Monday, October 31, 2011

Finish Everything

I recently had the opportunity to attend Wordstock.  What a great event!
Part of this festival is getting the chance to listen to authors lecture and Q&A.
*Yes, cue drool and excitement*

This year I got the opportunity to listen to Scott Westerfeld (author of The Uglies and Leviathan) as he spoke about the progression of art and photography in books.  It was a great lecture.  Yet something he said, slightly unrelated, is what has inspired this blog post.

"Finish everything." - Scott Westerfeld

Now, you may be rolling your eyes and saying "duh" right back at me.  But if you take a moment to think about it, you just may realize that that statement is all too true.

We writers, we like to leave our worlds unfinished.  Maybe a story wasn't going the way we wanted, so we step away... for months.  Maybe we get a muse strike and write an amazing ending to a story, yet never bother to think of the entire plot before that.  We get mad at a paragraph so decide to stop mid-sentence, saying we will come back later.  And we never come back.

Sound familiar?

As Westerfeld said (of course this is paraphrased by me, being as I was too into it the lecture to actually write the quote down)...

You may write one hundred amazing beginnings, a handful of great middles, and a couple of decent ends.  Yet when the time comes to finally write your book, you will find there is an issue:  The beginning of your book will rock.  The middle will be decent.  And you find yourself with no clue how to wrap the whole dang thing up.

This is why you finish everything.
Even if the story ends up going in a direction you didn't want or plan.  Even if the paragraph feels like complete gibberish.  Even if you just hate it.  FINISH IT.

An armful of crappy stories is still an armful of stories.  You may never let them see the light of day again, but with each one you will learn something new.
Finish it.

We have been taught that practice makes perfect ever since we fell off our first bike.  Remember that.  Make it a goal to see every word through to the end.  With time, you will notice that your beginnings will shine even more, your middles will be thicker, and your endings will finally install that final gasp you have been looking for.

Whether you are working on a novel that has been years in developement or if you are diving headfirst into the craziness of NaNoWriMo, remember this.  No matter what...

Finish everything.

On a side note, Westerfeld recently made a great post about NaNoWriMo.
Looking for tips and advice?  
Go here!

Happy Writing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Review: City of Glass

City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.... 

Why I Picked This Book:  My sister in laws.  They tend to be the reason a lot, don't they?  They love this series, and I decided to finally give in.

My Thoughts:
I tried reading this book a year ago. Got a few chapters in... then stopped.

A year later I decided to give it another shot.  And read it in almost a day.

The City of Bones is a world of magic, of demons, of family ties and frustrated youth.  Bouncing from moment to moment, you wonder when the characters get time to breathe as they battle to stop bad from getting worse.

This may sound strange, but I loved the supporting cast.  While Clary was alright (firey red head intent on saving her missing mother), and Jace's snarky personality kept me intrigued, I was more pulled in by the people that surrounded the two.  Alec, and his secret love.  Isabelle, with her beauty and glares.  Magnus Bane.  Oh Magnus Bane, you have me intrigued.

Simon... he was boring.  I didn't mind at all when he left the scene.
But his love was admirable.

I loved the idea of the Shadow Hunters.  Part human, part angel.  Created long ago to keep the demons at bay and the monsters of the world under control.  Their bodies are covered in runes to keep them safe, leaving permanent scars as a reminder of who they are.  They fight.  That is pretty much it.  And the humans don't even know it.

I believe almost every fantasy/horror creature is mentioned or makes an appearance in this book.  I loved seeing them all mesh and combine, everything existing together.  Werewolves, vampires, fairies, demons, warlocks... Take your pick.

The story sped along, though near the end did feel rather long and I couldn't believe everything I had just read was in one book.

Now, speaking of the end.  I do not post spoilers on here... But the end.  I did not like a part of it.  There is a twist in the book that just made me go "Really?  You are really going to do that to the characters?" then mega eye roll as a certain big hit movie trilogy came to mind with the same twist, one I never liked. Sorry to be so vague.  You will get this when you read the book.

