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The Love Hypothesis: A Book Review

Title: The Love Hypothesis

Author: Ali Hazelwood

Publisher: Jove/Berkely

Copyright: 2021

I’ll be the first to admit that The Love Hypothesis is not a book I would’ve gravitated toward on the shelf. Romance isn’t my cup of tea, but the marketing ploy for this book’s release was on-point and blasted all over social media. After viewing so many reviews and posts, I decided to give The Love Hypothesis a shot. And while this wasn’t my FAVORITE book of all time, it did help revive the Romance genre in my collection.

Olive was a lonely Ph.D student who spent most of her time in the lab or with her best friend, Anh. When Anh admits that she has caught feelings for Olive’s ex, Anh fears that going for Jeremy will be an act of betrayal toward her friend and ultimately decides to just let him go. Olive couldn’t care less, she was too busy with trying to invent a test for early detection of prostate cancer to bother with love interests. One late night she resolves to prove to Anh that she has moved on by grabbing the nearest guy and laying a big, wet kiss on his lips.

Only…this wasn’t just any guy. This was Doctor Adam Carlsen.

Carlsen was a god in the Biology world and the most feared advisor in Olive’s program. Once she realized who she was kissing she was embarassed and apologized profusely. But Adam was not as upset as she’d expected–in fact he was devising a plan to play this off in both of their favors.

Over the next several weeks, Olive and Adam began to con their friends and colleagues into thinking that they were dating. They met publicly for coffee dates to be seen by all the right people. In doing so, they got to know eachother, and yep, you guessed it…they started falling in love.

Although elements of this story were predictable, there were parts that I really enjoyed. I loved the way that the author brought nerdy humor to the page. From page one, I was engaged with her writing style and felt connected to Olive with her wit and struggle in academia.

**Chapter 15 was a bit of surprise. The story took a quick hiatus from lighthearted, playful plot to very erotic and graphic sexual scenes. (Like, probably the most X-rated text I’ve ever read. Again, I’m not really into Romance so I cannot even compare it to another text or say if it was appropriate for the genre. But, I would say this is not a book for teens for sure!)

All in all, I would rate this book a 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed the read, but there was room to improve the predicability and authenticity of the plot. In the future, I would read other books by Ali Hazelwood. This type of book would be a great vacation read or something light to take on a long roadtrip or trainride.

Follow me on Goodreads for more reviews and recommendations.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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The Midnight Library: A Book Review

Title: The Midnight Library

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Viking

Copyright: 2020

photo credit: Goodreads

This book sat on my shelf for far too long and my anticipation was strong. Luckily, Matt Haig did not disappoint!

Nora Seed has decided that she no longer wants to live. In the last twenty-four hours she lost her job and her beloved cat and so it seemed to her a good a time as any to swallow a bunch of capsules and check out. The afterlife wasn’t the peace Nora had hoped for, but instead was a large library full of green books and a familiar librarian from her past.

She soon learns that within the pages of each book lies a life that could have been hers. Each variation of Nora’s life was built by the decisions she could have made or the regrets that she held. In this parallel universe, Nora has the chance to see what her life may be like if things had been different. She experiences lives where she is famous, successful, poor, and broken. Each time she feels unsatisfied she transplants to a new version of Nora’s life.

With a beautiful message of contentment and making our own happiness in life this book was worth all of the acclaim in my opinion.

I gave this book 5/5 stars

Follow my Goodreads account for more reviews.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Humpty Dumpty (Poe Style)

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As a new technique I am going to rewrite a nursery rhyme in the voice of a legendary author. This was way more fun than I thought it could be. I’m still laughing at how easily Poe’s voice seemed to connect to a nursery rhyme.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Humpty Dumpty revised (in the voice/style of Edgar Allan Poe)

On a dark and dreary night upon a high wall of the city sat a man.

His soul still broken from the death of his lover.

Atop the city’s great wall he sat peering into the distance

Hoping one day to glimpse his bride.

