Monday, July 30, 2012

Dragons and Fantasy

So I'm starting a new project. It's going to be high fantasy. I have an idea where I want to go with it, of course, but it's far from all mapped out. Right now I'm doing world building and starting to get some character sketches, though I don't have much of a plot, yet.

I know my fantasy world will have dragons. In fact, I started thinking about this story based on two things: 1) my love for the Game of Thrones story, 2) a short story I wrote for a contest. I wrote the story about a little boy and a dragon. I did it to challenge myself because I'm actually HORRIBLE at writing short stories. (Entirely too long-winded). The League of Utah Writers was having their annual contest and I decided to challenge myself to write a short story for the contest.

Of course I love fantasy and I've been wanting to explore dragons for some time. So, I put the three together and wrote a short story about a boy and a dragon. I entered it into the contest, but I won't know how it did until mid-September. (I'll let you know! :D)

Anyway, I gave it to my writing group and they really liked it. They said it was interesting and asked if I was planning on turning it into a full novel. I won't lie and say it hadn't crossed my mind, but their encouragement helped me build excitement and I've been planning scenes ever since then.

Anyway, I think I'm still weeks, if not months away from beginning the writing, but I thought I'd get some input. I won't tell you all the awesome secrets of my world-building, but here's a few:

1) (As previously stated) There are dragons. I haven't worked out all the details yet, or how exactly the dragon magic will work, but I know they have a very loyal, symbiotic relationship with the humans. Only certain humans are born with the magic to become dragon riders, etc.

2) There will be other creatures, such as unicorns. (Eyebrows up and down in rapid succession).

3) There are no mountain ranges in this world. I have a specific reason for this--a plot device I'll work in--but it comes from the fact that I live quite high in the Rockies. To live in a world without mountains would be all KINDS of bizarre to me. Hence...

4) There will be all kinds of lore, lost legends coming back to life, kings, queens, knights, adventure, and romance. (Of course! It's high fantasy!)

Although I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, I can't wait to get started!

So...what are the coolest world-building details YOU'VE ever come across? :D

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Friday Follow--Summer Reading!!!

(Same answer on both my blogs this week!)

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

I'll take a cue from Alison and go year by year as well:

9th Grade: Uh...can't remember. My ninth grade English class was kind of messed up! I did read Great Expectations over the summer, though, and loved it, so I'll go with that! :D
10th Grade: Either The Once and Future King by T.H. White or A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!
11th: The Scarlet Letter
12th: Heart of Darkness--my first read of what would become one of my all-time FAVORITE classics! :D

How about you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vampires and Vampires and Vampires, Oh My!

So we all know the market is completely saturated with vampire literature right now. Most people are  sick of it, but many vampire series are still selling well, so obviously not everyone is.

My publisher, Jolly Fish Press (yea!) picked up a vampire book. I haven't read it so I couldn't tell you whether it's good or not, but if it got picked up by a traditional publisher, it must be, right? The CEO of JFP (everyone keeping up with the acronyms here?) said he didn't want vampire stuff, but when he read this, he couldn't help but sign it. It was just that good!

How do you prefer your vamps?
I recently met the author and asked her what kind of vampires were in her book. She said they weren't Twilight-ish. They were more monster-ish, but they had some humanity because they're the ones with the major conflicts.

It made me think of a conversation I had with my sister a couple of years ago. When I became serious about writing (or rather, when my family started to take me seriously as a writer--yes there's a HUGE difference in the time frames) my sister asked me about writing vampires. She's a major Twi-hard and suggested that I write something about vampires. I immediately (but with perfect tact, of course) shot down the idea. I explained that the market was saturated and that most publishers even had disclaimers on their websites saying, DO NOT SEND US VAMPIRE STUFF! I also told her that I would only write something about vampires if I felt like I had something to add that hadn't been done before. At the time, I didn't. She seemed a bit chagrined but didn't press the issue.

Dreamy or Demon?
(Since then I've actually come up with something I think could work, though it's only a wisp of an idea, not a full plot line or character sketch, and I'm not currently pursuing it.)

Anyway, all this talk has made me curious: how do you prefer your vampires?

Most of my followers fall into one of two categories: writers who are putting the literature out there or book bloggers who are directly, aggressively reading the literature and reviewing it. So, do you like dreamy, sparkly vampires (circa Twilight, 2005), full-on monsters (in the vein of one of my personal faves, 30 Days of Night) or somewhere in between? If you could read or write your perfect vamp, what would they be like?

