Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP Day - Chugging Along

Today is a beautiful day.

So beautiful, I finally broke the norm and took my kiddos to the park.  After a few hours of running, swinging, sliding and exploring I finally convinced them we could go home.  And nap.  By the time we got back to our apartment, my youngest was already conked out.  Yay for parks and their ability to wear you out!

*Yawn!*

I have spent the rest of today enjoying the sun with my kiddos on the back deck.  No doubt getting more new freckles than I want.  And waiting for tonight.

Why tonight?
Well, because I will be writing.  And it will be awesome.

Update time.


- Have you noticed my blog look?
A bit back I asked about blog names.  And was overwhelmed with pretty much the exact same answer from every person.  Thank you so much to everyone who gave me their two cents.  I really do appreciate it. I have decided to keep my blog named after me.  Because... well... this blog is me.

I am still craving some sort of change though.  So, instead of a naming overhaul, I have decided that my blog needs a face lift.  It may take a little time to get it to a place I love, so bear with me as things (aka the banner, side bars, overall look...) change.  It will get there!


- Did you catch my Monday Post?  About Prison Nation?
I know, I love being a stinker.  It is just too fun.  But I do promise that this coming Monday I will talk more about Book 2.  Until then, here is a hint: The title has to do with a character in PN.


- I posted this fun thing on my Tumblr.
Just something random.  But I couldn't resist.  Read it, pick a word, and ask me it in my 'Ask' box.  Go on you know you want to.  It is always fun to get to know someone just a smidge more.  Here is your chance.


That seems to be about it for my update post this week.  As soon as hubby gets home, I will be writing.  I can't wait.  This schedule of mine really helps to build my anticipation!  (Yay for schedules!)

How about you?  Will you be writing tonight?  Any awesome updates?  Do share!

Happy Writing!



Monday, June 25, 2012

An Answer to a Prison Nation Question...

I have noticed a trend, dear readers.

There is a certain question I keep getting asked.  Over.  And over.  On my Facebook page.  Twitter.  In my email.  Right here on this very blog.  It tends to be the same question again and again, and it sounds something like this:

"I loved Prison Nation.  Will there be a Book 2?"

I have been trying to decide when I really want to answer that question. While I have hinted at it here and there, I haven't made any sort of "official" post about anything yet. Partly because I was battling which answer to give to begin with. Partly because I like keeping the mystery in my life. And my main reason... because I am chicken.

There. I said it.

Today, I will answer that question.  Finally.


My answer:
"YES!"

*commence jittery nerves as I finally officially answer*

Now then, just because I feel like being a stinker, that is all I am going to say.  Today.  I know I know.  How sweet of me, right?  Come back next Monday for a title reveal and more.  Until then...

Happy Writing (and reading!)



Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review - Cinder

Cinder
by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


Why I Picked This Book: I always love retellings of old stories.  When I saw this robotic, futuristic tale was based off of good old Cinderella, I had to give it a try.

My Thoughts:
Long story short: I loved this book.

Cinder is a cyborg.  She is looked down upon for not being fully human.  Her own stepmother and sisters use her pretty much as slave labor.  This is just her life.  Working at her repair booth, keeping the family afloat, and digging around for replacement feet once she outgrows her old ones.  Then one day she gets a new client.  A handsome young man who needs his android repaired, fast.  The man just so happens to be Prince Kai, and the android has important information that could potentially save his father's life.

The story takes place in China after World War 4, after a plague has started to rampage the earth.  While scientists scramble to find a cure for this seemingly incurable disease, life struggles to go on.  People who have cyborg parts are looked down on.  The upper class rules, even though the world is seemingly united in peace.

Oh, and there are aliens.  Did I mention that?

Yup.  Lunars.  People who moved to the moon long ago, and evolved.  Now separate from the human race, and barely accepted, they live on their own.  Except that isn't good enough.  They want Earth back, and Queen Levana has plans to take control.

Cinder is an awesome character.  She is tough.  Smart.  And always dreaming that she could just be a normal girl.  I instantly bonded with her and couldn't wait to see what step she took next.  Her bond to her younger stepsister and her personal android helps to pull the story along.  Including heart-breaking moments that almost make you hate Meyer for creating them.  (Which is a good thing, I promise!)