Now, I have read many posts and rants about Cassandra Clare merely being a FanFic writer, and City of Bones is a total rip off.  Yes, I will admit: While reading it, I did think much of Harry Potter.  This was before I even heard of Claire's FanFic days.  It does feel similar.  There are other stories as well that you can see the likeness too.  People seem to have an issue, major issue, with this.

Me?  While the lack of total originality was a bit of a bummer, it also is the way the world works now.  Every great work seems to be inspired or based off of another.  I enjoyed City of Bones.  It was a great story, with minor flaws, and even more promise.  I honestly don't care where the inspiration came from.

Small rant over.

All in all, I did like this book.  There were things here and there that bugged me (Again though, I can't spoil the read for you.  Just know they are there...) and that twist at the end. But regardless of those things, City of Bones was a great read.  I plan on reading the rest in the series, and you will no doubt hear about it when that time comes.

My Rating
(4 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WIP Day - Backlog Get-Away

Slap my wrist.
I totally failed on my Monday post for the week.  And I don't even have a good excuse why.  I was lazy.  It was one of those days.  And... I'm sorry. *sad face*

Now, it's Wednesday.  Already?  Really?
*brain fries for a moment*

It has been a busy week for me.  I am hacking away once again on my photography backlog, hoping to get most of it out of the way before NaNoWriMo strikes.  Granted, I have much too much to do to get it done in just a week.  But it would be nice to make a huge dent.

Thank you  and  for putting aside our usual   to give me a much needed   You ladies are AWESOME!  (Yes, Twitter talk.  Sorry to those who have not fallen to the Tweeting world...)

Oh, and even though it is about my photography and not my writing... I made my SmugMug page all pretty.  It is spiffy now.  And I loves.
Say cheese!

Honestly?  Really?

I will be majorly pantsing it this year.  Which is fine.  I am a pro pantser.  I have my general plot.  A few characters.  Even have casted the two main characters (Want to know their names and who their celebrity look alikes are?  That will be next week!)  Other than that... I will just let this book take me where ever it  wants to go!

And... the Portland Kick-Off Party is this Saturday!  MAJOR excitement.  I love the Stumptown writers.  We are awesome.  This Saturday should be lots of geeky, nerdy, writerly fun.

Still wrestling that cover.  It doesn't like me.  I have a few awesome people adding their two cents to it as we search "the" cover.  I really do need to set a deadline, and get it done.  The inside is all pretty, just needing its final sweep.  It is this dang cover that is stopping me cold in my tracks.

In other news... I finished beta reading for my good friend Keary.  The book?  Vindicated, the final book of the Fall of Angel series.  I will not, can not, say much.  But watch out people!

Time to skidaddle.  Busy day ahead of me, and it isn't even 10 yet!

Any WIP updates from you?  Do share!

Happy Writing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review - Hourglass

by Myra McEntire

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

One hour to rewrite the past . . . 

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Why I Picked this Book: The buzz in the blogosphere sure kept this book in everyone's eyes.  I finally gave in and bought it, put it off a bit longer, then sat down to devour.

My Thoughts:
Hourglass went from being that book at the bookstore that I wanted to read but passed up every time, to the book I finally gave a chance and couldn't put down.  Myra McEntire spins a story that not only intrigues you and tugs at your heart strings... but it makes you wonder: What if?

I have to admit: I thought this was a ghost story.  That was the main reason I kept putting this book aside.  While I do not hate ghost stories... I don't dive for them either.  Boy, was I wrong as soon as I gave Hourglass the chance.

Emerson started seeing apparitions of people, strange people, just before her parent's death.  The apparitions wouldn't leave her alone.  Though she found touching them caused them to "pop" and leave for the time being, they always returned.  Emerson lost it.  After being committed to a mental institute for while, she was sent off to a private school until her funding ran out.

