Hello, my voyagers. I absolutely cannot believe that today is The Long Voyage’s two year birthday. These two years have just flown by, and it blows my mind that you all have stuck around here for this long. So, to celebrate, I’ll be reviewing some cool blog stats and then answering your questions that you all submitted on Twitter and Facebook.
The Long Voyage Stats
HOW ARE THERE 91 VOYAGERS?!?
UM, YOU ALL ARE SO AMAZING.
THANK YOU ALL FOR COMMENTING, IT MAKES MY DAY.
Places my blog has reached: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, New Zealand, Cambodia, Netherlands, Philippines, France, China, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Germany, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Denmark, Turkey, Serbia, Portugal, Japan, Nigeria, Greece, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Kenya, French Polynesia, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Hong Kong SAR China, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Colombia, Italy, Thailand, Bangladesh, Chile, Turks and Tobago, Taiwan, Hungary, Bulgaria, Anguilla, Argentina, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Iraq, Estonia, Malawi, Lithuania, Cyprus, Uganda, Liberia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Azerbaijan, Zambia, Iceland, Morocco, and Barbados.
I cannot believe that my little blog has reached so many places in the world. Every time I see this statistic, my mind just explodes because I never dreamed that people all over the world would read and enjoy my little corner of the internet. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. ❤
My Most Popular Posts:
My Favorite Posts:
Okay, I’ll try to stop being an emotionally sentimental bean (but no promises!), so let’s start tackling these questions.
Current favorite book?
How am I supposed to choose just one, Brooke? Why…why would you do this to me? I can’t do it. *crosses arms and frowns* *looks around at everyone staring at me through the computer screen* Okay, fine. My current favorite book is The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman, but it’s just because it’s the last book I finished and now I can’t stop thinking about it.
Purple. It wasn’t always my favorite color, but for the past few years, purple has really been my go-to color.
Okay, this one is just cruel. *starts scrolling through page of quotes I’ve saved* *sees the one that I’ve literally always said is my favorite quote* My favorite quote is no secret because it’s the reason why this blog is called The Long Voyage. It comes from Neal Shusterman’s, Challenger Deep, and it reads:
Just because it’s a long voyage, it doesn’t mean you’re on it forever.
*hides in shame* According to Spotify, my favorite song (at the moment) is Lazy Baby by Dove Cameron. I’ve linked the clean version, but my Spotify Repeat has the regular…explicit one…as my most listened to song. *crawls under rock to hide*
What is the first story you ever remember writing?
I was in middle school and *cringes* apparently I thought it would be a good idea to write a story about three siblings (Nick, Bethany, and I can’t remember the older brother’s name) who escape Pearl Harbor by hiding in a volcano and then get rescued by a couple who is on vacation and takes a helicopter ride over the volcano. *wants to crawl into a hole* I have no idea what I was thinking, but it was a fun experience because nobody told me that I couldn’t write the insane thing because it wasn’t logical; I just wrote and got to be as creative as I wanted.
Character that inspires you?
My eternal answer is Hermione Granger because she’s everything that I’ve always aspired to be: A loyal friend, a brave soul who does whatever is necessary to protect her squad, a bookworm who’s sassy and fierce, and someone who is organized and always has a plan.
Honorable Mention Characters + Why They Inspire Me:
- Bella – Twilight (selfless + willing to self-sacrifice for love)
- Thomas – The Maze Runner (literally tries to save everyone, even when he knows he can’t)
- Rose – Vampire Academy (emotional strength)
- Stiles – Teen Wolf (sarcasm king)
- Belle – Beauty and the Beast (finds beauty on the inside, not the outside)
- Hiccup – How to Train Your Dragon (believes that everyone is capable of change)
Your go-to nostalgia song?
I think there’s multiple ways to interpret this question, so I’ll answer it twice. The song that makes me feel the most nostalgic is Paper Planes by Elina. It oftentimes makes me think of when I was younger and I’ve had it on repeat a lot lately. For the song that feels the most nostalgic, I’m gonna say Believe by Britt Nicole because that song has literally always been my jam.*
*I say knowing full well that I’d say the same thing about literally ANY Britt Nicole song.
Fictional world you most want to visit, if you could ensure no harm would come to you?
Narnia. I grew up with the Pevensies and Mr. Tumnus, so if I could visit them and their world…it would be like walking into my childhood. *sighs* It would be so cool to see the Cair Paravel and Aslan’s How, and, of course, the woods behind the wardrobe.
I also just really love the aesthetic of woodland areas, so Narnia would fit that perfectly.
Why is your favorite genre your favorite?
I can always count on you to ask the hard questions. 😉 This is really hard to answer, but I’ll do my best.
🚨THE MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE SPOILERS AHEAD🚨
My favorite genre is dystopias. And I love it for so many reasons…but there’s one that stands out above the others: Dystopian stories are masters of the suicide-mission-and-trying-to-save-everyone trope. One of my favorite examples of this trope is in The Maze Runner series, specifically highlighted in the final movie, when Thomas is dragging Newt through the streets of the city because he absolutely refuses to give up on his friend. It’s a heartbreakingly painful scene to watch because the audience knows what Thomas knows, but refuses to believe: that Newt is going to die. But despite that knowledge, Thomas still fights for him…and that will to fight, to save everyone even when you know that you can’t, is what I love the most about the dystopian genre.