She was taken too soon.

As the cloud of night grew thick and gathered about him

The young man wrestled with the notion of sleep.

Could he finally quiet his soul?

Would rest be upon him?

Or would he forever be tortured by visions of Lenore?

With heavy lids he began to sway.

And from the wall with great force he fell.

On horses did men from the kingdom come.

Rushing through the streets with doctors

Clearing the path through bystanders to attend to the man.

No one was able to revive his shattered body.

Not the king. Not his knights.

Because Lenore came down and woke him from his slumber.

And forevermore he danced with his bride.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Favorite Story Types

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When it comes to reading and writing my favorite story type is the one in which the protagonist must confront himself. Some sort of inner conflict causes the main character to engage in a battle in these types of stories. These are the ones where a misunderstood character rises to the challenges of his life.

Weaknesses are clear from the beginning and the protagonist must overcome the main obstacles of maturity or self-doubt in order to be the hero of their own story.

I love reading the tales penned by authors like Frederick Backman, Mindy McGinnis, Emery Lord, JD Salinger, Markus Zusak, and Kiera Cass to name a few.

 

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Supporting Archetypes

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Every story has ONE protagonist. Sure, there are stories out there told from the perspective of multiple characters, but every reader connects to a single character more than the others. They root for their success above anyone else’s.

That’s where the idea of a supporting character comes from.

Supporting characters are those that help us to see the protagonist better and function to bring out their qualities.

In her book, DIY MFA, Gabriela Pereiera explains a few archetypes of the supporting character. Those archetypes are the villian, the love interest, the BFF, the sidekick, the mentor, and the fool. It must be noted that not every character fits nicely into those categories, but can be under the umbrella of one.

My favorite supporting character archetype to write is the mentor.

I think the reason I gravitate toward the mentor is because this is a character whose wisdom and experiences help the protagonist to see reason. This character is helpful and is generally the type of person I would like to spend time with in real life. My current Work-in-Progress features a mentor character. He lends support and helps to showcase a softer side of a troubled protagonist.

The only thing I’ve had to be cautious of in the use of mentors is making sure that they don’t solve all the problems for the protagonist. Their purpose is to shed light on solutions, but ultimately the protagonist must learn from their selves how to overcome the conflicts of their tale.

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

 

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Resistance

Prompt-6

This blog actually started in 2015 in response to resistance. I was going through emotional turmoil. In my trial I found myself filling journal upon journal with my thoughts. Then one day I decided to play around with writing some of these ideas on a blog site. Before I knew it friends and family were commenting with positive feedback. They helped me to feel like my words made a difference.

I had been a closet writer for a long time, but putting my work out there was scary.

Apart from 2017 when I was pregnant, I’ve been consistently posting on this blog ever since.

As a result, I’ve met so many awesome people and been encouraged in my journey to continue to write. My words are being read and do matter to people out there. And it’s for that reason that I’ve continued to come back day-after-day to this place.

The Ameri Brit Mom is a place where I can be real. I can leave the negativity at the door when I enter my writing space. My community is positive and make me a better writer every day.

I am so thankful that I overcame that resistance.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Write One Short Story a Week…

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”― Ray Bradbury

Sounds easy enough.

Short stories could be something as short as 500 words, so how hard can that really be? Well, I’m here to say that for me a short story a week is far from what I’ve achieved over the years. In fact, I’ve probably finished six short stories EVER.

The writing world is full of “professionals” trying to give inspiration to other writers. They mean well when they talk about their own magic formula, but writing is not a tried-and-true craft. What works for one writer may not work for another. We all live different lives, write different genres, and use different methods to reach success.

When I first started writing I was tempted to follow the formula of other writers, but I have since learned that every writer is unique. Additionally, every phase of the journey is unique. What works early in the writing process may not be the best rule to follow as you grow.

