Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Check it out

I read two really great posts today and think every writer should take the time to read them. Both posts were insightful and really help put things in perspective. Happy Reading.

Between Fact and Fiction: Natalie Whipple 10 Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently 

Mandy Hubbard: Leap Day Musings

Monday, February 27, 2012

Classics in YA

Remember my New Years Resolution to read the classics. (New Followers, yes I went there.) Or at least one classic every two months. Yeah, about that... I haven't given up. I'm still reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, haven't broke 200 pages yet, but I'm trying. Kind of. To be honest I haven't picked it up in a few weeks. I need to buckle down and just read it. It's not my cup of tea, so it's hard, as I thought it would be. I probably should have picked another book to start with. What classics are your favorites? Are they all boring?

The more YA books I read the more references to the classics I stumble upon. In Beautiful Chaos (# 3 in the Caster Chronicles Series)they reference The Crucible and Of Mine and Men. Twilight referenced Wuthering Heights over and over again. Of course my mind goes blank and I can't think of any more, but I know there are tons. I've read Of Mice and Men. Never read The Crucible or Wuthering Heights. So when they get referenced in a way that relates to the story, I have to just try to figure out why. Sometimes it is explained, but I feel like I would understand better if I had actually read the classic. Anyone else come across this?

Also I don't know if it was my high school, but most of the classics that you supposedly should have read in high school, I never had to read any of them. And I'm pretty sure Of Mice and Men, I read in middle school. I'm curious, what books were you assigned in high school?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Saturday Quote

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
- Stephen King

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Bloghop!

I'm such a fan of bloghops and when I stumble upon a new one I get all giddy. I just found Mark Koopman's: Got Green Bloghop. It's not about writing but about good ol' St. Patrick's Day. I love it! I mean, come on. Irish or not, who doesn't love St. Patrick's Day? So many memories to choose from...

Some of the details from his blog:
 What does St. Paddy's Day mean to you!

I'd LOVE to hear your Irish stories.

What's your traditions?

What do you cook?

What are your favorite memories, or future plans to visit the Emerald Isle?

Word Count total is 333 (say it in an "Oirish" accent, it makes more sense :)

Click on the link above to find out more details and don't forget to follow Mark :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Check out this new bloghop

Between Cupid's Blind Speed Dating and Editing I have been a terrible blogger. I'm sorry. I will be back next week, hopefully with some fun posts. In the meantime, I just discovered a new bloghop that sounds like it is going to be an absolute blast. Kyra Lennon at Write Here Write Now and Rachel at Writing on the Wall are hosting WIP: The Movie

The details (Taken from Rachel's blog)

Have you ever fantasized about your book being turned into a movie? (If you say no, I might call you a liar.) It's fun to think about. So, we want you to make your movie.

Here are the rules:
Cast at least one character from your book, and post a picture of him or her on your blog.
Post at least one song that would be on the soundtrack.
Follow me and Kyra. (We will follow back.)
Post your entries on March 9th, hop around and check out people's posts.

Kyra and I will each draw a winner from all the blogs who play along. You will get to choose between two books.

Kyra will be offering a choice between Water for Elephants or Bridget Jones' Diary. (Both books to movies which she enjoyed.)
I will be offering a choice between The Princess Bride, (best book to movie ever) or The Hunger Games, (which I'm hoping will be good.)

Blog about this before March 8th and you'll get your name in the drawing an extra time. Let us know if you do, so we don't miss it. Thanks!

I can't wait! Now to pick which WIP I want to use. Hmm.... Hope to see you all there :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Contest and Dancing Grandma

Today starts Cupid's Literary Connection Blind Speed Dating Contest!!! Noon cannot get here fast enough. Good luck to everyone who has made it to this round. I'm sending off good vibes to you. I'm really excited to see what strategy the agents choose. You can find my entry here.

Sorry for the short post today, but I need to get back into my editing cave. The glorious life of a writer. But I did find this Youtube video yesterday and fell in love with this 90 year old grandma. So turn up the volume and enjoy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Saturday Quote.

Yesterday I received my March/April Writer's Digest, you would have thought I was a kid on Christmas morning. Reading through I found a quote that I fell in love with. (Pg 23 by Steven James)

"Believe it or not, you don't want readers to admire your writing: You want them to be so engaged in the story itself that they don't notice the way you use words to shape it."

