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Aug. 4th, 2010

Book Love

Title

I've been battling with a title for my current work in progress for a while now. I tried not worrying about it. I figured it would come to me eventually, in a word, a scene, something a character said. Yet, here I am, two years later and still no title. So for the last few days I've been trying to come up with something.

I like one word titles. I think they look good on a cover. People remember them. Besides, if you can sum up the whole of the story in one word, it's a pretty powerful word. It then deserves to be a title.

After a few days of thinking and considering on what would work best with my plot, it'll now have a working title of REDEMPTION. I was actually very surprised to see only one fiction book with that name, but luckily, in a totally different genre. Though, I may have missed one. Have you seen a book with this title?

It's still a work in progress. I'm hoping for some good beta reader or further input later in case there's another really good title I'm missing, but I sure was tired of working on UNTITLED.
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Aug. 2nd, 2010

Book Love

Oh.My.Gods. Review

Oh. My. Gods.Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Honestly, when I first started this book I thought it was going to fall flat. The back cover blurb tells us right at the beginning that Phoebe is a happy girl who has great friends and a great life who's suddenly having to move around the world, and she hates it. And that's precisely what the beginning gives us. Something about this seems horribly cliche to me. I try not to over-judge a book when I'm starting it but I was a tad afraid it was going to be another one of THOSE (fill in cliche here).

Blurb also tells us she's going attend a school full of Greek god descendants. Now that sounds fun. I'm glad my curiosity got the best of me and I stuck around. The start wasn't boring really; it jumped right into the move and having to adjust. But once things started really rolling, the book threw in all types of unique elements. I ended up truly loving it. Also wasn't expecting to like the romantic bits as much as I did; I was surprised!

Childs just seems like a really great, down-to-Earth and honest author. I read on her page that she actually doesn't run, but you wouldn't believe it! All the running scenes in the book are very well done.

In the end, three big cheers for this story. I'm also Greek so I'm going to pretend like I'm a goddess for the rest of the day.

View all my reviews >>


Definitely looking forward to picking up Goddess Bootcamp.

Jul. 31st, 2010

Book Love

Hoarder vs Pack Rat

I may be trying to make myself feel better here, but I've always concluded there to be a considerable difference between a hoarder and a pack rat.

When I think of a hoarder I immediately think of a man my grandfather knew who had absolutely everything. Everything ever! He had acres of land and it was full of junk. He had four or five horse trailers, eight porta-potties, piles of concrete brick, red brick, white brick, boxes of tools, many doghouses, canoes, motor boats, lawn furniture, you name it, it was in his yard. I only went into the house once, but you could barely open the door. I can't even begin to list what I saw, but it was stacked up against the walls at chest height. That would be every wall, with just enough room to maneuver through. There was a flight of stairs just beyond the front door and I'm not sure they could be used at all. They were storage. It was an incredible sight. One that I saw at a very young age and will never forget it. It's just like the deal you see if you watch the Hoarders show on television. It's an eye opener. I wouldn't particularly recommend the show, as it's a bit disturbing, but if you've never seen a hoarder...it might make you feel better about your house work.

When I think of a pack rat, I think of one who likes to keep drawers, boxes, closet space of things they don't necessarily need, at that moment. Small silly things, not preferred or duplicate presents that could in turn be given to someone else, tools, scrap paper, old cell phones or chargers, countless things that you should probably give away or toss in the garbage. But you know, as soon as you throw it away, you'll need it!

I am a pack rat. I don't have the compulsion of a hoarder, thank goodness--unless we count books. We'll pretend we're not counting books.

Today I was actually grateful for being a pack rat. My sister's phone broke. She's one of those animated, and sometimes angry, chatters. If someone says something that makes her angry, she just might throw her phone. Needless to say, her phones don't last very long normally. So, couple of days ago, her phone bit the dust. The bad part is she's expecting calls on a job prospect. Fortunately for her, I remembered seeing an old phone in a drawer in my office (Yeah, who knows what all's in there!) and I fished it out for her. It was from my freshman year of college, a real dinosaur phone, that has a fraction of the fun things her blackberry did, but it worked!

Pack Rat: Here I come to save the day!

Jul. 28th, 2010

Book Love

New Directions and New Friends

The XY and I got back this afternoon from a trip upstate for his job interview. The interview went well, but they won't be able to get him into a training class until March (though they unofficially told him it'll probably be moved up to January). That's a long way off. We were basing our plans for the next couple months on moving. We didn't start anything yet because we knew the job may not come through, but for it to be so far off now... ew.

We're now contemplating our next move. Do we want to sit tight and wait for this to roll around or try to move on to something else? Our problem is really having too many options, which isn't a bad thing. We have been trying to set down some roots for the last couple years though and for it to continue to be pushed back is frustrating. So we're in brainstorm mode. Where do we want to go? What do we want to do?

In other news, I attended an insane, fast-paced #yalitchat night via Twitter (@AGypsyLove). It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of new people. Now that's where you meet some other writers for sure. I loved it. I'll be visiting often!

With all the traveling and keeping myself busy I've done this week, I'm still working on Oh.My.Gods. It's so good but I just keep losing time. If I'm not falling asleep by the time I finish working on the WIP later I'll try to read before bed. Must know what happens!