Prince Kai had me swooning at times, pining at others, and a few times had me wondering what it was that made me swoon and pine in the first place.  His love for his family, and his dedication to the throne pulls him through the story as a guy I wouldn't mind going to the Ball to meet.  Though I still am not sure I would fight for the crown.

Then there is Queen Levana.  Man, that is one creepy Queen.  Everything about her oozes "woman from the moon who I would never want to cross paths with" and I loved every moment of having her as the antagonist.

Yes, some aspects of the plot were guessed from early on.  Honestly though, I didn't mind.  It was fun watching the characters discover what I already knew.  And yes, the ending is a cliff-hanger.  There, I said it.  But we all know this is book one of a series.  (If you didn't, now you do!)  Knowing that, I accepted the complete hanger.  Even if I did grumble.  A little.

I loved the overall package.  It had science fiction.  It had sickness and death.  It had love, fighting, and true family.  In the end, it was a fairy tale, twisted for our modern day reading and filled with so much more.

Meyer does a great job of creating this new world, full of history, struggles, and life while still weaving in aspects of the classic fairy tale.  If this was just a debut novel, I cannot wait to see what Meyer has up her sleeve next.


My Rating:
(5 out of 5 stars)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fall of Angels - NEW COVERS


Have you seen?
Keary Taylor has decided to revamp her Fall of Angels covers.  The entire trilogy is getting a new look, and I have to say: I love it!  

Keary decided to stick with the same images (Which I agree with.  It ties the old to the new, not to mention I love those images...) and constructed a beautiful, eerie blue cover around them.  I have to admit, I am drooling a bit over these covers.  Once you read her books (if for some reason you haven't yet) you will agree.  The covers are perfect.

Currently she has only changed the copies over for her digital editions (Kindle and Nook) though I am pretty sure the change for the paperback copies will happen sooner than later.  If you haven't read this trilogy yet, you should.  Keary took angels to a new frightening level, and I love this world that she created.

Take a moment to ogle them.  I know I have. 

Branded

Forsaken

Vindicated
Great job Keary.  I can't wait to add these to my already awesome Keary shelf!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Day - Me and My Smart Phone


I got a smart phone.
That's right.  I have now officially joined the 21st century.

I have been sporting a simple slide-out-keyboard phone for some time now.  It called people.  And texted them.  Everything a phone should do.  Don't get me wrong, I loved it.  That is, until Apps happened.  And I saw all of my friends' cool Apps.  And got App-Envy.  Still, I didn't get a smart phone.  They aren't cheap, and I justified it saying that pretty much everything the phone can do I can do on my very own computer.  Which I am at (most of the time.)

Regardless, that App-Envy persisted.  

I saw Instagram and all the awesome little photos that flooded my Facebook newsfeed.  I thought about how cool it would be to be able to check my Twitter with a tap of the finger, wherever I am.  I wanted to slice that fruit faster than you.

my son's writing on the back deck. aw...
Then, a few weeks ago while I was taking my son on a tour of the little Preschool he will be attending this Fall (Ah!  School!), a little boy saw me with my simple phone.  He asked if I had any games.  When I told him: "No, this phone is just for calling and texting," he scrunched up his little face in pure confusion and asked: "Why?"

I went on the defensive.  Right then and there I decided I was going to get a cool phone and show that scrunchie face a thing or two.  I told the boy I was getting a new phone.  Soon.  So there!

Wow, way to make myself sound like a four-year-old.

Long story slightly shorter, I got my phone.  It is an Android.  And I love it.

The book currently taking over my mind
The funny thing is, somehow since I got this phone... I have been writing and editing more.  It's like I subconsciously want that excuse to take an Instagram pic of what I am doing, or quickly tweet from my touch screen goodie.  Then I get all excited that I am writing/editing.  So I keep going.  And update again.  I read a book.  And tell the world that I have been reading it.

I tell you.  From my phone.

Because, you know, it is easier to type it out on my phone and send it via touch screen then to type it out on my computer and hit send... the computer I am sitting at... as I use my phone...

Still, the point of this entire, long winded post is this: I have been working.

See?  I HAVE been editing!
I have now rewritten the first few chapters of ITB, converting it from past to present tense.  I am still wondering if it is the right move, but I am commited for the time being.  Only time will tell.  It has been awesome finally diving head first back in to this WIP.  I love it.  And can't wait to love it even more as I polish it to shining.