And because I'm in the mood for some pretty:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Letting It Go Even When It's Hard.

I'm sure you have all had a manuscript you poured your heart into only to finish it and shelf it. I would love a bloghop where we can share excerpts from these gems collecting dust. I just have no idea how to get one started. (Any one in on this) Let's dust them off and show each other a piece of something we love.
I was rereading an old manuscript of mine. For those of you that follow my blog it's from one of the manuscripts in my Forever series-my first attempts at writing a novel. These books will always hold a spot in my heart. They were my first successful attempt at writing a full length book and the first time characters ever spoke to me. The characters spoke to me so much to the point I thought I was crazy and believe it or not they still do. If I ever got to finish the series I know there would be another book and I know exactly how it would go. Unfortunately for now it's not going to happen. But I did want to share one of my favorite scenes from the third book in the series- Nothing is Forever.
 To set it up Steve and Lisa dated and Lisa is best friends with Steve's sister Emma. When Steve was away at college he broke up with Lisa, she fell into a depression and tried to hide behind alcohol. She's sober now. (It's very rough. Lot of dialogue.)
Lisa and Steve before the breakup.

Steve rounded the corner of the house and before Lisa could react he was standing in front of her. In a moment of panic she jumped up from her chair.
“I was just going back in,” she said and went to walk by him.
“Lisa.” Her name slid off his tongue as it always did and she could feel the knots building up in her stomach. 
Why now? She couldn’t help but think. She was frozen. She couldn’t answer him yet she couldn’t seem to get her feet to move. He had a hold on her and she wondered if that hold would always be there.
 “I made a mistake.” The words she had been waiting to hear for months and he finally said them. She still couldn’t move. Her heart was racing, her hands even in the cool November air were sweating.
She could feel him behind her now. “I’m sorry Lisa.” She still didn’t turn around so he kept talking. “When I had a bad day and needed someone to talk to you were the first person to pop into my head. I would go to call you and then I would remember what I did. At night when I was lying in bed alone I wondered what it was that you were doing and if you were just as lonely as I was. I can tell now that you were and I can’t tell you how sorry I am for that.” She could feel his breath on her ear. He was getting closer.
“I waited for you,” Lisa muttered then paused. “I waited for my phone to ring and to hear those exact words. I waited day after day for you to show up on my doorstep and you never did. You never came. I’ve been waiting for two months and now. Now it’s too late.”
“I don’t think it is.” He went to put his hand on her shoulder and then stopped himself.
“You once told me that all you ever wanted was for me to be happy and you would do everything in your power to make me happy.” Lisa found the courage to turn around and face him. “You lied to me.”
“I did, but not on purpose.”
“It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done. You can’t take it back and you can’t change anything.”
“I want to make things right with us.” Steve was willing to do anything.
“Like I said it’s too late for us. Maybe in time we can be friends again.”
            “We were never really friends.”
“Yes we were. Before that summer we were.”
“My life didn’t start until that summer.”
“Steve just stop. I can’t do this. I don’t care if you think we belong together and that you made a mistake. You should have thought about that a long time ago.” Lisa couldn’t believe what she was saying but she was protecting her heart.
“I was lonely. I was selfish.”
“And what happens when you go back to school and you’re lonely again. I can’t go through with it again Steve. I just can’t, not again. The pain of losing you broke me and I refuse to allow it to happen again. I’m sorry.” Lisa went to walk away but Steve’s hand grabbed her elbow.
She stopped.
Heat radiated up her back as he pressed his chest up against her. “Don’t,” she muttered. He moved around her until he was looking into her eyes. The way only he did.
“I can see you’re not happy. Your eyes give it away they always did. The sparkle the joy it’s missing.”
“I may not be as happy as I once was but I’m content with that.”
“I don’t believe that. You would never settle for second best so why would you now?”
“I told you I can’t go through it again, Steve. I just can’t.”
“But I’ll never do that to you again. I want you and only you.”
            “Steve you said it yourself nothing is forever.” Lisa looked Steve in his eyes for what she assumed would be the last time before walking away. Her eyes burned as tears began to fill in her lids. She wouldn’t let him see her cry. Never again.
Lisa walked inside where Sara had just joined Emma and Devin in front of the landing. Lisa moved by them holding the tears in until she reached the first step. 
Emma could see the despair in Lisa’s face as could Sara. The two girls looked at each other when Steve walked in with defeat radiating off of him. Sara didn’t wait to hear Steve’s side instead she ran up the stairs after Lisa.
“What did you do? What did you say to her?” Emma demanded but before Steve could speak she continued. “Steve you weren’t here. You didn’t have to see how much she suffered. I am finally getting my friend back. Don’t mess it up.” Emma was angry yet more concerned with her friend so she left Steve at the bottom of the stairwell confused and heartbroken.
 However, when Emma got to the top of the staircase she looked down at Steve and left him with some final advice, “Just let her go Steve,” then she was gone. Steve didn’t realize Devin was still standing there. He was too concerned with Lisa.
If he really did break her was it possible for her to ever heal? Or would the wound always be there, a constant reminder of what their love could do to her?

