1/15/2019

Recent Reads #1

New year, new Goodreads goal, am I right? Fun fact: I've failed to reach my Goodreads challenge goal every single year. I go through phases where I read lots and then months where I barely pick up a book at all. Consistency is an issue for me, in all areas of life. So far, though, 2019 has been off to a good start.

I've set my sights low this year. 52 books. But here's the thing - I'm reading a lot on Wattpad lately. While some of those books are available to check off on Goodreads, not many are. So I'm using IG stories to track the real amount, and just adding everything I possibly can to Goodreads. (It's a lot of effort though, so let's see how long it lasts before I forget to update everything).

Either way, I've really been enjoying some of the stories I've discovered so far and I'll definitely be making this recent reads a regular (not necessarily monthly) thing.

Eve Z-Minus Marine World Story Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to Brilliant fair/unfair THE ART OF BURNING 


It's no secret that I love zombie related literature and TV shows (still got my fingers crossed for a Walking Dead/Z Nation cross over one day) so when I saw this I had to read it. Eve is a vegan zombie with coherent thoughts and can actually talk, at least to other zombies. I love it someone takes such a unique perspective on zombies to give it a new lease of life. Not only was the concept of this book brilliant, but the execution was too. It was really funny and unexpected and I finish it in one sitting. 100% recommend you checking it out.


Another one for the Z pile. This one I read on Wattpad too, but I believe you can buy it on Amazon, probably, and it's definitely available to add to your shelf on Goodreads! Z-Minus is the first book in the series, so I'll definitely be looking to read the rest of the series sometime this year. An alcoholic dad doesn't realise it's the zombie apocalypse till he comes home (quite probably still drunk) and has a close encounter. Thinking he only has, like, eight hours or something to live, he figures he's gonna make the most of those eight hours. It does not go the way he planned. Again, the writing is really funny and I just really enjoyed the story. Definitely give it a read if zombie fiction is your kinda thing.


Unfortunately this story is still being published, so I haven't technically read the whole thing yet but what I have, I've loved. A twist on mermaids with theme parks and dark secrets, how could I resist? I rarely add any stories to my library to keep reading if they're not finished, but this one I have to know how it ends. I'm so excited to see where the rest of the story goes!


For non ficiton, I pretty much exclusively read books on writing and editing. Especially as my bestie and I have started publishing our book on Wattpad, and we're doing lots of editing for that, plus my own work, I'm finding that I love to learn more about fixing stories. Nothing is more satisfying to me than to see a sheet marked up with a red pen, so new ways to find things wrong with the manuscript? Sign me up. I'm still reading this one, taking it slow,  but it encourages you to constantly grade your manuscript and work on an element at a time. I have to say, if you're looking for ways to improve your writing, I'd definitely give this a shot. Larry keeps it real.


Another ongoing story, but again, one I felt worthy of adding to my library to keep track off. Featuring off the rails boys, public and boarding school libraries, pranks, the need for secretive relationships, etc... I couldn't not read it. Kinda reminds me of The Foxhole Court but without any exy and the Japanese mafia. It disappoints me to learn not EVERY book can have exy and the Japanese mafia featured in them. So, basically, this mini review is a two for one. Read Fair/Unfair and read The Foxhole Court. Both will ruin your life, probably.


This is actually a sequel to the incredble 'The Domino Effect' so I have to recommend you read that first. As soon as the author told me to expect a sequel (and sent me the last chapter for beta-ing, eep!) I was so excited to read this and I've finally, finally got around to it. The Domino Effect is definitely my favourite but I still enjoyed this one. I felt like the focus was slightly on some different characters which is maybe what made me enjoy it less. I just get really attatched to fictional people! None the less, worth the read, especially for dysotopian, time travel fans.

And that's it so far! I've told myself I'm not allowed to buy another book till I've finished Story Fix, despite one of my favourite authors releasing a new title on the 7th this month, but I may have to let it slide since I'm using Story Fix a lot while editing and don't want to rush through it. Let me know any books you've been loving lately, because my reading list is never long enough, and let's be friends on Goodreads.