Tonight is an editing night.  
I am already itching to get going on it.  Bedtime for the kiddos cannot get here fast enough.  (I love you kiddos, mommy loves you.  But her imaginary worlds are calling to her, and she can't put them on hold for too long.)  If you find yourself on Twitter tonight and feel the urge to shoot me a "you better be editing" tweet, or remind me to #writeshove, please do.  I love being yelled at. (Um, yelled at to write that is.)

No doubt I will mention something about how my night is going, via Instragram and Twitter, on my Android Smart Phone.

Because, you know, I have one. *end nerdy bragging ramble right about... now*


How about you?  How is your WIP Day?
Happy Writing!



Monday, June 18, 2012

What's In My Title?


Titles.  We as writers and readers know how important a title is.  It is what grabs our eyes, sets the mood for the book to come, and stays in a memory long after the story is over.

While I have spent a fair share of time slaving over the titles to my WIPS, I have to admit I never thought much about titling something I use almost daily: My blog.  I love going to blogs with catchy titles (I Am A Reader Not a Writer, Book Briefs, Imaginary Reads, to name a few...) and many times have found myself perusing a blog mostly based on the title they sported.

Then I come back to mine.
Jenni Merritt

Okay, yes, my title makes sense.  It is who I am.  My blog mostly focuses on my discovery of this writing world, and I love having my name clearly out there for all to know who I am.  I have seen many authors out there stick with a blog simply titled with their name, and it works.

But is it a good title?

I have been bouncing this question around in my head for some time now.  As you know, I love to take part in Blog Hops.  I have also been signing up to help with blog tours, guest posts, and more.  (Fun things are in store!)  So of course this brings up the question on whether my blog simply titled "Jenni Merritt" will be good enough.

So, this is where I turn to you, my wonderful followers

- What do you think of blog titles?

- Do you prefer ones with a catchy name, or ones simply named after the author/blogger?


- Do you think I should keep "Jenni Merritt" or go for something more... title-like?

I do have a title in mind.  It is actually one I used to use for an old blog, and I do love it.  But I am always open for suggestions as well!  Do you have title ideas you think would work for me, or do you think sticking with just my name is the perfect move?

Please, do share.  I am digging for thoughts here.  So... think away! (And type.  Please type.  I have not perfected my mind reading skills as of yet.)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Popping by real quick to wish all of you Daddies out there an amazing, loving, fun-filled and happy Father's Day.

Today is about you.
Your love.
Your hard work.
Your loyalty.  Your protection.
Your goofiness.
Your tenderness.

And not to mention those dang cute babies you made!

I hope you get the hugs you deserve today.  Fathers are amazing.  And they should know it!

I love my Dad.  He is my best friend.  He has always given the encouragement and support I needed in life, while teaching me to never let go of my goofiness and love.  He taught me to be me.  And I love him forever for it.

Then there is the daddy of my babies... Boy, did I luck out!  I am so blessed to have him in my life, and pretty much tell him every single day.  And yes, he gave me some stinking cute babies to boot!

For Father's Day, my boys wanted to make Daddy a book.  (Think I set a certain example?) So we got some paper, sat down, and they told me reasons why they love their daddy.  The result?  This awesome little book that is now officially my absolute favorite book on my shelves.


Whether you are a new Dad, a seasoned Dad or a GrandDad...
Happy Father's Day to you.  You are awesome.



Monday, June 11, 2012

On Critique Partners


A critique partner is a very needed person to have in your writing life.

The trouble is, finding the one that fits.  While everyone out there knows how to critique, not everyone does it the way you need.  Some of us need the harsh partner, who completely covers our pages in red, digs in deep, and tears the story apart.  Others need the softer shoulder, the encouraging words and light editing in order to not forever scare them away from writing forever.

I have been lucky to be blessed with, at this time, two amazing critique partners.  They give me their thoughts, advice, and red lines of doom while still cheering me on every word of the way.  I love them.  And honestly couldn't see myself going on without them.

Fellow writer, and great #writeshove buddy, Laura recently posted this awesome little story on her blog.  After reading it, I just knew I had to share it with all of you here today.