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. Do you have a WIP you love, but know that for now it has to stay on the shelf?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I was Tagged! (Sorry for the formatting. It's so bad)

First off I want to say a HUGE thank you to Cassie and Hope for hosting the Is it getting hot in here blog hop. I had a blast hopping around reading everyone's steamy scenes and getting to meet so many new people.  Hi to all my new followers. Holy cow 75! I will do my hardest not to bore you :) 

I apologize for the annoying white highlighting. I can't get it to go away. I understand if your eyes can't handle it. I've tried everything, but it's still there! Ugh! Anywho...

I was tagged by Kelley (Between the Bookends), I'm pretty sure everyone knows Kelley, but if you don't go check out her blog. You will be happy you did.

So...the idea behind the tag is this (stolen from Kelley's blog):
The idea of this, is that it's a "getting to know you" quiz, so I will answer the questions Kelley sent me, then I have to post 11 new questions, and tag another 11 people to answer those. No pressure, just a bit of fun! :D 

1. If you could travel back in time, what period would you most like to see? 
Oh God how do I pick? I'm a HUGE history buff, but since a recent WIP took place in the 1920's and I did so much research I'd have to say 1920's. I'd hang out at a speakeasy, drink bootlegged liquor,and  drive in a Ford Model T. I don't think I could drive it- it's complicated- think Jack in the Box.

2. What is your favorite tree?
Easy. Weeping Willow.

3. Do you prefer the sandy beach or a cabin in the mountains?
Sandy beach. Every year my family rented a beach house and my parent's have had a boat all my life. I grew up on the sandy shores of Long Island/Fire Island. I couldn't imagine life without it. But a cabin in the mountains is very close because I dream of going to a place like Montana. I've read so many books that have taken place there and it just sounds absolutely beautiful. 

4. Which celebrity do you most resemble and why?

Even though I don't see it Julia Roberts. My entire life people have told me this. Once at a restaurant with my mom the waitress sat down next to me (weird I know) and said "You know you look exactly like Julia Roberts, right?" Another time I was in the city for the Halloween Parade I dressed up as Lucille Ball. After the parade I took the wig off and while walking in the street a guy stops in front of me points then calls to his friends "Holy Sh*t guys it's Julia Roberts!" And those are just two of the many times this has happened to me.

5. Fill in the blank. I would never give up writing.

6. Coffee or Tea?  Both. Coffee in the morning, green tea in the afternoon and herbal tea at night.

7. A date with Brad Pitt or jumping out of a plane?
When I was 16 this would have been easy. Jumping out of a plane. Now I hate planes. Hate them with a passion so I would never jump out of one. So I guess a date with Brad Pitt but he wouldn't be my first choice.

8. If you could donate $1,000,000 to any charity, which would it be?  
I hate to choose. Um. I donate to St Jude's and they always send me pictures of the children who are being helped by the donations and just knowing that the little I give can mean the world of difference to a child and give them a life they may have lost I'd gladly give them $1,000,000. 

9. What is a place you've never been, but would like to visit?
I can't choose one. Italy and Scotland. Italy not just because I'm Italian but because I love the history. Scotland because my grandmother was born and lived there until she was 19. I'd love to see where she grew up. Plus me and my mom are writing a book and majority of it will take place in Scotland.

10. What is your favorite sweet?  
Caramello's. And Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Yum!

11. Who do you admire most (anyone alive or dead)?   
My Parents :) 

Okay I tag (The last 11 people who commented)
Deana Barnhart
Rachel Morgan
Trisha (Word + Stuff)
Lara Schiffbauer
Rachel Pudelek 
Rachel Mary Bean 
Leigh Covington
Shell Flower 
Tara Tyler
Crystal Licata 
Morgan Shamy
Now your 11 questions: The formatting in this post is AWFUL! Sorry...