Now home, she moves in with her brother and his wife.  And starts seeing the "people" more than ever before.  Only Michael seems able to help, a man her brother hired in his attempt to save his sister.  And with Michael, comes more secrets and knowledge of a world she never knew existed.

Okay, see?  Sounds like a ghost story.  Minus the popping part.  That right there is what started to draw me in.  Popping?  Ghosts?  That's not right.

Wormholes.  Time travel.  People with strange mysterious powers and an organization running out of control.  NOW you have my attention!

It was like... X-Men powers meets Stargate wormhole theory with some Twilight romance thrown in.
Loved it.

Here were my few hiccups:
- I don't know why, but repeatedly pointing out that the MC is short always bugs me.
- There was a slight love triangle.  Very slight. As in Emerson never even had to decide.  And though it wasn't horrible, it felt forced. As if it wasn't planned to be there originally.  Whenever the triangle moment started to happen, I groaned inside.  Luckily, it never lasted long.
- Emerson was tough.  While seeing a tough woman is always nice, having her almost be a black belt and pretty much fearless felt too convenient, at times.

Everything else?  I pretty much loved.
The literal electrical touch between Emerson and Michael.
The plot twists I never saw coming.
The playing and toying with the entire Time continuum.

The effort to right a wrong in the past, to save the Hourglass foundation.  And the battle of what is right to change, and what memories should be left just that: memories.

McEntire has me pulled in and left me wanting the next book in the series, now.  I was very delighted to have my doubts proved wrong.  This is a book I love showing off on my shelf, and plan to share it with many friends and readers.  Such as you.

My Rating:
(5 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Day - "Was" is my Enemy

Busy busy busy-ness!
This week is doing two things: speeding by much too fast, and crawling slow as a snail.  Is that even possible?  Apparently so!

Ready to be WIP Updated?  Here we go!

PN: Yes, I have an update!  It's about time, right?
I finished the "was" edit round on Prison Nation, and I feel great!

"Was?" you ask.
I read up on passive writing (Hey now, it has been 6 years since I was in school last... I needed a major refresher!) and found one of the biggest passive crimes is the use of "was."

ie: "was going..." "was slowly..." "was colored..."

In my research, I learned that "was" is bad thing.  Ok, you can use the word.  But not 1225 times like I originally had in my manuscript.  Ouch.  So, I set to work, changing and editing.  "Was going" changed to "went."  "Was slowly" instead became "He crawled along."  "Was colored" transformed to "The bright red of the door gleamed..." You get the picture.

I cut over 500 instances of useless "was."
And I feel great!

Next... I formatted.  I sat down and, without realizing it, spent 5 hours on Sunday formatting my manuscript.  Choosing the font.  Breaking the chapters.  Adding those page numbers.  Making it turn into something awesome, something called a.... book.  It is so crazy to see!  All I have left now is to do my final read through, and make that dang cover.

Yes, the cover is still battling me.  But we will get there!
Exciting!  A release date will be decided soon.
And, just because I love you, here is a screen shot of the first two pages of chapter one!

NaNoWriMo: I need to prep more.
Ok, I need to prep SOMETHING.

I have been bad.  I meant to have so much more prepped for this year's writing craziness.  While I do have the general arc of my story thought of.  Tentative names chosen.  The working title: Redone Shadows (will call is RS for blogging purposes)... I have not planned as much as I hoped I would.

Yes, I am a pantser.  And I do well at it.  So, we will see when the adventure begins how well I do.  We still have what, 12 days?

Totally do-able.

Well, my kids must sense I am writing.  They are climbing all over me, suddenly needing my undying attention in order to survive.  Oh, November will be epic.

How is your WIP day?  Any news or stories to share?

Happy Writing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

NaNoWriMo needs YOU

NaNoWriMo draws near...
Can you believe it?

This year I am, once again, taking part in the Sponsor page as I write my way to 50k words.  And yes, this is where I ask for your help.

NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization.  We don't pay to take part in it.  It is given to us freely, to go mad with, and to finish that "one day" novel with it.  I know for a fact how well it works.  Because of NaNoWriMo, I finally sat down and finished my first novel.

The first draft of PN was written in 14 days.  A year later I have finished the revisions and am prepping for self-publication.  In August I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo and finished the first rough rough draft of yet another novel.  And now I prep for this coming November and the awesome noveling in store.

It works.  It really works.
And it needs us.

Run mostly on donations and product sales, The Office of Letters and Light puts on the annual programs of NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Script Frenzy, and now Camp NaNoWriMo as well.  Without our help... well... I don't even want to think that thought!

I have created a sponsor page.  For me.  Think of it as a write-a-thon.  With each pledge, each donation, I get more fire under my butt to finish this thing.  And with each one, the lights stay on a little longer over at OLL.

It doesn't take much.  Even just $5... $10 will do wonders.
One less book you may buy for the month, but for such a awesome awesome cause.

Yes, I may get donor goodies if I reach a certain amount raised.  Yes, I do love those.
But my main reason for this sponsorship is:
I have seen what NaNoWriMo does.  It changes lives.  It changed mine.  It needs our support.  It needs to stay around for years to come.

If you find yourself able, please think of donating.  The donation page will be open until the end of November.
Hey, I just may do a celebratory Give Away at the end of November in huge thanks as well... oh yes.

To access my donation page, click on the NaNoWriMo Donate button in the right column of this blog. Or... just click here.

And thank you.  You all rock, did you know that?
Happy Writing!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review - Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray
By Ruta Sepetys

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously - and at great risk - documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.

Why I Picked this Book:  I have always had a very soft spot in my heart for Holocaust survival stories.  When I saw this story circulating in the blogger world, I knew I needed it.

My Thoughts:
Talk about a heart-wrencher.

Between Shades of Gray takes place during the second World War.  Unlike most survival stories from this time that tell the struggles of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, this book instead tells the story of a young girl from Lithuania, who is arrested with her family and sent to a prison camp under Stalin's rule.  The events, stories, and tragedies that unfold break your heart, pull at tears, then leave you with the hope that no matter what, you can survive.

Lina's character, to me, felt very well formed.  She was a young girl, vaguely aware of the world around her.  Full of her dreams to create art and fall in love.  When the unthinkable happened and her world was destroyed around her, she used her passions to pull her through.  This young girl was forced to grow up much faster than life normally demands, and she fought for every second.

I do have to add: This is a fictional piece.  Based on true events, with some of the atrocities most likely too close to the true story, the overall plot is fictional.

I myself have always been one to devour books from this time of mankind.  The events that happened, the pain and loss, life and lessons, I feel are some of the most powerful and intense out there.  Every person should learn these stories.  And remember them.

While Between Shades of Gray was a fictional piece, the story feels real.  Every moment feels as if it did happen.  The love story was just enough to exist, but not to overpower.  The family ties were astounding.   It was real life, in all of its horrible splendor.

It may be hard for some to read.  Though not as explicit as other survival stories, there are instances that may be too much for some one not used to this genre.

The only negative I can think of is that I would have liked it if the ending didn't so abruptly.  While it was true to life, it would have been nice to see more of a wrap-up.

Between Shades of Gray reminds you that no matter hardships you have in your life, there is always hope.  You must always keep fighting.  I commend  Sepetys for writing this novel for all of us to read.  It was beautiful, with all of its non-beauty.

My Rating
(5 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP Day - Can you say NaNoWriMo?

I can't seem to stop yawning today.


And, cue watering eyes.
There they are. *wipes yawn tears*

I think I might be tired.
Yet the WIP Day must go on!

Prep for NaNoWriMo has officially begun.  I have updated my profile.  Punched out a very short, very rough synopsis for my book.  Struggled with names and let the world create.  This is exciting.  Really, really exciting.  I have to say: NaNoWriMo just may be better than Christmas.