Also, I could talk about this literally for the rest of my life, so I really tried to keep it short and concise so you all don’t have to suffer for like a million pages.
Grace’s (@bookgrace11) Questions
Go-to writing snack?
Lately, it’s been Oreos/some form of cookies and apple juice
because I’m basically a giant toddler. I used to sometimes do popcorn, but that can get kinda messy, so I usually stick with things that are easy, like a smoothie in a cup with a lid (because otherwise I will 100% spill it and ruin my computer).
Which Twilight character would you go on a picnic with?
My first instinct is Alice or Esme, just because they’re super chill and I wouldn’t have to spend the entire time worrying that I’m about to become the meal, lol. Alice gives me the manic-pixie-child vibes and Esme is the motherly-and-gives-good-advice-type, so really I’d go on a picnic with either of them.
A book you unexpectedly adored?
Hunted by Meagan Spooner. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which is why I bought it. But I generally really struggle with fantasy books, so I wasn’t sure if I’d love it. So, when I finished it and found that I’d fallen in love with the story and the characters, I was really happy.
What book are you looking forward to reading the most?
At this point it’s a tossup between Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston and You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao. Both of these are 2021 releases (August 24th and November 2nd, respectively), so I can very easily see myself buying them as soon as paperbacks are available.*
*Because hardcovers are just evil: They’re heavy, they hurt to hold for a long time, and they’re more likely to seriously injure me when I inevitably drop them on my face.
If you could rewrite one part of Twilight, what would you do and why?
I’d rewrite Bella’s friendships with Mike, Jessica, Eric, and Angela. I never liked that Bella basically just dropped all of her friends to spend time with Edward because that’s both toxic and sets unhealthy expectations for readers. So, I’d rewrite her friendships and make them more present and healthy.
Do you think Bella is a passive character, and what do you think that says about [Stephenie] Meyers views on femininity and greater overarching views on feminism?
I’ve never thought that Bella was a passive character. One of the defining characteristics of passive characters is that they don’t influence the story through choices and they don’t make decisions that guide their future. And…Bella makes choices that heavily impact the direction of both the story and her future: She chooses Edward, she chooses to marry Edward, she chooses to have Renesmee, and she chooses to become a vampire. All of these are choices that Bella makes, which in turn, directly change or solidify the direction of the story.
As for what this says about Stephenie Meyers’s viewpoints about femininity and feminism, I’m not going to dig into that part of the question because I generally don’t like to draw too many conclusions about an author’s beliefs based on their work because while it does represent them in the book world, a lot of authors write about things that they, personally, don’t believe in or agree with.
Do you think Tris in Divergent is in response to the backlash Bella received?
Tris is a strong female character, but I don’t think she was created with the intention of responding to any backlash about Bella.
And, if I’m being honest, I don’t really understand why Bella received all the backlash that she did. I understand that she wasn’t the most in-your-face-heroic-and-epic character, but I think that’s because she’s a quieter, more subtle character: Bella might not be as smart as Hermione, but she was clever enough to evade Alice and Jasper in the airport; she might not be as brave as Tris, but she was courageous enough to sacrifice herself (on multiple occasions) if it would save Edward; she might not be as strong or realistic as some of the other YA female leads, but Bella continually proves to girls that you always have a choice-even if sometimes she makes the wrong one.
Yes, Bella isn’t a perfect character, but she does show that even someone as plain and boring and human as her is capable of loving and being loved.
Okay, I’ll get off my Bella soapbox.
Favorite movie (other than Twilight😂)?
I cannot and will not narrow this down to one movie, so you get a list (also I’m not including any trilogies or series’ because we’d be here all day):
- Beauty and the Beast (live action)
- Breakfast Club
- Five Feet Apart
- The Fault in Our Stars
Favorite Marvel character (if you watch)?
The Favorite Person is slowly getting me to watch some of the Marvel movies, so as of right now, my favorite character is Iron Man because he’s the best. (Don’t come for me, I haven’t even seen the Avengers movies yet, so please don’t subject me to debates and even more spoilers than what I already know.)
Favorite band, favorite song by said band, and any particular lyrics you love?
I used to say Twenty One Pilots in response to this question, but by now I’m just a Swiftie, so you get some of my favorite Taylor songs:
- Breathe (Taylor’s Version)
- Lover – Live from Paris
- Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)
- I Forgot that You Existed
- The 1
Taylor Swift has all the good lyrics, but here are some that I really love:
‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love youFifteen | Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
You’re gonna believe them
I forgot that you existedI Forgot That You Existed | Lover
And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t
And it was so nice
So peaceful and quiet
Tried to change the endingCardigan | FOlklore
Peter losing Wendy…
When you are young they assume you know nothing
If you were to get a tattoo, what would you get?
I most likely will never get a tattoo, but if I did, I’d probably get a quote that I like or song lyrics that mean a lot to me.