Like I said: just curious. :D


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

I went and saw The Dark Knight Rises on Friday (opening, in Utah) night with my father, sister, and brothers. It. was. AWESOME!!! I loved it! (No spoilers in this review. Don't worry! :D)

It's always so great to see awesome original storytelling on the big screen. We all know 'B' movies exist  and are so named mostly due to mediocre writing. The A-list movies, which recently have been oft-helmed by the great Christopher Nolan, make the movie-going experience more than worth while. As a writer, I go to the movies or watch television with not only the desire of entertainment but also of learning for my own writing. I try to take in the best characters, plots, and conflicts and apply them to my own work. (In fact, I've heard many writers say they use "research for their writing" as an excuse to watch more T.V./movies, and I'll admit to having exploited this little habit a few times myself.) I can't tell you how often I get writing ideas WHILE in the movie. You might think this signifies boredom, but the opposite is true. The really great movies inspire me and I come away excited to sit down at my computer.

The Dark Knight Rises was just such a film!

1) The characterizations were awesome!

I think the reason book series are so prevalent these days is that people want to see the dynamics of a character over time. We want to see them grow and change and become better over years, not just hours or days. In terms of Bruce Wayne, the film definitely delivers! It opens eight years after the events of the second movie, The Dark Knight. We see Bruce's very human side. We see him yearning to be useful. We see him lonely and stuck in a rut. He's let his body go a bit, but his cunning, lightning fast mind is still there. He just needs to restore confidence in his own abilities; in his own worth. Welcome to the Dark Knight Rises!

Anne Hathaway's Catwoman was awesome! She managed to do the (admittedly somewhat cliche) tough-girl, Angelina-Jolie-butt-kicking chick thing really well, but she did it with such flare and believability that it didn't seem cliche at all. She had enough humanity that we were rooting for her to come over to the good side, but enough edge that we weren't sure if she would. This Catwoman definitely deserves her own film. An origins story perhaps?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake was the heart and soul of the story. He was the every-man who saw all kinds of injustice and enslavement going on around him and simply couldn't stand to sit still. He had to find a way to rebel...and he did! I felt his pain ALL through the movie and loved his character.

Of course there was Michael Caine's sweet Alfred. He's the one who'll have you in tears so look out!

And then of course Bain was a freakin' AWESOME bad guy! Even when you hated him the most I totally loved him! There's a scene (I won't say when or why) that he sheds a few tears. They leak down his face around his Darth Vador-esque breathing mask, and I couldn't help but think that Tom Hardy had just displayed the best villain I've seen since Heath Ledger's Joker.

2) The conflict had layers.

That's right! Actual layers! As a writer, trust me when I say, that takes skill! By the time you think you have it all figured out (especially Bain!) Nolan turns everything on it's head. There's an audible gasp moment when the audience glances at one another from side to side with their mouths hanging open. When I'd managed to shut my trap and work up enough saliva to swallow, I whispered to my brother, "I didn't see that coming." Eyes big as saucers, he whispered back, "Me neither." And then we settled in to absorb the climax of the film.

3) The story-telling was epic!

Okay, so if you saw the trailer you probably figured this, but it was true on so many levels. I love the way Nolan sets us up for so many payoffs in both the long in short term. Alfred's story of his French holiday early in the film was the most subtle. I didn't see the payoff for that coming until it was upon me, and then I got the biggest rush of warm fuzzies! Awesome! Then there were three thousand trapped cops who were probably going to die and not be able to defend the city they'd sworn to protect and serve. And there was a defeated, imprisoned batman. Will he be able to overcome his own inferiority complex and protect what matters most? (Well, if I say duh! and you consider that a massive, un-called-for spoiler, you really don't have much faith in the story-telling community, do you?) There was the above-mentioned gasp moment, which we were set up for, but we never saw it coming. (Which, of course, was the point!).

And finally, there was the ending. No worries, I won't spoil, but suffice it to say that the title speaks almost directly to the ending. In truth, though it's hard to see at first, this is an origin story. It's hard to see because this is the third film of a trilogy, but actually the entire trilogy is one great big origins story. I've always thought that prequels are innately hard to pull off. Because they're prequels, we already know what happens later, so it's difficult to make the story stand on it's own uniqueness, which can spell death at the box office. When a prequel is done well, it's worth it's weight in gold (or at least the ticket stub's weight in gold :D). Suffice it to say that the end of this film has such a feel of absolute prophecy about it (again, warm fuzzies!) and sets us up to see in our mind's eye every comic, cartoon, or other installment set forth of the batman saga, that we can't help but smile knowingly.