What's my novel you ask?
This year I am writing a paranormal fantasy.  Yes, most likely YA.  It is actually a story I got the idea for years ago, jotted down some scenes... then set it aside and turned it into a "one day" novel.  Well, this is its year.  I am stoked.

For those curious, here is the rough title, even more rough synopsis, and working cover (everything is oh-so subject to change) for this November's awesomeness.

Redone Shadows
After the death of MC's father, she falls through a hole, landing in a strange world of darkness. It is the world of the Shadows, beings banished from the world of the living long ago. MC now finds herself stuck in the battle as the Shadows plan their revolt on the world of the living, and the light.

You might have noticed that the MC's name is... well... MC.  That is because I am still deciding on her identity.  Want to give me input? Go read my post about it!  Click here.

I am excited!  Are you excited?  Will you be writing this coming November??

In other news...

PN:  This last Saturday I did the shoot for my book cover.  A great family friend posed as my Millie, and we got some awesome shots to choose from.  Now, I just have to decide!  Sifting, sifting.  I have also began the 2nd to last edit round on PN.  That's right, I am editing... again.  Is it just me, or does it feel like we writers edit more than write?

Release date for PN will be decided soon...

Wordstock: That's right, I went.  And it was awesome.  Totally awesome.  Want to know more?  A post is in the works!  I do have to say that it is partly because of Wordstock and its crazy greatness that I failed to post on Monday.  Just so tired!

I think that is enough for this WIP day.  How goes yours?

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Naming input needed!

I know: I failed on an awesome post yesterday.  Life is nuts, all of which you will hear about tomorrow in my WIP update.

Until then, I need input!
I am struggling with deciding on the name for this year's NaNoWriMo MC.  I have a poll running on my FB page, and I need your thoughts!  So, go there and vote by clicking HERE, or leave a comment below!

The name options:
Veronica "Ronnie"

Others have added other options as well...

And just because I know you need it, here is a very brief, VERY rough synopsis (I promise I will post a much better one once I have the time.  Whenever that is...) and a rough character description as well.  (Let's just call her MC for now...) 

After the death of MC's father, she falls through a hole, landing in a strange world of darkness. It is the world of the Shadows, beings banished from the world of the living long ago. MC now finds herself stuck in the battle as the Shadows plan their revolt on the world of the living, and the light.
MC is fair, with golden hair and dark eyes. She feels guilty for her father's death, yet harbors a hidden strength and power. She is the youngest of four brothers, the only girl. And prone to stubborness.

And now... input... Go!

Happy Writing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review: The Omen Machine

The Omen Machine
by Terry Goodkind

Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
From the beginning, with Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind set a new standard for epic storytelling. Now he returns with a powerful new tale from Richard and Kahlan’s world.
An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous. As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister device, the machine issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone’s ability to stop. As catastrophe approaches, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen . . . In exchange for an impossible demand.

Why I Picked this Book: I am a major Terry Goodkind fan.  It was a no-brainer.

My Thoughts:
When I found out that there would be another Terry Goodkind book to devour and love, I was beyond ecstatic.  I preordered The Omen Machine and waited on pins and needles for the book to arrive.  I have been a Sword of Truth (SoT) fan for many years now, and seeing the chance to dive back into D'hara and walk alongside the likes of Richard and Kahlan again was just too good to be true.

Why did I have to be disappointed?

If you haven't read SoT before, it is an amazing series full of life lessons, strong characters, a world so real you swear it is out there, and too many moments that take your breath away.  At the same time, as the 12 book series progresses, it also becomes riddled with lots of repetition and many page long preach sessions about living your own life.  Then comes this one, number 13...

The Omen Machine starts right after the last book of the SoT series ended.  Which instantly gave me worries.  Goodkind managed to end the SoT series in such a poetic, perfect wrap-up that I couldn't fathom where he could possibly go next.  The fact that he starts the very next day made me almost uncomfortable.  But I read on, because Richard was there.  And boy do  I love Richard.