Jul. 19th, 2010

Book Love

Post-Trip and Speak Preview

I spent the weekend out of town. The XY's interview was moved to the 27th of July due to scheduling conflicts with the current job (they sprang some last minute training on him, how sweet) but I still headed out to visit some family of mine we were going to visit while we were out their way. A few of them I hadn't seen in ten years or so. It seems insane to think about... but it's true. It had been absolutely forever and I was so glad I got to go.

Luckily I finished reading Speak just before I headed out because I was busy the whole time I was gone. I tried starting a new book while I was out but the only downtime I had was right before bed. By that time I was more than exhausted. Two nights in a row I got two or three paragraphs into the first chapter and passed out.

At the same time, I didn't have time to work on any of the current manuscript. I hadn't really expected to but hauled my laptop around with me just in case. That just means I get to work extra this week to make up for lost time.

As for my review on Speak...

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I wish there was a 4.5 star I could give this book. It was almost top-notch and I want to adore it, but it seemed to move a little slow. I can't figure out why exactly, but it didn't have me turning the pages like crazy all the way through. The story itself was beautiful. I think it carries a very important message and I'm glad it's out in the shelves, and even happier it's now on many school reading lists.

I wasn't expecting the ending. While reading, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting to happen by the end, but I was happy with how things were wrapped up.

Most of all, I love Anderson's humorous writing. She really gets into the young girl's mindset, but manages to mix it up with some dry humor and excellent wit. I was laughing out loud often. A pleasant read.

View all my reviews >>

Jul. 14th, 2010

Book Love

Bad Internet, Bad

The internet is why things don't get done.

Actually, I am working. But of course, every once in a while I'll peek around on the blogs. I found this today and must share.

It has me in tears. Enjoy!
Book Love

Completed Storyboards

I finished up my storyboards just now. I feel super accomplished. Okay, I haven't written anything in the ms today, but I'm still feeling extremely happy to have that finished. I really needed a third board (oy), but as it's late at night and I was finishing up, I did not want to wait to see the completed project. I ended up moving around a row and doing my best to fit an extra one in. So, two totally packed boards. Rock on.

Now I can write, write, write and finish up the new draft. What draft is this now? Four maybe? But I think it's in a good direction now. Not imagining a perfect draft, of course. I'm expecting revisions still, but all the characters, plot, and pov are in the right. I shouldn't have any more major revisions. (crossing fingers)

We'll see how much writing I can get done on the road though. I'll be out of town for the next few days as the XY has a job interview. Here's hoping to moving soon!

Jul. 12th, 2010

Pre-Published

Storyboarding and a Conferene!

While in a small revision rut (on a major-throw-the-first-script-right-out-the-window revision) I've been playing around with some plot planning. The basic plot hasn't changed, of course, but with some switching around of characters and addition of new conflicts, a lot in the actual plot has changed.

I like to make lists. I tend to map my plot out in list form. When there are changes, I go back and make little notes to the lists, scratching things out and writing all over it. I'm also a little OCD, so it doesn't take long before I break out a new sheet a paper to create a new list, with all edits now included.

After robbing myself of an entire pack of college-ruled lined paper, I decided there was probably an easier way to go about this.

And viola, my new scene board was born.



I know it's not a new concept, but it wasn't anything I'd ever tried for myself. I'm actually loving it! I've already gone back and moved some scenes around a little and am relieved at how easy it is now. I even went out and bought a second board this morning to keep going. The scenes on the board now are to the end of Act I, if you will. A third of the story. Oh, and two scenes at the bottom that were pulled out to be included in the second third instead. Liking my new toy!


And for even better news, a free conference is being held for YA and MG writers!

WriteOnCon is an Online Children’s Writers Conference (rated MC-18, for Main Characters under 18 only) created by writers, for writers.

When: Tuesday – Thursday, August 10 – 12, 2010

Where:
http://www.writeoncon.com/

Cost: Free!

Who: EVERYONE!

How wonderful! Registration started on July 1st. There's a forum setup so you can go ahead and start talking with other writers. The actual conference starts in August. I'm stoked!

Jul. 10th, 2010

Book Love

If I Stay Review

If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'll admit, I was little wary about reading this book. I'd read the synopsis and a couple reviews (careful reviews, I fear spoilers!) and I wasn't sure how I'd handle it emotionally. I have the potential to play the big, blubbering idiot when it comes to some books. And yet, I was very happy with how the book turned out. It instantly draws you in and is an amazing page-turner.

Some books are built on plot, some on characters. Forman has amazing characters. The time frame for this book is extremely short but you get immense amount of characterizations and personality from all her characters nonetheless. I loved them all so much. I most certainly applaud Gayle Forman for the wonderful people she created.

More importantly for a teen fiction, the story covers very important things in life that we all must learn at some point, like how difficult coping can be and how important the people around you really are.

View all my reviews >>
Leafy Rain

Little Engine That Could

It's a little harder to write when I'm not at home, but I still manage. Unfortunately things keep popping up when I'm deep into a scene and my fingers are flying. Yesterday my grandfather called and I don't get to talk to him much. So I had to, of course, hit the save button and skip outside to talk to him. Today, same situation of wondering words flying out into the page, and a huge storm hits out of nowhere. The lightning was really bad, so I decided it was better to end the good streak and unplug rather than losing everything.

It just gave me more time to read, so that's fine too. I started If I Stay by Gayle Forman this morning. I'm over halfway through now. Good book so far. Review coming soon.

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