The Difference between a Writer and an Author

While this essay isn’t really a review of literary works, I think it still goes well with the theme of literature. It began as a rant I once had to myself, but I turned it into a slightly more formal essay for Mrs. Lambert’s class. If you’d like, you can think of this as a bit more of a peek into my brain, at least when it comes down to what I identify as in terms of writing. And in case you’re wondering, I identify as a writer.

Approximately 81 percent of Americans want to write at least one book. Does that qualify someone to be an author? To answer the question, those that wish to write a book are more than likely going to be a writer, not an author because they are less likely to dedicate their career to the craft. That sparks another question: what sets an author apart from a writer? The literal definition of a writer is “a person who has written a particular text,” and the definition of an author is “a writer of a book, article, or report.” While the words seem to be defined differently, they are too similar. As a solution, the definitions of “writer” and “author” should be further altered to avoid confusion.

A form of leisure, writing is often used as a way to deviate from the everyday. Many writers practice their craft to share it with those close to them. Some publish their stories in smaller works like literary journals and magazines, but not all writers strive to become famous for their work. Unlike authors, writers are not pressured to create something new; rather, they have the choice to continue a book or not. Therefore, a more accurate definition of a writer would be any person with a desire to write.

Authors are almost the opposite of writers in terms of their qualities. If a new definition of author was created, it should be worded something like “a person who writes not only for pleasure, but also for a living.” What begins as a passion for writing turns into a way of life for authors. Writing is more than a hobby; it is a career. When one takes into account how much work (deadlines, editing, revisions, etc.) an author has to devote to one story, it is clear that there is a divide between the two types of artists.

As briefly mentioned, the two are quite different when dissected, however, they do share some similarities. A thin line divides authors and writers, making them seem to be opposites. They have similar origins: finding pleasure or satisfaction in writing something into existence. Although, writers and authors take separate paths and end in different destinations, so to speak. For example, writers, often, do not have to devote their time to writing. If they wish, a writer can begin a story one day, then finish it some time afterwards. Authors, however, must create a story and produce a manuscript within a timeframe set by their editor. In the end, authors are more pressured to write for their earnings while writers do not experience the same. 

Due to their similarities, the terms “author” and “writer” are misused. A writer creates stories for leisure and might publish their work(s) to let others experience it. Alternatively, authors write for work before writing for pleasure. As one can tell, the divide between the two is slim but divided, nonetheless. As for how one can determine if they are a writer or author, consider how much time and effort one puts into a story or book idea. 

My Bangers

If you ever see me in class head-banging, lip-syncing, or making odd faces, I’m probably listening to some of my more recent favorite songs. As the year progresses, more music is added into my library, and I learn to love more songs and artists. While I titled this blog “My Bangers,” it’s actually going to focus on one song, but I might come back to it later and add more to my list.

This month’s banger is “Degenerates” by I the Mighty. The song is essentially about Brent Walsh, the singer, and his friends (lovingly dubbed “Degenerates” as he mentions in an interview with New Noise) celebrating the new year and how he felt in that moment, then when he returned home, Walsh felt empty. For me, the song is such a universal experience, even if you haven’t gone through anything like it. 

There are several reasons why I love this song: the lyrics, the melody, how much I relate to it. The second verse is what I relate with mostly, but it’s more in a wholesome way.

And I breathe in the scent of coffee from the kitchen
I hear the laughter spilling from the other room
So I drag my body up and join the living
An exception almost right on cue

That one verse manages to encapsulate every weekend I spend at home. When she wakes up, the first thing my mom does is brew a pot of coffee. By the time I start to wake up, all you can smell is coffee. From the living room, my mom, and maybe my dad, will be posted up on the couch, watching the news or Dr. Phil. After a while of hearing them laughing or talking, I’ll slide out of bed and trudge into the living room, often gaining remarks of “Oh, look who’s decided to join the land of the living!” or “Look at that hair!” I’ll roll my eyes at them, plop down on a couch with a blanket, and join them in whatever they’re watching.

Walsh mentioned that the song is about “finding your place.” Sometimes I find myself questioning where I belong or where I fit in, whether it’s in the world or in school, but then I look at where I am, and I realize that this is the best spot I could be in. At least, that’s what I can assume. If I believed in any religion, I’d wonder why that entity created me, but for now, I am content to survive. 

This is a long quote, but I think it’s vital to understand both the song and the emotion he’s trying to convey through the “story” of “Degenerates.”