The first half (or more) of the book dragged.  It seemed to talk non-stop about prophecy and whether one should rely on prophecy or not.  Lots of repetition.  Thing is, no one would be reading this book if they hadn't read the previous 11.  And because of that, all of the conversation and opinions taking up the first half of the book were already known, and old news.  I couldn't wait to get past it.

The general plot did intrigue me.  People become so obsessed with prophecy that they start to cause the very omens received to happen.  Self-fulfilling.  Along with that, an ancient machine is discovered, inside the palace, that starts spitting out dire omens.  People go nuts.  

Oh, and the crazy voodoo-like lady.  CREEPY.  Seriously, I didnt even want to picture her.  Man, she creeped me out.  Which was good.  

There were three bad guys in this book.  I believe.  You rarely ever "met" the main bad guy, the secondary seemed evil and manipulative but lacked actual devolopement, and the third sub bad guy (voodoo lady) was the one the climax battled.  Um.

Obviously set up to become a series.

Yes, I was disappointed.  I had hoped for more magic and awesome epicness that kept me page turning late into the night.  Instead, The Omen Machine almost felt like a fan fiction, ringing with Goodkind's magic but riddled with so much repetition and half formed characters that I became sorely confused.

I want to give this a high rating.  Solely because of how much I do love and adore the previous books.  But I can't.  As excited as I was for this book to come out, I am starting to feel Goodkind should have left the SoT series alone and started something new and fresh.  You don't tamper with perfection.

Terry, I still love you.  Major fan, right here.

My Rating:
(3 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WIP Day - Cover Headaches

Today I woke up... tired.  Very tired.  And my boys have been going nonstop since 6 am, making messes and lots of noise.  So, needless to say, I am fighting a major headache at the moment and boy are my eye lids heavy.  I really am forgetting what feeling awake feels like.

Bed sounds so tempting...
But I must update!
*Blinks eyes*

I was going to shoot the image for the cover this last weekend, but some things came up with my model and... well... it didn't happen.  I have a new model now and am aiming to shoot this coming weekend.  We will see...

Let me tell you: Making the cover for PN is proving to be HARD.  I want something just right... yet nothing seems to be that "right" thing.  I am really hoping that the shoot goes well and I get a shot that finally helps me create the cover.  We all know people do judge books by the cover.  I know I do.  And if my cover isn't feeling right, I just know I won't be happy with the book either.  Sad, I know.

I still need to do one last editing pass of this bad boy.  I will.  I will I will.  I think I am dragging my feet mostly out of nerves.  This is quite a nerve-racking thing!  I just need to take a deep breath, and do it.


It's almost here!
Yes, the book has been chosen.  No, I haven't plotted too much yet.  As most of you know, I am much more of a pantser.  I would love to get at least the rough idea outlined before November 1st hits though, so it has been added to my list of things to do.  As soon as I do sit down and ponder it, I will make a post sharing what my project will be.

Along with that, I have created a sponsor page.  NaNoWriMo is a free, non-profit organization, and they need out help to remain in existence.  I have a post planned out to talk more about this and how to sponsor me, soon.  But if you feel like it, just click here to go to my page now.  Or click the image to the right.  Go ahead.  Do it.  It won't bite.

In other news... 
Wordstock is this weekend!  I wasn't able to make it at all last year, and I was bumming.  While I am unable to make it to the Saturday session this year, I have it set and planned to be there Sunday.  I am pretty excited!  Maybe I will happen to run into some of you there.  If I manage to look up from the piles of books that will most likely be surrounding me.

Are you going?

Well, that's it for today.  I would love to ramble more, but I think I just heard a crash in the boys' room and someone is laughing hysterically.  This bodes badly.

How is your WIP day?

Happy Writing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

At the Book Signing

I always wanted to go to a book signing.  I have my list of authors I would love to "meet" and get the scribbled autograph of.  Yet I have never been able to make it to one.  Needless to say, it did bum me out.

