A Welcome From the Louse (Redux 2018)

Aloha!

I’m the Louse.  I’m a microscopic bug and I enjoy those things on shelves that have pages, chewing through one book at a time (figuratively or literally?  I’ll leave you to ponder).

Welcome to The Avid Book Louse, a blog where I write about books and the Arts overall.  Here, you will find reviews, opinion pieces, and an insight into the life of a recent English graduate (and avid party louse).  Initially, TABL was a blog to revive my motivation to study while I was at university, but now that I’ve graduated, I figured it was time to rebrand this blog to make it some sort of portfolio to showcase my writing and ways I visually present a blog/website.  I also want to establish myself as a freelance writer that can produce various written content as well as edit.  While most of the posts on this blog are informal and do incorporate a bit of wittiness, I do in fact write in formal/academic styles (I mean, I have been doing it for the past four years, and I’m getting a Bachelor’s for it, right?).

Though, I can’t exactly promise that updates will be frequent; I’m currently in a period of my life where I am looking to jumpstart my career (where I won’t procrastinate, don’t worry).  The blog will be a journal-type, and I’ll post things up when I have the time to.  I’ll include reviews of books I’ve read, sneak previews of projects I’m working on, and general opinions about literature and other things.  As for now, I’m not bothered if nobody looks at the posts or whatnot since I’m currently keeping this blog for therapeutic reasons; but with that being said, I’ll be more than happy to make new friends on here!  Again, welcome to The Avid Book Louse, dear visitor!  Come along with me on this literary journey and make yourself at home here anytime!

I look forward to continuing on reading and writing here.  I’ll post something up once in a while, so stay tuned!

new siggie again

A Horror Fan’s (Kind-of) Guide to Horror Writing – Louse Style

We’re all excited for Halloween! Photo by Sabina Music Rich on Unsplash

G’day!

Spooktober is in full swing!  Yay!  So, what’s there to do aside from blogging Halloween themed posts and stories?  I’ve been a horror fanatic since the days of borrowing Goosebumps books from the school library, to now.  Anyway, the title of this post is pretty self-explanatory.  Your ordinary Louse is here to provide some suggestions on how to write in the horror genre, from a horror fan’s perspective.  This is for anybody who wants to dip their toes into the icy cold, kelp-ridden waters of creepiness, or for a seasoned horror writer wanting to see things from another person’s perspective.  Without further ado, let’s goooooo!

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OMGIGOTACOMPUTERAGAIN!

Hey! How have you been? Hopefully you’re all staying safe and hope you’re not too anxious or bored. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m freezing my socks off right now. It’s the beginning of September, and there’s been this sudden cold snap where I am–Spring is supposed to blossom into our lives, but we ain’t feeling it (or at least, I’m not).

But as you have read in the title, I got myself a brand new laptop. So yeah, it sure feels good to type with a “real” keyboard again rather than a cruddy phone touchscreen (and manually adjusting paragraphs to justified via the html editor–ain’t nobody got time for that!). Also, because I kind of go ham with money, I upgraded this blog to a business plan (not that it’s any of your business, teehee), and I also got Adobe Cloud. You know it’s serious business if one gets Adobe Cloud. I purchased it because I need to change my face with Photoshop want to add a little oomph to TABL. That means making better graphics, optimising pictures, and using better stock photos rather than the royalty free ones you get online–sometimes you can’t find the exact image you want to use for your blog post.

I want to invest in a better quality blog/site, so I think it’s fair to say my purchases are justified. At least then, TABL can shine like the star she truly is. This has been my passion project for a bit over four years now, and as each year passes, this blog shall grow and evolve. The most I want for TABL is for it to look professional and appealing to the eye, and to show how far my multiple skills have grown since the inception of this blog. It kind of feels like Christmas, and I’m rearing to make a proper comeback on here.

Anyway, I’m also excited because October is around the corner, and for that particular month, I’m keen to write some sp00ky blog posts because of Halloween. Plus–as of next week, I’m officially taking two weeks off work for a little R&R (yay!). So you may find me on here posting random crap like I used to. Keep your eyes peeled! I shall see you when I see you! Take care always.