The song encompasses the overwhelming feeling of gratitude I had for my life and the people in it that weekend, and the emptiness I felt when I was in solitude upon my return. It led to the realization that, when you <I<truly feel something, it can create a void in its absence. I’ve found that life tends to try to balance itself. Without the lows, you don’t truly feel the highs and the reverse is just as true.

Being the slightly pessimistic person that I am, this quote helped me understand not just the song, but even myself a little bit more. I encourage all of you to give it a listen sometime. Especially if you might be feeling a little down.

Happy New Decade

Have you given up on life at this point in your life? Don’t worry, I have too.

That wasn’t a good way to start this semester….

 Happy New Year! We’ve entered a new decade, and maybe we’ll see some change. However, it’s okay to not change, but you can strive for improvement! Small steps is the best way to accomplish things. For instance, it is currently 1:40 A.M., and I am working on this blog post. After I finish this, I plan to work on my passion project, but if I’m too tired, I might try to go to sleep. Yes, this does sound like a bad habit, but when compared to the fact that I have done almost nothing this whole weekend, that sounds like improvement to me. 

The moral? Improvement is a relative term that you can bend to whatever you want it to mean. Don’t strive for perfection; just try to do a little better than last time. Now, being the cheesy person that I am, I thought that I should include some quotes that I actually connected with somewhat. For those that don’t know, I don’t relate or associate myself with quotes very often, so looking for senior quotes was a trip.

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” — J.P. Morgan

The words are self-explanatory, but I feel like I have to be told to do some things. My first step this year/decade is acceptance. I will accept that staying up until unreasonable hours of the night is not good at all. I also accept that there’s a very small chance that I will go where I want to for college, and that I probably won’t land my “dream” job. And at this point, that’s okay. Instead, I will make moves to become a better student. I have spent this whole year procrastinating, halfheartedly doing my work, and distracting myself at any time I could. This decade will be my time for becoming a better version of myself. I want to come to peace with myself in terms of everything: romantically, socially, mentally, academically. None of this will happen within a week, month, or year. It’s gonna take time, but I think I owe it to myself to take some time for myself. Basically, I don’t want to be stuck in a rut where I constantly question myself, and I need to stop while I’m not too far behind. That’s what the quote means to me.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” — Brad Paisley

This particular quote will actually inspire a possible passion project if Mrs. Sibley would approve of me switching out another project. We’re all literaries, minus Blake but he’s an honorary literary. Writing is more than a hobby for us. If we compare our lives to a piece of writing, what would it say about you? My book wouldn’t even be a bestseller, but that’s okay. At least I know my closest friends would buy a copy, or maybe they’d share one book and lend it out on certain days. However, I plan to change that. I want my book mean something, and if I need to alter something about myself, then guess what I’m doing?

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” — Anne Frank

As my idol of sorts wrote, we don’t know what the future is bringing to us. At most, we know we’re graduating, but that’s it. This year, one of us could meet the love of our life. Another could get their dream job. Someone could adopt a pet and love it to pieces. The point is that we don’t know what’s in store for us, and it’s a beautiful thing. Mystery can be great, but that depends on your outlook of life. I think we should live every day focusing on the positive of that day. Give whatever bad moment you encountered a thought, but discard it for the rest of the day. Unless it’s something extremely sensitive.

“We are the authors of our destinies.” ― Nike Campbell-Fatoki

Again, we’re literaries. A good part of our lives revolve around writing. Well, it does at this school. It’s up to us how our life will turn out. Sure, bad decisions can’t be avoided, but even then, that depends on the angle you look at it from. The only thing we can do is take control and rewrite whatever was already written for us.

And so, as of 3:15 A.M., I will begin improving upon myself for the rest of this decade. I encourage those who read this post to do the same. Happy New Decade, literaries. Here’s a great spring semester, and seniors, we’re so close to the end. Hang in there because in 140 days, we’ll officially be done with high school. Then it’s on to the next stage of our lives.



I have been reading this book almost all nine weeks, I’m pretty sure. The app I read it on is called Radish, and it has a system where readers can either wait x amount of time to read a chapter or they can use coins. I’m broke, so I wait every two days to read this book. Chloe has heard me rant about Khaos several times because of its contents. 

Before I begin, there are several warnings that go along with this book. Are you ready? Too bad.

Khaos has mentionings of rape, murder, physical and mental abuse, and probably some other things that I don’t know about because I have not finished it yet. In case you could not tell, it is definitely not school appropriate, but I’ll skirt around most of that stuff; however some of it is essential to the plot.