When the credits finally rolled, there was actual applause in the theater! You can't ask for a better movie-going experience than that!

4) A word on theme

I know this is getting long so just a word and I'll close. The theme that ran through this film was one of hope and endurance. (Not so different from the first two films, actually). It was about never losing hope and never ceasing to fight, even when you already know you're going down. At the risk of sounding sentimental, I think these themes are important in our society today. Despite our technology and increasingly prevalent means of education, there are still many weak-minded people in the world. There are plenty of people who want to control others. I am a writer and a firm believer that good literature can help weak minds become strong and closed minds become open. That's why I do what I do. Movies, when made right, are no different.

It's such a shame that a real life Ted Kaczynski-eque villain tried to shatter that hope by opening fire in a movie theater. (See my blog post on the subject.) I can only hope that audiences will be certain that he fails in his endeavors both by helping his victims and would-be victims and by embracing this film and it's essential themes.

Bottom line: GO SEE THIS FILM! You won't regret it! Anyone else seen it yet?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

My Teasers come from A Dance with Dragons, Book 5 of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice. (Yes, I'm still reading that. Whatever, I'm getting there!)

"We must pray," said the Green Grace. "The gods sent this man to us. He comes as a harbinger. He comes as a sign."

"A sign of what?" asked Dany.

"A sign of wroth and ruin."

She did not want to believe that. "He was one man. One sick man with an arrow in his leg. A horse brought him here, not a god." A pale mare. Dany rose abruptly. "I thank you for your counsel and for all that you did for this poor man."

The Green Grace kissed Dany's fingers before she took her leave. "We shall pray for Astapor."

And for me. Oh, pray for me, my lady. (Page 399)


Roose made a face, as if the ale he was sipping had suddenly gone sour. "There are times you make me wonder if you truly are my seed. My forebears were many things, but never fools. No, be quiet now, I have heard enough. We appear strong for the moment, yes. We have powerful friends in the Lannisters and Freys, and the grudging support of much of the north...but what do you imagine is going to happen when one of Ned Stark's sons turns up?" (Page 425)

Happy Tuesday! :D

One more thing! I am participating in a blog tour for a book that needs more bloggers. More information at the website below!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Follow Friday--Christmas in July!!!

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?

I would just choose two from my TBR list! Hmm, let's see...I think I'd have to go with:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I've wanted to read The Name of the Wind for a long time and have just never gotten around to it. Seraphina has come to my attention much more recently, but I hear nothing but good things about it so I can't wait to read it! :D Happy Friday everyone!

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 


To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Possession Book Review

The second book I read while participating in Once Upon a Read-a-Thon was Elana Johnson's Possession. I've been trying to get around to this book for awhile and I'm so glad I finally did! I LOVED it!

Goodreads Blurb: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Elana Johnson presents a vivid dystopian world and I found myself looking forward to every part of it. Around every corner is a new surprise, even if it's just what technology they do or don't have. And with each new reveal, the boundaries of the world of Possession grow and morph as we come to understand it better.

By far the best part of Possession is its spunky narrator and MC, Vi. Vi is SUCH a teenager. Her rebellion, her moodiness, the way she thinks. She the teen-aged girl everyone used to be, and she's downright refreshing. She's totally snarky and sociopathic, but that makes her true, girl-ish emotions that much more real. She's living in a restrictive world and trying to deal with betrayal, loneliness, and abandonment, all while dodging her world's government and trying to understand herself and her special gifts. 

This book was fun, fast-paced, and absorbing. Can't wait to read book 2! :D

Monday, July 16, 2012

Help! I Need Opinions

Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! There was a massive, beautiful firework display at Weber State last night. Because Utah does fireworks for both the 4th and the 24th of July (Pioneer Day, a Utah-only holiday) Ogden does their big display between the two holidays every year. It was awesome! I've attached some pictures below!

Now, to the business at hand. I've just finish the first draft of the second book in my dystopian series. I'm struggling with the title for book 2 and was hoping to get the community's opinion. After all, who better to help with this than an absitively, posolutely fantastic community of writers and book bloggers? (Yes, I'm kinda trying to butter you up! But that doesn't mean I'm wrong. Right? Of course right!)

Those who follow this blog probably know how I'm handling the titles, but for those who don't, here's a recap: The series is called Interchron, which is the name of the main compound the story is set in and around. I've decided to title each book after a scientific phenomenon that the characters in the story encounter. They encounter and deal with the phenomenon in a physical way, but it also affects them emotionally and on a personal level.