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Four Years and Counting…

Not looking bad, Bessie. Not looking bad at all. (Source: Twitter)

Well, look who’s back!

Yes, yes, I’m still here, which means TABL is here too (yay smiley face). Anyway, I know that I haven’t been around as such and I keep on saying that I’ll be back, yaddi yaddi ya. Truthfully, I’ll have to say that work has been taking up a lot of my time, being essential and all during this cruddy and uncertain climate.

But enough of that emo crap, we’re here to celebrate TABL’s fourth birthday! Woohoo! As always, I’m grateful for anybody that stumbles across this blog, and glad that I’ve connected with like-minded people that share the same enthusiasm for writing and reading, and sharing their passions even if it isn’t literature-related. Admittedly, I wish I could write more on here like I used to. I just have a lot of blogpost ideas but my computer is… argh! It keeps shitting itself, but I’ll be getting it repaired during my time off work in the next month.

As well as reviews and poetry interpretation, I also want to post more “guides” like the POC one, and rambles about the story writing process. While I’m not a perfect writer or a professional one at that, I’d still like to share my thoughts on character types, tropes, and the like, to maybe have a think about in your own time, or to share your insight (if you want to, of course!) with others.

The four years being on here have been sporadic, just like life itself. At least, here on WordPress, we have a little niche of our own where we can take a break from the stress and unpredictability of life, reading and writing about things we love. We still have each other, and again, thanks for popping in to TABL every now and then. You’re always welcome here, don’t forget about that! Stay tuned, I’ll be with you when I can!

Just a Thought on Procrastination

Ah. Another year, another blog post. Now, I think I may have gotten to the bottom of my blogger’s block. Apologies for incoherence, I’m writing this at midnight and I’m tired as heck!

I’m a procrastinator (and not proud of it). The more I think about doing something, the more it gets pushed down my agenda. I tell myself to write another blog post, but… ugh. It’s not like I hate blogging or anything—I love it, but I guess I’m putting some pressure on myself.

It can be said the same thing about reading. I pressure myself to read, but then again, I haven’t been reading as much. It might be because I get distracted by things like Netflix, podcasts, or YouTube… *sigh*. It’s easy to lose track of time by streaming information and I guess it’s easier to listen than to read (because I’m getting lazy—sue me!).

However, I don’t want to put any more pressure on myself. I suppose I’ve gotten a little timid because other bloggers are racking up followers and pushing out as many blog posts as possible, and I feel like I’m being left behind. I don’t want to care about that anymore. I have to remember that this is a hobby and something I want to do during my downtime! I also want to ease myself back to reading, so sometime last year, I splurged my disposable income on some novels I’ve had my eye on for ages. Here’s a happy louse with some of her purchases below:

Oh look, a halo made of books and a doofus-y face to boot!

I decided to do this so I can revive my interest in reading again.

Currently, I’m ready The Haunting of Hill House. Again, I don’t want to pressure myself to read and complete novels in a certain time frame, because that will likely make me procrastinate more (yikes!). Reading is not a race, but rather, something like meditation. Something to do at one’s own pace during their own time.

Anyway, this is just another diary entry to put my thoughts into words… I miss everyone and I miss blogging. Belated Happy New Year and let’s make 2021 a little more productive!

TABL Turns Two!! (Actually Three. My bad)

Hello everyone!

Not much going on here but MY BABY IS TWO( ETA its actually THREE)! Admittedly, I haven’t been writing in here as much as I’d like to, but I’m glad to still be here. As always, I’d like to thank everyone for reading/skimming/lurking/visiting the blog, even if there hasn’t been much content published.

Wow… two three years is a lot of time (duh). I started this blog as something to motivate me to read my set novels for my studies but it completely evolved into something not different, but better. Here, I can share and express what’s on my mind regarding literature, and although I should do this more, see what other bloggers are writing about. WordPress has been a godsend to my life, and having a blog as a writer has its perks.