Audrey “Jamie” Seo has been on the run from her exceedingly abusive and possesive ex-husband, Julian, who happens to be the heir to some Russian mafia.  She crashes in a small town and meets this man named Khaos who saved her from a possible rape. Turns out, Khaos was a member of a cult called Right Way and was one of the four Horsemen. Wild. They move in together because Audrey wants extra protection from Julian. That’s all you’re getting from me because I don’t want to spoil everything.

Now for the grittier stuff. The author has this magical way of making everything in the story feel real. And it’s awful. If you’re empathetic or just emotional, you probably shouldn’t read it because you will feel everything. Audrey often has flashbacks of her relationship with Julian and something about it is so immersive. The author makes it obvious who is meant to be the villain and who is the hero, so that makes it so much easier to hate Julian. He’s done plenty of horrid things to Audrey and even strangers when it came to her. At one point, she remembers going to a restaurant with Julian and talking to a man about the menu. The fact that she smiled at the stranger made Julian mad, so when they left, he caused a scene. That’s not the terrible thing though. They end up inside of a elevator with that man from the restaurant, and he happens to smile at Audrey, and that set Julian off. He grabbed the man and yelled at him for looking at his girl before stabbing his eyes out. Yeah, not the healthiest relationship… Of course, that’s not the worst thing Julian did to her. I won’t spoil that.

Enter Khaos. I love his character and that might include a bit of bias, but that doesn’t matter. Khaos has a bad past, so bad that he doesn’t even know how old he is. He was “adopted” into Right Way by the leader and was raised to become one of the Horsemen. As a Horseman, he was meant to keep all of the members in line, and if they acted out, he and his “brothers” had to dole out the punishment. I don’t remember if there’s a definite number of people that Khaos killed, but I’m just going to say that there’s at least ten. 

Anyway, I’m not going to give away too much of the story. Here’s a gist though: it’s violent, rated 18+, and it’s great. I’m not your mother, so I can’t tell you to not read Khaos, however, I’m not responsible for anything. Happy reading!

The Adventure of the German Student

As you all may know by now, I love October. It’s an amazing month to me because the temperature goes down, the leaves change from green to golds and reds, and Halloween is right around the corner. Halloween is, by far, my favorite holiday. Christmas and Thanksgiving are awesome in their own ways, but they aren’t on the same level as Halloween. You can dress up as anything you’d like, so if there’s a dream you never got to fulfill, for just one night out of the year, you can live out that fantasy. Kids get to run around and go to strangers’ homes to get free candy, and adults, ranging from 20 to 40, are most likely at a friend’s house or a club drinking the night away. October and Halloween are a time for horror and things that go bump in the night, which brings me to the topic of this post: “The Adventure of the German Student” by Washington Irving. I thought it would be more appropriate to review a ghost/scary story for this spook-takular part of the year.

“The Adventure of the German Student” is about a young man named Gottfried Wolfgang who is likely suffering from depression, and his friends send him to Paris during the French Revolution. Not really the greatest time or place for a person who has a “melancholy temperament” to be, but kudos to his friends for trying to help. To be quite honest, the story really isn’t scary. In fact, it doesn’t even border on creepy – the baby version of scary. It’s more like a funny ghost story. I don’t know what was Irving’s purpose in creating the story, but I still enjoyed it in some way. While I didn’t like how Wolfgang’s story ended, I like the actual end of the work. It kind of left me with the questions: Who the man was talking to? and Who was the narrator of the story?

I think Irving’s “The Adventure of the German Student” is a perfect story to tell to kids because it’s not meant to be scary in my opinion. It’s given a dark history and backdrop, but when you actually get into the story, the atmosphere lightens up. Wolfgang has become so melancholic that he’s become fascinated by this strange beauty that haunts his dreams, and suddenly he meets her. Absolutely nothing about would scare a child unless they were still in that stage where they think girls or guys are icky. But besides that, it’s perfect to read to a group of kids around a little fire while they roast marshmallows and make smores. As an official rating, I give the story five jack o’lanterns out of five jack o’lanterns for children, and one rotten jack o’lantern out of five jack o’lanterns for anyone else who decides to read it. I do encourage you to read it though to find out what happens to Gottfried and his mysterious beauty!

Blind Reviews (Part 1)

I decided to be a bit different for this blog post, so I will be doing “blind reviews” of four pieces of literature, meaning that I have never read them, but I have a basic understanding of each. On top of reviewing these books, I will be ranking them based off of quotes that I found in my research. Without further ado, let’s get to this review!

