Nanowrimo 2015 – Sort Of

NaNo-2015-Participant-BannerNanowrimo is this super cool event where writers from all over the world, both professional and amateur, try to write a novel (or 50,000 words of a novel) in the month of November. If you’ve ever written before, you might know that this is well, really really difficult, which is why there is a large support group and forums and pep talks to keep you going.

November is never a good month for me. It’s smack dab in the middle of the academic year, and there are often exams to prepare for an papers to be written. I’m currently doing a master’s degree, and they do not believe in free time. So I have none. Nor do I generally have the energy to write anything after slavering away on a theoretical essay.


I do love writing. And I love the Nanowrimo community. And I do want to be part of that, in a way, even if I can’t write 50,000 words. So this year I’m going to try to participate with a much lower word count goal: 10,000. Instead of working on a novel, I’ll be writing science fiction and fantasy short stories – and if all goes well, finish two or three of them. Of course, I will keep you guys posted on my progress.

Are you participating in Nanowrimo this year?


Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon 2015

Hi! Long time no see. With my dramatic decrease of free time because of university, Irresponsible Cactus has been a bit sad and empty lately. I’ve been concentrating mainly to keep Nyx Book Reviews running, and this awesome little blog has fallen to the wayside.

However, today it is time for the 24 hour #readathon (find out more info on their website), and I thought it would be fun to do the challenges and hourly updates on here! So, if you’re participating too, leave a comment or connect with me on Twitter!

The Reading Stack

readathon reading stackI’m keeping it simple this readathon. Just one book, the classic The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and two beautiful graphic novels. I’m just hoping to read more than I usually would today!

Adventure log

Hour 1: I managed to read 25 pages of The Scarlet Letter. There has been some distraction in the form of conversations with my mother, chatting with my boyfriend, and general Twitter awesomeness, but overall, not a bad start!

Hour 2: Lunch time! The tea was a present from my Secret Sister – I had the Honeybush Acai Berry Punch, which was really nice. I read another handful of pages in The Scarlet Letter, which brings my grand total of pages read up to 30.

readathon lunch

Hour 3: I was very much distracted this hour by family members and the pets. I have 75 pages left in my book, so I’m hoping I can read those uninterrupted now

Hour 4: Some good old reading, while our doggy keeps me company on the couch. Only 40 books left in the book. It’s going in the right direction 😀

Hour 5+6: Reading break and dinner! I’ve been battling with an ugly headache for the last three days, and it started to rear its ugly head again. But I took some painkillers, and I’m ready for some more reading now

Hour 7: I finished The Scarlet Letter! Aw yeah. Also wrote my mini-review, and now it’s time for a fresh cup of tea and Alex + Ada!

Hour 8: Read Alex + Ada, Volume 1 in its entirety. Really good science fiction graphic novel. It’s too bad I don’t have the other two trades of this one. I’m going to take a break from reading now, get some blogging done instead. In other readathon related news, I also won a prize! Go me 😀

Hour 9+10+11: I took a break from reading to watch a movie with my mom. We saw Waking Ned Divine, a brilliant comedy about a small Irish village. After that, it was time for some sleep.

Hour 12-21: Bed time

Hour 22: Woke up, had breakfast, and picked a new book to read: Murder-on-Sea. It’s a murder mystery with a bit of a Christmas atmosphere.

Hour 23+24: Managed to read 170 pages in Murder-at-Sea.

Final tally

Books read: one novel (The Scarlet Letter) and one graphic novel (Alex + Ada, Volume 1)

Pages read: 470

Hours read: 6

Graphic Novel Mini Reviews: Nimona, Lost at Sea & Thor: Goddess of Thunder

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Series: Standalone
Rating: 3 Stars
272 pages – Published May 12th 2015 by HarperCollins

The start of this comic was so funny, cute, quirky, and lovely. Sadly the latter half didn’t live up to the former. There was not enough time spent on the strengths of the comic; the relationships between the characters and the humour. Nimona starts off so fresh and original, but in the end collapses under genre tropes, an overarching plot that felt done before, and a rather unsatisfying ending.

Would definitely have been better with more shark jokes.

Title: Lost at Sea
Author: Brian Lee O’Malley
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4 Stars
160 pages – Published May 3rd 2005 by Oni Press

Lost at Sea is the debut graphic novel of Brian Lee O’Malley – you might know him from his Scott Pilgrim books. Lost at Sea is more whimsical and lyrical in its writing. Text floats throughout the panels, sometimes a page only has one image, and most of the text is internal monologue. I loved the idea of this book, and it’s incredibly quotable with amazing haunting images. The four-colour scheme adds to the ethereal quality of the book. My only gripe is that the ending was too abrupt. It was almost as if he ran out of pages to make his point, and squished them in the last two instead of making a proper final climax. For a debut, Lost at Sea is pretty amazing.

Title: Thor, Vol. 1: Goddess of Thunder
Author: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Series: Thor (2014) #1-5
Rating: 4 Stars
136 pages – Published May 26th by Marvel

I bought Goddess of Thunder because of the fantastic cover and the fact that I love another female-centered Marvel comic, Ms. Marvel. Goddess of Thunder is a good starting point for a Marvel noob like me – you don’t really need to know all that much about the Marvel universe to be able to enjoy this comic. I have only seen one Thor movie and the first Avengers one, and they gave me enough background to appreciate this comic. The big blonde Thor guy is no longer worthy of his hammer, but some mysterious lady picks it up… The artwork is fantastic, and I love how the new Thor knows how to kick frost giant butts.

Je t’aime, Paris!


Marking the fourth trip of 2015, my boyfriend and I went to Paris, the city of romance, for the weekend. The trip was a birthday present for my 21st birthday, as you might have read about. We’ve both visited Paris before, and the weekend was about rediscovering places we’ve already seen, and discover new things we might have missed last time.

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Currently Playing: Hearthstone

Part review, part diary, all Cactus – in Currently Playing I share what has been going on in my gaming life lately!

currentlyplayingGaming, like every form of entertainment in my life such as reading and watching TV, has it’s ups and downs. Some weeks I might not boot a game at all, while others I cannot be torn away from my screen. One game, however, has been pretty constantly played by me throughout the last year – Hearthstone. This card game by Blizzard, featuring various characters from the Warcraft franchise is one of the coolest casual games I’ve had the pleasure of playing.


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Orphan Black – First Impressions

orphan_black_2_poster_2After catching up with Penny Dreadful, The Big Bang Theory, and Daredevil, I’ve been in the search of a new TV series to watch. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and the show with most mentions is Orphan Black.

The posters of this series are all pretty bland – showing the lead actress Tatiana Maslany in various versions. The posters weren’t very appealing to me, so I never gave it a try without the push of my Twitter friends.

The plot, as set up in the first three episodes, stands as follows: Sarah sees a woman who looks just like her jump in front of her train. Since Sarah is in dire need of money, she impersonates the woman to get into her savings account – but then she gets caught up deeper and deeper into the dead woman’s life, and the mysterious circumstances of their relatedness.

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