This last Thursday, I decided I had to go.  In my local Powells there was to be a signing, by six awesome YA authors.  Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Ally Condie, Beth Revis, Margaret Stohl, and Sara Zarr.  How could I pass that up?  These authors are on a tour together, called the Smart Chicks Kick It tour.  And boy, do they kick it.

As soon as hubby got home from work, I literally booked it out the door.  I had been on pins and needles all day.  Even tweeted about it.  (Can you believe I have been pulled into that world?  It's true.)  I completely became a giddy fangirl when not only Beth Revis, but Carrie Ryan also retweeted something I said.  I just needed to go!

Come on, in this world of ours, the authors are the major celebrities and we are the adoring fans.

After snagging my youngest sister-in-law, we made our way to Powells.  Man, there were people there.  Tons of them.  I have seen book signings there before.  There are usually empty seats and a quiet crowd.  This time?  They were setting up more chairs and all the people there were chattering and excited.

As the authors finally filed in, everyone started to applaud.  The signing started with a Q&A, interspersed with fun games and joking around.  I, of course, was clicking away on my camera.  (There are even more photos than the few with this post.  I will be adding them to my FB page... someday.)

I wish I had sat and taken notes on everything these women said.  I just want into their heads.  They shared their thoughts on rejection, on books, on hobbies.  And the best part: They are just as human and nervous and silly as the rest of us.

Then came the actual signing.  My sister-in-law and I were in the back, so we had to wait for a bit.  We passed the time with cracking jokes about glittering vampires and what magical spells Wizards might use... in... bed... Yes, we went there.


The book that was officially on tour was Enthralled.  It is a collection of short stories written by these and more YA authors, mostly for the funding of this awesome tour.  I bought it.  And of course got it signed.  I also bought a copy of Beautiful Creatures.  I have seen my sisters-in-law reading this book, and have wanted to myself.  Well, since the author was sitting right now, I figured it was about time to get it.  And get it signed!

Along with that, I brought along my Matched and Across the Universe books, to get them scribbled in as well.  Allie Condie is a sweet heart.  I loved talking with her.  Her answer for what she would be doing if she didn't have writing: Her kids would have scrapbooks.  Don't worry, Allie.  It will happen.  Someday.

Beth Revis was a bundle of happy as well.  I was able to talk to her for a bit as the line slowly moved.  It was awesome.  It is so great to see authors appreciate and love their fans like these women do.  And Beth, next time, don't forget about your flight!  It would have been such a bummer to not see you there!


I forgot to bring my copy of Wicked Lovely, so sadly that book remains lacking.  Yet I did snag a good bundle of swag from this signing.  Signed bookmarks, signed posters, some tattoos and a bracelet.  Do I sense a potential Give-Away in the near future?  Oh yes.

All in all, this was an awesome awesome night.  I hope more tours and signings come to my area soon, because I am addicted.  These authors are what make me want to write.  Listening to them talk, I felt that fire under my butt again.  They have been rejected.  They have received bad reviews.  But they have gone on to be amazing.  And to sign my books.

Thank you sister-in-law, for going with me.
And thank you authors, for always creating!

Happy Writing!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banned Books Week Hop WINNER

Thank you ALL who entered my Banned Books Week Hop Giveaway!  This was such an awesome week!  I have added an insane amount of books to my TBR pile, entered way too many giveaways, and just had tons of fun.

And look: I have even more AMAZING followers!
(You will come to know: I love my followers.  I really do!)

Without any more further ado, it is time to announce the winner of the $15 Book Depository prize.
(Winner is drawn by Rafflecopter, via

The winner is...

Congratulations Alicia!  I have emailed you with your happy dance and prize.  Please email me back with a comfirmation within 48 hours, otherwise I will redraw the winner.

For those of you who didn't win: 
Stick around!  We have fun here.  I swear we do.  Right? *looks around*

Thank you all again, and I look forward to our awesome blogging time together in the near future.

Happy Writing!


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