#4 – How to Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

“And she comes to you, and she does not speak, and the others do not notice her, and she takes your hand, and you ready yourself to die, eyes open, aware this is all an illusion, a last aroma cast up by the chemical stew that is your brain, which will soon cease to function, and there will be nothing, and you are ready, ready to die well, ready to die like a man, like a woman, like a human, for despite all else you have loved, you have loved your father and your mother and your brother and your sister and your son and yes, your ex-wife, and you have loved the pretty girl, you have been beyond yourself, and so you have courage, and you have dignity, and you have calmness in the face of terror, and awe, and the pretty girl holds your hand, and you contain her, and this book, and me writing it, and I too contain you, who may not yet even be born, you inside me inside you, though not in a creepy way, and so may you, may I, may we, so may we all of us confront the end.”

This particular quote is crazy to me. It’s all one, huge sentence, and I think it was written for one of two reasons: to force the reader to slow down and savor what exactly is being said, or to make the reader speed-read the line to cause confusion until they make it to the end. Perhaps, the author wrote it with both reasons in mind, but who am I to say such a thing? You know what’s even more wild? The fact that this book is not necessarily a coming-of-age story or anything, but it’s about the protagonist trying to find love while working in the bottled water industry. For that reason, I think How to Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia is worth giving a read for the sole reason of wanting to understand how the book arrived to its final line.

#3 – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”

Ellison’s novel is about an African-American man who learns that the only role of black people is to be the entertainment of white people. For example, in order for him to get a scholarship for a black college, he is forced through a battle royal setting for the enjoyment of several white dignitaries. To me, Ellison’s words are powerful, honest, and still relevant. Even when not considered from the racial perspective (which it is), he has a point. People want to live and experience what life has to offer for everyone, and humans generally do not want to be restricted. You have to be ready to fight for your freedoms, beliefs, and pleasures. We have sayings like “YOLO” or “just do it” because humans are forward-thinking – I don’t mean in the progressive way. Many humans like to live in the moment and refuse to let themselves be restricted.  

#2 – Middlemarch by George Eliot

“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner- time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts- not to hurt others.”

This quote spoke to me a bit more than the others did for a few reasons. I don’t think it is pride that makes me not want to tell certain people when I’m hurt, but there’s always a thought in the back of my head, saying “There’s no point. It’ll go away soon.” And sometimes it does. Other times, that’s not the case. Anyways, the book Middlemarch, is a roller coaster. It follows four plots in 864 pages, and they all seem to crossover randomly. Based off of the summary and SparkNotes I read to understand the book and the quote, I think Eliot’s novel would be interesting to read. However, I’d have to keep a journal full of the characters’ names and relationships to make sure I don’t get anything confused. Fun fact: I learned that trick from my uncle because that’s how he made it through Game of Thrones.

#1 –  Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”

If you don’t know this yet, I don’t sleep much at night. I started using melatonin in the beginning of the year because my mind wouldn’t shut off. Paranoia and/or insomnia is probably to blame for that though. Enough about me; let’s move on to Don Quixote.
From what I understand, Don Quixote (the main character) has read a little too much and gets the idea that he is the equivalent to a knight. He begins his adventure to save the poor and unfortunate, gain the companionship of a squire, and to find himself a princess. What is really happening is that this middle-aged man is going insane, and he becomes the joke of the Duke and Duchess. He wore his body out with his constant adventures and lack of sleep, and Don Quixote went nuts. As all the insane do, he didn’t have a happy ending: an old friend of his bested him in an illusioned fight and he later died from his wounds. Personally, I think this would be a great book to read because I hurt for Don Quixote, yet at the same time, I wanted to laugh at him for his… flaws.

Annelies’s Song

Today, I will be doing a review on the song “The People in the Attic” by Ice Nine Kills. I might be a bit partial to this song because when I was younger, I looked up to Anne Frank. She was my role model, and I used to aspire to have the same impact on the world that she did. You know, minus the Holocaust and dying in a concentration camp. I hope that never happens. As a small preface, the song is based off of Anne Frank’s diary and what could have been her experience when she was in the attic. For anyone who may be unfamiliar with Anne Frank, she was a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl who was forced to go into hiding with her family to avoid being captured by the Nazis during World War II. The Frank family had gone into hiding in 1942, and after two years of living in the annex, police officers stormed the small shop they were hiding in and arrested a total of ten people (two of them were helpers) on August 4, 1944. Anne was sent to the notorious concentration camp Auschwitz originally, then to Bergen-Belsen where she passed away of typhus at the age of fifteen. She is known for the diary she kept during her time in hiding.