For example, book 1 (see cover above) is called Persistence of Vision. Persistence of Vision is a real scientific phenomenon that describes seeing something when it is no longer there. It's like looking at the sun, then shutting your eyes. A (usually purple) sun image is still visible for several seconds, right? What you see is called an after image. The phenomenon of seeing it is called Persistence of Vision. In my story, the characters encounter this with a memory problem. Even though my MC's memories are completely erased, she still sees flashes of them. Of courser this affects her quite traumatically because she can't remember what the flashes pertain to. Some of them are disturbing, others just very emotional, but she can't remember why, and feels like she's lost part of herself.

Anyway, for book 2, I've worked another true scientific phenomenon in the story. When physicists tangle up two particles in a specific way (I won't go into the details because it has to do with quantum mechanics and particle physics and those are WAY beyond the scope of this blog and it's writer!) they find that the two particles become irrevocably connected. When something happens to one of the particles, it happens to the other. When one reacts a certain way to an outside force, the other does too. Space and time have no effect on this phenomenon. The "sameness" of the two particles happens instantaneously. This is baffling to today's physicists because if the two particles are communicating with each other in some way we don't have the technology to measure, yet, it would mean that they are transmitting information between themselves faster than the speed of light, which, according to our good buddy Einstein, is against the nature of the universe.

So, long story short: it's weird. No one can explain this phenomenon, but it does exist in our galaxy. In Book 2 of my series, my characters experience this. Their lives are so entangled that the MC and her male counterpart begin to sense one another's emotions and physical sensations. In fact, they inadvertently end up in the same place, just by virtue of their "entanglement." And yes, this male counterpart also happens to be the love interest, which complicates things deliciously. (Bet you didn't guess that, did you? I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock...okay, moment's over!)

Okay, sorry for long post but here's the dilemma: the name of this phenomenon is Quantum Entanglement. That's what I'm thinking of calling Book 2 of the series. Yet, it's kind of a strange name and very scientific. So what do you all think? Too pretentious for a title, or is it a good one?

Only honest opinions, please. ;D
Fireworks Above
Harrison Blvd.

Fireworks in Ogden, Utah

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Follow Friday (#FF)

This meme is hosted by Alison Can Read if you want to join!

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

I explained the beginning of my true blogging on my other blog, because it began with that one, but it didn't end there (obviously, 'cause you're here!). Even though Jolly Fish Press has been kind enough to pick up my historical fiction novel, my debut novel will actually come out the end of 2012. It is a futuristic dystopian fantasy entitled, Persistence of Vision. (See cover at left!)

I love fantasy! Grew up with it! Was probably destined to write it at some point. One of my earliest memories is of my dad sitting with his back against the doorframe of my room and putting me and my sister and brother to sleep with stories of Frodo and the Ring. (This was the late 1980s, dontcha know! Long before Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood met.) We did Star Wars, Star Trek, The Last Unicorn, The Neverending Story, Labrinth, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (both book and '70s cartoon complete with bell bottoms!). You name it, I saw/heard/read it.

So, the short answer is that I started this blog because I love fantasy. The fact that I now have a fantasy book soon to be on the shelves is just icing on the cake! And again, I hope that reviewers whose blogs I follow will be willing to do a review for me when it comes out! :D (wink, wink!)

Happy Friday! :D

P.S. What do you think of the cover for Persistence of Vision?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Once Upon a Read-Athon

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

So I decided to participate in Once Upon a Read-a-thon, hosted by Candace's Book Blog, among others. The reason I wanted to do the read-a-thon was because 1) I don't think I've officially partiicipated in a one since I was in, like, grade school! (Dah!) and 2) because I'm reading four books at once and wanted an excuse to push everything else aside and finish them. That said, this was probably not the best time for me to do a read-a-thon. I was SO busy this week! I had hoped to finish two of the books I was already reading (don't worry, I was only a chapter or two into each when I began! :D) and maybe also read another. Well, suffice it to say, that didn't happen. I've finished one of the book and hope to finish the other by night's end. If I can get those first two read, it will be awesome, but I won't be doing any more that that. (Curse the work that pays the bills!)

Anyway, the two books I keep mentioning are Alana Johnson's Possession and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I'm totally loving them both. I'll probably do reviews for them, but I doubt I'll get to it before next week. I have to do at least one challenge, so here it is:

The Reader Bee's challenge for Wednesday is a simple question: What is (or was) your most anticipated book for 2012?