Adaptation is imperative for the writing life. If you find a formula that works for you it may not always be that way. If you are still trying to build a system keep the focus on yourself. Ray Bradbury’s method of a short story a week obviously worked well for him. He was a renowned author and his pieces were influential in so much of the sci-fi genre. He’s not a name soon forgotten. I wrote a post about him a few years ago because I am a fan. (5 Reasons to Read Ray Bradbury) But I am not Ray Bradbury. I cannot beat myself up for struggling to produce a short story per quarter (that’s my current goal.)

Gabriela Pereira, founder of DIY MFA, says it best when she explains that the only rule for writing is that there is no rule.

What about you? Have you ever found yourself tempted to take someone else’s advice?

The Ameri Brit Mom

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What Feeds Your Creativity?

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I just watched an inspiring TEDx talk by Gabriela Pereira, founder of DIY MFA. In it she discusses the fact that our human nature makes us creative beings. (Side note: our Father is the ultimate Creator and we were formed in his image.)

We can become our own biggest obstacles, but at our core we all have a story or creative spark to share with the world. Our responsibility to ourselves is to put in the work daily that helps us to channel that creativity.

For me, that creativity is in the form of  writing.

The passion I have for telling stories is strong. That passion has led me to study and practice the craft  nearly every day. I’m working on my next steps as a writer by working through the DIY MFA Book Club.

After reading some of Gabriela’s advice I put together a “Feed Me” box. This is a box of things I use to spark my creativity. For years I’ve had go-to resources, but it is always a refresher to see what others use to help them create.

I gathered all of my resources into one box and am excited to share that with you.

You could really put anything in your box. For me, I have several prompt related resources, an adult coloring book, dice, and random pictures.

Another item that feeds my creativity is coffee.

With mellow music playing in the background and a fresh cup of coffee in front of me there isn’t much I cannot conquer. When I’m writing lesson plans at school I create a similar environment.

What gets your creative heart pumping?

The Ameri Brit Mom

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My Writing Superpower

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The Underdog:

You are the quintessential underdog storyteller and your superpower is creating relate-able characters who have a deep desire to change something in themselves or in the world around them. From rags-to-riches narratives to epic David-and-Goliath-style battles you craft stories with high stakes and compelling characters your readers can’t help but love.

What about you? Take the quiz

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Honor Your Reality

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My writing journey hasn’t been a linear one. There have been months of motivated writing sessions and others where I’ve nearly fallen off the map. I’ve taken detours and shortcuts. I’ve even abandoned route several times. While my mind cursed itself for losing focus I’m learning that in those times life needed to come first.

When my heart was breaking for those I love.

When my body was growing a baby.

When work zapped all of my energy.

When anxiety crippled me.

Those are moments in my reality when I set the pen down and just lived. Getting through each day was hard enough I couldn’t push through word counts and pages as well. Some call it survival mode–those days when you do the bare minimum in order to keep your sanity. I’m a human and I find myself on the survivor’s path every now and again.

If you have followed my blog for a couple of years you will remember the year I took off in 2017. My energy was focused on growing my family and my health. I did write here and there, but I put no pressure on myself to produce things for other people to read. I journaled every now and again, but I took that year for ME. Life was changing and my soul was aching. I didn’t live that reality on the page of my blog because it wasn’t the encouraging me that I hope to be as an online writer.

Luckily, that period didn’t last forever.

I returned in June 2018 with a venegence. Strengthened by the trials I resurrected my presence in the writing world. I re-established goals, re-appeared on my blog, and started to think of myself as a writer again.

There will be a day where once again I will have to step away.

We go through periods where the path has been cleared and we can focus on the road before us. Other times, we have to clear that path before we can go any further. We are not robots. We have souls that need rest.

So give yourself some grace. If you find yourself walking through a storm in your personal life it is okay to put your writing life on hold (or at least in neutral.) We have to honor the reality of life. It’s okay!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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I’m working my way through a DIY MFA program based on the book DIY MFA by Gabriela Periera. Throughout the course and book study I will be posting periodically in response to prompts