind. I will probably post a lot about my own nano-progress though and hopefully I can get to the fiction writing series again in the future.

In the mean time I am researching fun stuff like necromancy, voodoo, american geography, motorcycles, and weaponry. Because that's the kind of stuff that goes into the books I like to write.

Speaking of books, has anyone else read The Raven Boys (and The Dream Thieves) by Maggie Stiefvater -they are sooo good. They're the first two in The Raven Cycle series and I highly recommend them. And how can you say no with writing like this?

“How do you feel about helicopters?"
There was a long pause. "How do you mean? Ethically?"
"As a mode of transportation."
"Faster than camels, but less sustainable.” 

I love witty characters. It's my weakness. I would follow well-written witty characters to hell and back. If, you know, that was even possible. 

And with that rambling I am off to clean up my house a bit, possibly paint my nails, and fill out some more applications.

Manda Rave

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just a quick check in

My hiatus is not technically over, I just thought I'd stop by this space and check in with everyone. I am still dealing with a lot, trying to figure some things out, and get myself sorted. Thank you to everyone for all your kind words and support, it means the world to me. I miss this space and I can't wait to come back for real.

I have been spending my down time reading a lot and watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Hulu. I got the chance to hang out with a friend of mine for awhile the other day which was nice.

Anyways, here's a couple random pictures of my life currently...

Just some clothes I've been wearing and Eli's mug. I know, none of these are on instagram. Every time I try to upload a picture the app times out on me, it's getting really annoying. I keep trying but I haven't had any luck.

What's going on with you guys?

Manda Rave

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Hey everyone. this blog will be going on a hiatus for awhile due some personal stuff. I will still probably be checking other blogs and leaving comments, but this space will be quiet for awhile.

I just wanted to let everyone know. I'm not abandoning my space here or anything.

Thanks for being understanding. I love you all x

Manda Rave

Friday, September 20, 2013


Watching: Me and my boyfriend got ourselves caught up on the last season of New Girl. I know, the new one just started. I can't wait to watch it! We've also been watching Modern Family, which is pretty entertaining.

Reading: I have been reading sooo much lately. Things of note include Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor as well as the second one, Days of Blood and Starlight. I have also been reading the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead and have been enjoying them more than I thought I would.

Listening To: Welcome to Night Vale! I got myself all caught up though so now I am just waiting impatiently for the next show to come out. If you've never heard of Welcome to Night Vale, it's a podcast put out twice a month. "Twice-monthly community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide. Welcome to Night Vale."

Wearing: Jeans and t-shirts or leggings and t-shirts, usually with a hoodie or my large black knitted sweater over it, paired with either sneakers of my 8-hole doc martens. This is my favourite season of the year and I love being able to wear pants and knits again. I'll miss summer, but I plan to enjoy the autumn as much as possible.

Eating & Drinking: Toast with sliced tomatoes, peanut butter banana smoothies, sliced eggplant cooked in olive oil and spices, and lots of coffee and tea.

Thinking About: Time and the changing of the seasons. I can't believe it's already September. 2013 has flown by. I feel like my year hasn't been that great and I would like to change that in these last few months.

Inspired By: Books. I have been reading so much lately that I have been super inspired to write.

Doing: Again, reading. Also writing (personal, blog stuff, and some fiction stuff), poking around polvore, and taking long deep breaths of fresh autumn air.

Manda Rave

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shop Update!

Just a few new necklaces that have been recently added to the shop lately.

ellai. a wire-wrapped blue titanium quartz pendant on silver chain.

ellai. a wire-wrapped blue titanium quartz pendant on silver chain.

edrys. a wire-wrapped gold titanium quartz pendant on silver chain.

edrys. a wire-wrapped gold titanium quartz pendant on silver chain.

taylan. a scissor and star charm necklace.

taylan. a scissor and star charm necklace.

Manda Rave

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fiction Writing: Begin at the Beginning

So you want to write a novel? Okay. Let's begin.