The song focuses mostly on the literary aspect of Anne Frank’s experience, and the effort that the band went through to create the song is incredible to me. Some lines of the song are direct quotes of Frank’s diary, showing that there was at least some method of thought for the song. For example, they pull the quote “It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality” from her diary. I don’t know if it was intentional, but that quote (or line, however you’d like to take it) was written less than a month before Anne Frank and her family were arrested from the attic – close to the end of her life, basically. Yet the band chose to use that as the opening line for the song. I just find it ironic to use that particular quote. 

The lead singer and writer of the song, Spencer Charnas, tries his best to portray the fear, frustration, and hopelessness that would have been a general experience in the annex. The lines “They’re getting closer and closer to me/Stripping my dignity with every brick as it’s broken/Stealing hope from my whole family” shows how belittling it must have been to have to give up everything just because of what religion they practiced. Her father had to sell his business; her whole family had to give up their lives and pack it all into a series of cramped rooms that had to be shared with six other strangers. I just love the dedication Charnas put into the storyline of the song because Anne Frank deserved nothing less than that, and if not, more. I know that Anne Frank might seem to be a bit overrated to some people, but please give the song a listen and take a tour of the Annex!


Like Me

The hardest part of me is my skin.

It protects me from the outside world. 

People pick at me, trying to eat my insides.

I’m scarred, chipped, and broken.


I’m lost.

I’m a fish out of water. 

I’ve been thrown into a world

that is nothing like my own.


I’m aging; I’ll never be the same again.

My shell is cracking. They are getting through. 

Maybe I’m not as indestructible as I thought.

Maybe I am meant to be broken.


I’m burning from the outside in.

I scream, but no one tries to save me.

They leave me to drown; to boil.

Then they tear me open and eat my innards.


It is a sad life for a lobster like me.



Summer… and College Prep!!!

It’s official, y’all: we’re in the final stretch. We have 2 weeks of school; approximately 10 days in school – a total of 1 3/7 full weeks. And then it’s summer! After that, we’re going to be seniors and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Well, there are ways, but I wouldn’t endorse it. I’ve made a post before about how I search for colleges, and this post will be somewhat of a follow-up to it. 

My college choices have been adapted to fit the ruling of my parents, but I still hold a small shred of hope to go to college out-of-state. Now what’s the next step after figuring that out? Prep. Colleges often require that you write an essay on various topics, and as I’ve noticed this semester, my essay writing skills have gotten a bit rusty. So to remedy that, I plan to practice writing essays over the summer for my applications. To find some prompts, I looked at a few online, but I plan to use a few from the Texas Common Application site because I plan on applying to a university in Houston. 

Of course, there is still the issue of the ACT. I’m closer to my goal of 30, but I still need to push for a higher math score because math kicks my tail. My mom wants to help me with my score by getting me some more resources to study. I also need to work on my science score. I want to raise it by maybe one or two points. If I really want to push it, I’ll aim for a growth of four or more points. PrepScholar is a good resource to use for studying and finding different test-taking strategies. I’ve used it to adapt my own strategies, and I shared it with my friend, Jennifer, to help her when she first took the ACT. I don’t really know if it helped her out, but she did make a 30, so… maybe they are helpful. For me, their strategies helped me out a lot on the junior ACT. My composite score grew five points, and my reading and English scores spiked. I encourage everyone to check out PrepScholar over the summer or prior to their next swing at the ACT.

Easter Break

This Thursday we go on Easter  break, and I am so ready for it. Jennifer and I have been planning to make bao buns (steamed buns) for what feels like months. It was going to just be us, but now we’re going to have some other friends come over. You know what that means? I had to go back and modify the recipes several times to match whatever quantities we needed for five people. I don’t think we can, nor should make sixty buns for five people, so I just decided to quadruple the bun recipe, which will make 48 buns, and to double the other two recipes, splitting the buns into 24 each. We plan on making Char Siu bao, a barbeque pork bun, and dou sha bao, a red bean paste bun. The dou sha bao will basically be the dessert for the day, and if Jennifer happens to make rice, we can use the extra sauce to make fried rice or to dip the pork buns in. This weekend will definitely be fun because I’ll get to hang with some old friends that I haven’t seen since this time last year. I’ll get to subject them to my cooking as well, so that’ll be extra fun. I’m so ready for this week to be over with! 

P.S.: I added links for the buns we’re going to make because maybe one of y’all will want to make them one day!