Since writing is going through a major shift from print to digital, it’s a great advantage for any writer to have a blog. This is because with the skills we learn from having one i.e HTML, SEO, content management systems, possibilities with jobs are endless (take that, naysayers that think Arts is a rubbish degree!). Plus, aside from journaling and working on manuscripts or articles, a blog is one more medium to exercise writing.

Anyway, I’m gonna celebrate with a glass (or two, or five) of some cheap Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve got a night shift on tomorrow, so I’ll be just right getting on the sauce tonight (winky face emoji). But for now, ciao!

So yeah…

Well peeps, it’s time for another update on TABL! Hey, I know I’ve been away for a long time despite my last post declaring that I’m going to revive this blog, but a lot of things happened in my personal life that made me put my digital baby in the back burner.

Firstly, there’s the issue that is gripping our whole planet right now: COVID19. Since I work in a supermarket, I have been flat out at my job since we’re considered essential workers and all. As you can imagine, it’s been super hectic and I’ve been tired and all my motivation to blog has run out.

Secondly, my father passed away last month. So my family and I had to spend time preparing the final farewell and important stuff that I won’t get into. We’re still sorting these matters out.

Thirdly, I’m writing this on my phone! My computer has officially shit itself and I need to take it to a repair shop, so phone blogging it is for now. I’m bummed that I don’t know how to align my text to Justified on the app (please help a sister out if you do know), but hey, I’m kinda warming up to the block editor though!

So long story short, a fair amount of shizz has been going on in my personal life, hence why I’ve stopped blogging for a while. I want to slowly ease my way back though, because TABL is my baby and I reaaaalllyy don’t want to abandon it, even if it means that I post updates that no one cares about. The world is in a tough place right now, with this pandemic going on and I can imagine that it’s affecting us whether mildly or intensely. I’m just glad that blogging is one way that we can still connect with one another during these dire times.

Anyway, I’m going to keep this entry short and sweet. I’ll try and do something for my blog’s up and coming second birthday. But for now, keep safe and stay healthy, and I’ll see you next time.

Blowing the Dust and Cobwebs Off This Blog

Hello everyone!

First and foremost, a belated happy new year! Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2020 for all of us here at WP and everywhere else.

Anyway… the reason why I’ve been absent during the tail end of last year is because this old Louse has found (casual) employment! So, my shifts at work are kind of sporadic, now drafting up posts for TABL will likely take longer (and I’m binge watching Spongebob to unwind because I can). Though, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading during my downtime. I’ve already finished The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and plan to make some combo review of that and its prequel. I’m also currently reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt, but the more I read it, the more of a dingus I feel like I am (I don’t know shizz about Ancient Greek language, okay?).

I’ve also got a half-done review in the Drafts tab, regarding The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse. Slowly but surely, it will be published soon! Not to mention, there’s a heap of books I still haven’t gotten around to, as well as other dnf’d works that I’m considering giving a second chance.

Well, I don’t want to bore you with my incessant rambling, so I’m going to draw it to a halt here. Stay tuned and keep on being your bookish selves! Looking forward to the new works that this new decade will bring us!

A Halloween Treat and No Tricks! TABL Presents…

sk book tag

Hey all!

It’s been a while since I posted on here, and I’d rather post something filler-ish rather than nothing at all.  Now that it’s Halloween season, I decided that I’ll do a book tag that’s all about my favourite spooky author of all time!  The credits to this tag go to Jessie, a fellow book blogger at Book Ballistic, who also translated this from French (if you are reading this, thank you so much!).

So here it goes, and as the Tenth Doctor would say, Allons-y!

The Stephen King Book Tag

Q: How many Stephen King books do you own?  

Freakin’ lots (to the point Dad started calling me Stephen).  Can’t be bothered to count them right now, sorry not sorry.

Q: How did you discover this author?  

When my aunt gave me her copy of Pet Sematary.  She was reading on a flight, and since she was done with it, she gifted it to a young Louse.

Q: What is the first book you read by him?  

kitty

Pet Sematary, of course!

Q: How long have you been a fan? 

Ever since I was in Year 5, so like 14 years or something close to that.

Q: Which one is your favourite book?  

manipulation-4141055_1280

Don’t be fooled.  Don’t be FOOLED.