When it comes to fiction writing, the beginning can be anywhere really. It can be the first sentence, the last chapter, a fight scene in the middle, or a random piece of dialogue to be said by a character whose name you haven't even decided on yet. There are no rules on how to start writing a story. Well, I mean, people make "rules" all the time for themselves, but it's nothing enforced upon the whole of the writer population. That would be silly.

A lot of people start to write because they are seized by an idea -whether for a plot, a setting, a person, or a just a genre in general. It's different for everyone. Usually when I get inspired to write something new it's because a character walks into my head and then makes themselves comfortable. Typically my story goes from there as I weave their world and put them into a series of situations. In my latest endeavour though (the one I will be working on during Nanowrimo) the setting came first. That's never happened to me before so it was exciting to explore. The characters didn't come until I had fleshed out the workings of the world and even then my main character only came out of the woodwork a month or so ago. Keep in mind, I've had all this in my head for almost a year now.

Once you're overtaken with an idea, it's a good idea to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start brainstorming. Things you want to address pretty immediately are characters, setting, and story line. These are the backbone of your novel and should be given a lot of attention. Coming up with a rough outline of what you want to write can be helpful in this beginning stage, but it depends really. Sometimes when I write I don't have an outline at all and I just let the story go as it wants. Other times I meticulously plan out all the major events and jot down all the minor in between stuff with notes on how the characters should be feeling along with potential dialogue. Do whatever feels right.

When it actually comes time to sit down and start letting the words pour out of you, though, you want to make sure you're prepared. You should research your setting thoroughly and have a good handle on who your characters are and how they act. You will also need to decide on are a point of view to write from.

Points of View
  • First Person: Writing as the main character of the story -"I, me, mine, my." Some people find this difficult but personally it's my favourite POV to use. It's a great way to really get into your main character's head and experience the story through them.
  • Second Person: This POV is weird and not very popular mostly because it's kind of awkward to write and read. It uses "you" and "your" as if the narrator is saying that the story is happening to you as the reader. "You look into the cave to find it dark, but you go in anyways. Your heart is beating loudly in your chest."
  • Third Person Limited: Written as an outsider looking in, allowing the reader to only know what's going on inside the head of one character. Harry Potter is written in third person limited.
  • Third Person Omniscient: Also written as an outsider looking in, but allowing the reader to get into the heads of multiple characters.
Piece of advice: try to make sure you choose the right POV from the beginning. Deciding you want to change it and then going back and editing everything you've written is such a pain in the ass.

Coming up next in my fiction writing post series: Talking to the Voices in Your Head (Character Development)

Manda Rave

Some Stuff to Look at in the Meantime:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time

I suppose before we get too into this, I should probably say something about my sudden blog design change. Surprise! I know this is the third time I've re-done it this year, but I can be s indecisive. And while I enjoyed the colours in my last one, I really wanted something in mostly black and white. What do you guys think?

Tea of the Week: Regular Black Tea. Nothing fancy this week.

Tumblr Finds

Memory by Giulio Musardo on Flickr.
This is incredibly beautiful.

This pug is the cutest. I love pugs..

Have you listened to Welcome to Night Vale? This is what it feels like. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
It's a podcast, by the way.



Silly Question, Indeed.

Some of the best humans in the world are middle school teachers and staff.
Love this. The silliest question indeed!

Window Shopping
Phases of the Moon Stud Earring Collection
Loving these stud earrings.

Need this card to hand out to people I snap at while hungry, haha.

I want this dress from Free People sooo badly.

Reading List

Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. —Franz Kafka

Manda Rave

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Style Inspiration

Looks I'm currently into. All via Pinterest.

Guest Post: Hearts Like Ours

Fall Styling Inspiration: Jackets

How awesome is that hairstyle? I don't think I could ever manage it on my own unfortunately. I can't wait for the weather cool down again (it's been hoooot here the past few days) so I can wear knee-high socks and sweaters, and leave my hair down.

Manda Rave
09 10