Favorite kind of tea, if you drink tea?
I really don’t drink tea that much, but sometimes I’ll try a fruit tea if I’m out with my friends.
Also, any recommendations for fantasy-ish books?
*browses my fantasy shelf on Goodreads while pretending like I actually read fantasy books*
Well, obviously I’m gonna recommend the Harry Potter series first and foremost.* After that, I’d say Hunted by Meagan Spooner is a good one, especially if you love Beauty and the Beast retellings. And for those who prefer pirate-y fantasy novels, I’d highly suggest Savage Elegance by my dear friend, Skye Cooley.
*I say like somebody will be shocked by this lol.
Top 3 places in the world you want to travel to?
I’m not really comfortable answering this question, so I’m politely declining by saying that all of the places that I want to travel to are fictional, lol.
Grace’s (@Totally_Graced) Questions
Favorite part of your day?
Twilight, but it’s not just because I love the series. I genuinely love twilight because it’s when the sun is setting and God is painting the sky with breathtaking colors and the stars begin twinkling above my head and sometimes the moon shares the sky with the setting sun for just a few minutes. Twilight is the time when day melts into night and somehow, amidst whatever life is throwing at me, I always find a little peace in the fact that nature is calm in this moment.
The only bad part of twilight is that it’s bug central and mosquitos literally go insane.
One thing you wish that you were good at?
I wish empathy came more naturally to me. As a Ravenclaw, my go-to is always to try and fix everything and to make people feel better. But sometimes it’s best to just sit with someone in their pain, grief, or sadness and show them that you care and can empathize with what they are going through.
I’m a 4w5 and to prove it, I made a sentimental and melancholy playlist for us.
Favorite part of blogging?
The community! I love when I post something and everyone starts commenting on it because it means that my words resonated with people, which is all I ever wanted.
Least favorite part of blogging?
Maybe finding the time to write posts when life is crazy? I do wish that I posted more on here, but sometimes I have more important priorities, and I’m okay with that.
Favorite memory this month?
Lots of good quality family time, which is really important to me.
The last thing that made you laugh?
I’m finishing this post on Sunday, so I think the last thing that made me laugh was something that my pastor said at church this morning.
Book recs/favorites (or any kind of favorite thing for that matter)?
The books I would recommend are: Dawn Chandler by Eliza Noel for middle grade, 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons for an uplifting YA experience, and Scythe or Unwind by Neal Shusterman for moral quandaries (not for the faint of heart).
Something that surprised you/was unexpected about blogging?
I think the biggest surprise for me about blogging was how popular my Never Have I Ever Tag for Writers became. I had no idea that it would blow up and become a tag that so many people wanted to do; I just thought it would be fun and went for it. So, to all the bloggers who have a tag idea and are hesitant about doing it: Do the tag. You never know how many people might just love it as much as you.
Fun facts about you that you want newer people to know?
Ooh, this is a really good question. Since I obviously don’t have enough lists in this post yet, let’s add one more, shall we?
- I habitually spill water, which is why I always use a cup with a lid.
- Dance Academy is my comfort show (that I’ve seen at least 2-3 times).
- I have a white, fluffy cat named Angel who frequently jumps onto my desk and tries to lay on my computer.
- One of my old high school friends used to call me Hermione Granger and I called her Cho Chang.
- I’m a Christian who just wants to spread the love and hope of Christ.
Favorite thing about blogging?
Making new internet friends with similar interests. You all have made this journey so so worth it, and I love that I’ve been able to connect with so many amazing people because of my blog.
If you were to have tea with one book character, author, AND celebrity, who would they be and why?
Book character is 100% Hermione Granger because I WANNA MEET HER AND TALK ABOUT MAGIC. *sparkle sparkle* The author would be Neal Shusterman because I wanna know how he creates stories that are so dark, but SO HOPEFUL. And the celebrity…um….*considers which celebrities I would actually want to be around for more than five minutes*…Keanu Reeves because he seems so completely down-to-earth, kind, and humble as a person and an actor.
My favorite aesthetics are: everything outer space, books, coffee, forests, and vampires.
If you could be trapped in any book universe for one week, what would it be and why?
Oh, so now I’m trapped? Great. *thinks intensely* Probably the book universe of Twilight because if I’m there for a week, I gotta be comfortable, and Forks has comfy in the bag.
All-time favorite songs?
Thank you all for submitting your questions and for supporting The Long Voyage for two whole years. I’m so incredibly grateful for each and every one of my voyagers and I cannot wait to see what the next year of blogging brings. If you have questions that you weren’t able to submit in time for the Q&A, feel free to drop them in the comments section because I’ll be responding to any more questions over there.
Shameless, Last Minute Plugins
Interested in exclusive updates on my life? Want to know my thoughts about the books I’m reading? Or even access to snippets from my latest WIP? Well, now you can. Come join my Voyager Exclusive Facebook group where we talk about writing, books, and all things creative.
Want to be NaNoWriMo buddies? I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July and I’d love to encourage you and hear all about your stories. So, send me an invite and let’s stay in touch.