Hmm… I’d have to say Night Shift.  I enjoyed most–if not all–of the stories that were in this particular collection.  In other collections, however, the individual stories are either a hit or miss for me.

Q: Who made you most afraid?  

man in black suit

Y’all better start praying you don’t encounter this guy.

The eponymous entity from the short story The Man in the Black Suit.   There’s something’s superbly eerie about this story… not to mention, there are many true stories about encounters with strangers who gave off disturbing vibes to the point that some of these stories feel too supernatural to believe.  But I think this particular story taps into this specific fear of being approached by a stranger when you’re alone, and that this stranger may be quite… devilish.

Honourable Mentions: Pennywise (no duh!) – IT, George Stark – The Dark Half, the creepy black dog demon thing – The Sun Dog, the creepy, ever-so-changing painting of that woman – 1408. 

Q: Which book did you like the least?  

Joyland.  I ended up dnf’ing it because I simply lost interest and stopped caring about it.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea, plot-wise.

Q: Do you have any Stephen King books in your TBR pile?  

Yeppity yes.  Several of his new ones, mainly Elevation, The Outsider, The Institute, and Sleeping Beauties.  However, I don’t have my copies of the last two just yet.  Oh, and I also want to read Nightmares and Dreamscapes, but the book shops never have copies (sad face).

Q: What is your favourite new book?  

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (does this count as new?  Well, it’s new-ish, I guess).  While I do love Stephen King’s long novels, I really adore the various short stories this man puts out.  The short stories just prove how versatile his writing is.

Q: What do you think of adaptions?  What is your favourite? 

Well, taste in movies is subjective.  I like some adaptions and others are kinda meh to me.  My favourite would have to be Stand By Me, and I’ll shamelessly admit that this is a film I’ve watched over and over again.  So yeah!

Anyway, that was fun!  Although I’m reading another novel at the moment, I’ll definitely get to my Stephen King books in my TBR pile.  I’m also looking at purchasing more short story collections in the future (looking at you, Nightmares and Dreamscapes).  But I’ll have to conclude this post here.

For a few years now, Australia’s jumped on board the Halloween celebration train, and since it’ll be the 1st of November tomorrow (Aussie time), I’m planning on hitting the shops and buying some sweets that’ll be on clearance.  Gotta get that sugar in me!

Until the next post, stay reading and stay creative (and if you’re in the USA and anywhere else that participates in trick or treating, I hope you have enough candy to hand out to the kiddos.  But if I was there, I’d be wearing a Ghostface mask and screaming at them to get off my lawn).

Ok, I’ll shut up now.  Toodles!

new siggie again

Vanity Unfair: When Do Publishing Companies Become Unscrupulous?

Hello, my sweets!

How are you all?  Hopefully good–and if you haven’t been good, I hope you’re feeling better.  Anyway, today’s hot topic is all about vanity publishing.  Since a lot of us are aspiring writers, it’d make our hearts leap if we ever see that a publishing company has taken interest in our submission/s.  We’d think that we finally hit the jackpot and our eyes sparkle at the possibility of making it big, baby!

Here’s where I say the big, dreaded ‘BUT’: What if there are publishing presses out there that are taking advantage of writers?  It turns out, I learned that some companies are doing this, and specifically, they target writers who either a) want to make it as a published author or b) are jaded and are tired of facing rejection after rejection.  This is where the vanity publisher comes in.

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TABL Turns Two!: Uncut Ramble Ahead

Hey, hey, hey everyone!

Today’s the day that The Avid Book Louse turns two!  Hurray!  So, to honour TABL’s second birthday, I decided to spice this blog up by recording a video for you all.  I’m thinking that I may occasionally upload videos on WordPress just to add a little more versatility to the content that is being shared here.  Feel free to watch it and enjoy the awkwardness (or cringe).

[Warning: Aussie accent.  I’m sorry if I’m not speaking clearly or repeating myself a lot!] 

Speaking of birthdays, I’ve also got to help my mother prepare for her birthday party tomorrow, so I have to get back to that.

But don’t you worry your cute little head, I’ll be back to writing sooner than you think!

Ciao!

new siggie again