Answer: This may be cheating just a tad, but my most anticipated book was the final installment of The Wheel of Time series entitled, A Memory of Light. I'm sure those of  you who follow my blog (and therefore see me rave about Robert Jordant all the time!) are just shocked to hear this, but there it is. The only reason it's (kinda) cheating is that, due to publishing delays, this book's release date got pushed back to January 2013. So, it was the most anticipated book of 2012...until it became instead the most anticipated book of 2013! :D

Well, happy reading. The read-a-thon ran Monday through Wednesday, so I'll update tomorrow on what the final tally of pages are that I got read! Happy Reading! :D

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

My teaser comes from A Dance with Dragons, Book 5 of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice. And yes, I'm still reading it! (I can't help it if I tend to read four books at once! Okay, I can, but whatever!)

It's a bit long, but I thought this conversation was a good one! Enjoy! :D Leave me a comment with your Teaser post and I'll check it out!

P.S. The picture, for those who don't know, is Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in the HBO version of this series.

Ser Jorah claimed a table in a quiet corner and ordered food and drink. "You have a healthy appetite this morning," the night observed.

"I've heard the food in hell is wretched," Tyrion glanced at the door, where a man had just come in. A gust of sound came with him from outside; the cries of gulls, a woman's laughter, the voices of the fishmongers. For half a heartbeat, he thought he glimpsed Illyrio Mopatis, but it was only one of those white dwarf elephants passing the front door.

Mormont spread some fish roe across a slice of flatbread and took a bite. "Are you expecting someone?"

Tyrion shrugged. "You never know who the wind might blow in. My one true love, my father's ghost, a duck." He popped a locust into his mouth and crunched it. "Not bad. For a bug." 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

This and That

This weekend I attended a luncheon for all Jolly Fish Press authors. It was great! We got to meet some of our fellow publishees and put faces to, well...faces that we've only seen on Facebook profiles before now. It was so fun to talk with everyone and chat about all our soon-to-be out there work. I've got a few pictures (which I shamelessly pilfered from Facebook) below.

As I drove home, I thought about where I am and where I'll be going (writing-wise) in the near future.

I'm right at a point where many projects are intercepting and I feel like I'm doing a little bit of everything. Over the weekend, I finished the first draft of the second installment of Interchron. (It's okay if you need to read that again; it was a complicated sentence! :D) Of course it's by no means done. I have to go back through and put things in that I left out the first time through, simply because I was preoccupied with the action or other parts of the narrative. After that, I'll give it to my alpha readers and let it rest (for me, I mean) for 4-6 weeks. Then I'll go back through and do more serious editing once I have some space from it.

While my alpha readers rip that apart, I have another book--totally different genre of crime thriller--called The Botanist. My published for Kremlins said he'd take a look at it. There are no promises of publication, of course, but I thought I'd give him dibs. I want to do another editorial cycle on it, though. I haven't looked at that manuscript in months, so it's time I did. I'll probably send that to him (fingers crossed) sometime in September.

After that, I'll start getting the second installment of Kremlins ready. It's actually all written but I GUARANTEE it needs a lot of editorial love. Once I learned to edit myself, I went over book 1 with a fine-toothed comb, but I haven't touched book 2 yet, which means it's pretty raw.

I'm also trying to get more reading done. I'm a firm believer that anyone who wishes to be a successful writer should be devouring books on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I've been a bit of a hypocrite lately, so I'm trying to remedy that and chisel away at my To Be Read list a bit.

So, in short, I have plenty to keep me busy until the end of the calender year. A lot of it is editing, but that's okay with me. Sometimes it's nice to know that something is mostly written and you just have to fine tune it, rather that be uber-creative and come up with completely new stuff.

Anyway, just some this and that updates on my life. Everyone have a fabulous week! :D

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Friday Follow

Q: Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don't like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

I don't know of a time recently when I picked up a strange genre and ended up loving it. It's not that I never pick up anything different--on the contrary. I read across most genres so there's not much that's uncommon for me.

I do remember a time when I was in grade school that this happened, though. I'm really not kidding. I remember because I think it changed my life just a little bit.

The class had been broken into two reading groups. One was reading a Gary Paulsen book--who I LOVED as a kid, by the way. The other was reading some random fantasy novel. Now, I had grown up hearing fantasy stories verbally. My dad was a huge Lord of the Rings fan and twenty years before Hollywood made its movies, my dad could tell the story from memory. One of my earliest memories is him sitting against the door frame in my room before I went to sleep and telling me and my sister and brother of Frodo's adventures.