Capilocks and the Three Critique Partners
Once upon a time, there lived a young writer with stories worth gold bouncing from her head. She dreamed of an amazing house—a publishing house that would take her manuscript all the way to Happily Ever After. So after Capilocks trudged through the Forest of Revision, she set out to find a critique partner that was juuuuuuust right.

The first partner she found was a tough one. He flashed his red Sharpie and laughed a maniacal laugh as he slayed each sentence and made them his own. He belittled her ideas, told her to only write to the trends, and tweeted mean things about her crappy first drafts.

Capilocks shuddered. “This relationship is too hard.” She wished him well, gathered her tattered ego, and backed away.

The next partner she found was quite cuddly. She dotted her I’s with smileys and hearts, embraced every adverb, and proclaimed, “Brilliant! Send it!” whenever Capilocks scribbled out a new manuscript on the back of a phone message. Capilocks liked this new partner. She never criticized and always encouraged, but Capilocks' stories were still rather suckish.

“This critiquer is too soft,” she said. Capilocks looked around for someone new.

At last, she landed in a relationship with a fabulous writer and caring soul—someone who wanted her to succeed, but wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions. Someone who encouraged her voice, but hid the postage stamps and guarded the send button until manuscripts were polished and prime.

“This critique relationship is just right,” said Capilocks. And it was.

My tip to you today?  Whether you are just getting started, finishing up draft one, hard at work editing draft fifty or already published:
Find yourself a critique partner.  

Thank you Laura for letting me share this story.  And thank you to my partners, for everything you do.  You are awesome.

Do you have a critique partner?  Are you one to a fellow writer?  Do share!

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WIP Day - Getting It Done

 Finally.  A week where I feel like I accomplished something!

Remember last week when I posted my new work schedule?  Well, good news: I've been following it!  That's right.  Though I did end up flipping some days to accommodate certain deadlines, the schedule is doing the trick.

This week I managed to:

- Finish the Engagement photo session and deliver it to my clients.  They loved it!
- Start in and almost finish the NICU photo session.
- Actually WORK on ITB.  I know.  Gasp.  Granted I didn't work on it quite as much as I had hoped, something is better than nothing!  And boy did it feel good!

Today is yet another writing day.  My goal is to transfer at least a couple pages by the end of the day.  We will see how it goes.  Tonight I have an Enrichment evening to attend, meaning I still need to flat iron this Hermione mess of hair I have been "blessed" with to look at least someone decent.  I am hoping that once I am home, I can crack out at least an hour worth of edits.

Hey #writeshove buddies.  Are you still around?  I need you!

Yesterday I spent time signing and packaging copies of PN to send out to waiting readers.  This book of mine is being shipped all over the place!  Just in the stack I have here in front of me, I have copies going to Washington, Oregon, Utah, Michigan, Alabama... Crazy!


That is about it for this week's worth of updating.  It is great getting back into the swing of everything.  I missed this.

How about you?  Accomplishing goals?  Do share!

HAPPY WRITING!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Thought on Writing

I found this thought via Tumblr (in all of my procrastinating awesomeness) and decided I wanted to share it with my blogging friends today.  I have to get back to my work (so close to crossing something off my list!), but enjoy the thought... and remember it well!

“Write about the wind tonight, your bright and terrified child, the intelligence of the darkness, the opacity of grief, the shape of her breast- because these are small, good things and they need to be witnessed. Write them because writing them reminds you and whoever may listen why we live at all. Write because it’s a practice the world seems to want and civility depends upon. Write to keep in practice for telling the truth. We may need people who are good at that; it seems to be going out of style. Write because it seems like a better thing to do, in every possible way, than blowing yourself or someone else up, then rioting on a beach, then dropping democracy on a middle eastern country from a B-52, or telling a bunch of lies and calling it politics or business. Write because, who knows, you may hear and speak a phrase which may save a life or change a mind or start a worth-while rumour. Write well and often because it is a way of playing the instrument each of us has been given, that voice of yours, of keeping it alive and humming. Write most quietly when the politics are shrill. Thats when quietness and calm and inconsequential beauty are most exquisitely needed. Give them to whoever may be listening. Give them back to the world, which gave them to you. Write because writing is a proof of civilisation. Someone had better do it and it might as well be you.”
Mark Tredinnick, the little red writing book.

Happy Writing!


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