ASTRID

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1/09/2019

Mungo National Park (New South Wales, Australia



You’d be forgiven for thinking the arid landscape of Mungo National Park was worth passing over - given Australias’ size, I believe any trip around the country requires some sacrifices - but, as national parks go, this one is an easy favourite

At least some of your route into Mungo National Park will be over dirt roads, but it’s an easy grade that all 4WD should be capable of doing. Like most roads in Australia, keep an eye out for animals crossing the road. These roads were great for spotting kangaroos, emus and even a blue tongue lizard. Provided you have an excellent playlist (or pro DJ in the passenger seat), the bumpy ride in will be heaps of fun as you spot all the wildlife.




With two campsites available, including toilet facilities (there were rumours of a shower in our atlas, but we couldn’t find them)and fire pits, you can call this place home for a night or two and fully enjoy all Mungo National Park has to offer. We stayed at the main campsite, which - depending on which direction you come in from - is just outside the visitors' centre. We ended up staying our first night without realising we had to pay, but we quickly corrected that the next day.

At the visitors' centre, when you pay for camping ($8.50pp), you can also pay for a self-drive tour around Mungo National Park at $8 a vehicle. Be sure to grab a leaflet while you’re at the pay station. Along the route, you’ll find sign posted numbers that relate to the numbered bits of information in the leaflet, teaching you about the area as you go along. There’s plenty of stops along the route too, including some short walks to admire the flora (during a drought, this may not seem the most impressive) and perfect picnic areas.




Ultimately, Mungo National Park is perfect to add to a relaxed itinerary, especially if you’re an animal lover. The kangaroos here are very confident around people. While we were sitting by our tent, they came along and spent some time grazing on the plant life near us. One even came so close we thought he was going to run off with our camera. The highlight, though, was on the self-drive tour. There are restrooms near the dunes and as soon as we went close to them, the kangaroos started giving us pretty obvious hints to turn the outside tap on. We got some excellent pictures of them as they drunk, with us right beside them.

Provided you arrive early, a day stop at this park is plenty but if you don’t want to be on a time crunch, I’d recommend staying over at least one night. It’s a tranquil spot and if you don’t need to, there’s not much point rushing around.

Have you travelled around Australia? Tell me your favourite places in the comments!

ASTRID



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1/02/2019

The Best Is Yet To Come


2018 was a quiet year.

My partner and I left Melbourne to do the required farm work for our 2nd year visa; stayed in Mildura doing that for almost 6 months; travelled the New South Wales outback for 1 month; then found ourselves new jobs in Dubbo. 

This year, we’re hoping not to get sucked into working so much. Not because we’re lazy, but because we might not ever get to visit Australia again once we leave (or, at least, not for a long time) and we want to see as much of it as possible. With that in mind, we’re looking at leaving our jobs sometime in the next couple of months and hitting the road for 4 or 5 months.

Me being me also wants to work on a million projects that mostly require a regular, reliable internet connection.

For starters, there’s this blog.

I let it die at the end of January last year, unintentionally at first and then completely intentionally when I no longer had a constant internet connection. Blogging is so much easier when you live in a house, in a well-populated area – especially in Australia.

However, despite the fact that I’m probably not going to be able to post with the consistency that I’d like to, I really want to try to not completely abandon this little space.

There’s also the book that my best friend and I are publishing on Wattpad together; the music that I want to spend more time working on and sharing; the book series I’m planning and writing (this time alone, not with my bestie); and the photography I want to dive back into properly.

I could try to focus on one thing at a time, but I can never choose the thing that’s most important to me and I feel like I’m wasting too much time by not working on everything at once.

Either way, we’ll see where I end up at the end of 2019. You’ll probably be able to call me out on not doing many of the things I wanted to.

In the mean time, be sure to follow me across the social media sites you use.

ASTRID



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