Despite this, I'd never actually READ a fantasy before this class in school. (Cut me some slack. I was like ten!) Anyway, I had been absent the day the groups were assigned, so I didn't know which one I'd be in. I was desperately hoping for the Gary Paulsen group because I loved his books and really wanted to read the one that group was reading.

And what do you think happened? Yup, you guessed it! I got put in the fantasy group. I remember being so angry, cursing my teacher with ten-year-old, get-your-mouth-washed-out-with-soap-if-your-mom-heard-you-say-that curses. You get the idea. 

But, low and behold, the fantasy book I was "forced" to read was none other than Lloyd Alexander's The Black Cauldron. For anyone who's read these amazing books, enough said. I LOVED IT! 

Thus began my life-long love affair with epic fantasy! I never looked at books the same way again. From then on, I jumped to read medieval fantasy and my life has never been the same. How about you?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Thanks to Faraway Eyes for Nominating my blog for this award!

Disclaimer: I'm cheating a bit, here. My other blog, has already received this award, but this is the first time Musings on Fantasia is getting it. I'm doing it again, though, because the questions are different and fun! I'm nominating the same people and with the same questions as before, though. Laziness on my part, I know, but deal with it anyway. I had a hard enough time finding ten bloggers with less than 200 followers the first time! :D

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers and Liebster is a German word which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Rules:
1. Each person must post 10 Facts about themselves.
2. Answer 10 questions the tagger has given you and 10 questions for the people you've tagged.
3. Choose 10 people and Link them to your post.
4. Tell them you've tagged them.
5. Remember, no tag backs.
10 Random things about me:
1. I write across three different genres.
2. I come from a large family.
3. I've played the piano since I was 11 (totally not telling you how old I am now!)
4. I have many nieces and nephews but no children.
5. I'm single.
6. I love dark chocolate!
7. I love angry guy music.
8. I hate cilantro!
9. I'm a caterer/legal clerk by day and moonlight as a writer by night.
10. I have one foot that's bigger than the other (birth defect, but not a huge one! :D)

Questions my Nominator asked me:

1.What is your favorite opening line of a book?

Oh, so many to choose from! I think I'll go with a classic: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... There's just so much potential there!

2.What is your favorite blog post of your own and why?

Whichever one I'm writing this week (I love to blog!)

3. If you couldn't read for a week, what would you do with your time?

Honestly, probably watch tv. Am I allowed to write? If yes, then I'd do plenty of writing, too.

4.Who is your least favorite author?

I'm not sure I have a particular one. If I don't like something I put it down, so anyone like that. Anyone who has an agenda and puts it before characters and plot.

5.What elements does a story have to have to keep you interested?

Hm...great characters, great plot, a bit of adventure, mysticism, and romance. All these things and I'm a happy camper!

6. Have you ever not finished a book? Which ones?

I've downloaded a few free indie books and not finished them. Across the board, the writing was just not up to par, the plots/characters just not interested. Anything I can't make myself care about will probably get put down.

7. What is your best kept secret (something you love but no one else has heard of)?

I think people have heard of it, but just not read it. I LOVE Joseph Conrad. While Heart of Darkness is still widely read in schools and reading programs, many of Conrad's other gems, including the book that's said to be his greatest work, are widely NOT read.

8.Dinner party with three characters. Who? Al'Lan Mandragoran (Wheel of Time), Marley (Heart of Darkness) and Daenarys Targaryen (Song of Fire and Ice)--the last one just so I can tell her what's going on in the Seven Kingdoms. ~Evil laugh~

9. Dinner party with three authors. Who? Charles Dickens, Robert Jordan, and Emily Dickinson

10. Has a book ever changed your life?

I've said this on this blog before, but the Wheel of Time series did. I learned more about writing style and story telling from that series than most other things I've read combined. Absolute fabulousness! :D

Blogs I'm nominating:

10.Ebony Black Lines

Questions for them:

1. How long have you been blogging for?
2. Why did you start up a blog?
3. What has been your weirdest experience with blogging?
4. What is your favourite book?
5. Who is your favourite author?
6. What do you want to be when you grow up/what is your profession?
7. How many books do you think you might have?
8. Do you prefer reading a proper book or a ebook?
9. If you could choose to live one character's life in a book, who would it be?
10. If you were stranded on a desert island what 10 items would you want to have with you?