1)     Favorite Book & Why?
2)     Favorite Movie & Why?
3)     Hobby other than reading and writing?
4)     Dream Vacation?
5)     If you could have dinner with one person living or dead who would it be?
6)     What would the conversation consist of?
7)    What would you eat?
8)    Desert Island three items what would they be? (I’m running out of questions)
9)    Favorite place to write/read?
10  Most embarrassing moment?
11  If you had the opportunity to go back in time and change one thing would you? And what would it be? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is It Getting Hot In Here? Bloghop

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!! Nothing says Valentines Day more than a bloghop dedicated to kissing scenes. Thanks to Cassie Mae at Reading, Writing and Lovin' It and Hope at My Protector: The Calling for hosting this hop. I can't wait to hop around and read all the hot scenes.

I chose to use an excerpt from my MS Uncharted Territory. It is told in alternating POV's between Anna and Dean. I'm going to post both reactions to the kiss. First Anna:

          A gentle touch on my shoulder causes the tears to fall down my cheeks. By the gentleness I can tell its Dean. His hand cups my shoulder and slowly he turns me around. Still too upset I keep my eyes down unwilling to look at him. Chills shoot up my neck as he glides his hand across my shoulder to just beneath my chin.
            My chin reacts to his touch following his hand until I am looking into his eyes. I’m surprised to find sincerity and concern in his gaze.
            “I’m sorry.” His thumb moves across my face wiping away a few stray tears. “I forgot what it’s like to have someone who cares about me for me and not my situation.”
            “I just didn’t want you to be cold,” the words come out in a whisper but when his lips turn upward into the smile I have grown to love, I know he heard me.
            “I know.” Tenderly his hand moves up to tuck a piece of hair behind my ear. With my hair out of my eyes I can see Dean completely. The way his copper eyes have the slightest specks of gold, and how the contour of his face comes to a perfect rounded point at his chin.
            Heat radiates from his hand as he presses it against my cheek and guides me closer to him. Closer. Closer. Until our lips come together. His lips are the complete opposite of his hard exterior. They are soft and welcoming and for the first time since I met Dean the wall he has spent years hiding behind has finally come down.  

And now Dean:

          “I know,” it took me a minute to figure it out. To Anna I wasn’t a charity case. Looking into her eyes now I know it never even crossed her mind.
            A longing desire to feel her skin against mine causes me to gently press my hand to her cheek.  Her skin is cold, but I can still feel its softness. Every fantasy of how her lips would feel against mine flood any and all rational thoughts. 
             Slowly I guide her face closer to me, wanting to see if this girl will live up to my fantasy. As her lips press against mine a chill runs up my spine and it has nothing to do with the unseasonably cool air.
            I start out slow giving us time to discover one another’s style. When it comes to almost everything, Anna is a take charge kind of girl, but right now she is mimicking my every move. I let my hand leave her face and lose itself in her hair. As each soft strand glides through my fingers it exceeds my every expectation. It’s softer than I imagined.
            While she was hesitant at first she finally moves into me. Her hand runs across the band of my jeans until it is resting on the small of my back. I should stop this. I should pull away from her, but I can’t.
            We may be part of two very different worlds, but right now we are in our own together. No one else exists. It is only us. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest

First off I'm in Cupid's Literary Connection: Blind Speed Dating Contest. Please stop by. There is some amazing competition.

I'm loving these blogfests. I've been meeting amazing people. Thank you to all my new followers :) I hope not to bore you.

This weeks blogfest Origins hosted by D L HammondKatie Mills, Alex Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish. I found it on Alex's blog and accidently signed up under the name of this post and not the name of my blog. This is what happens when I do things before I finish my coffee.

On Monday, February 13th, post your own origin story. Tell us all where your writing dreams began. It could be anything from how you started making up stories as a child, or writing for the school newspaper, or even what prompted you to start a blog. How about stories about the first time somebody took an interest in your writing, or maybe the singular moment when you first started calling yourself a writer. It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own unique beginnings.

Where do I start? The first 'book' I ever wrote was a picture book, I did the illustrations (it was awful), and it was called The New Baby. I was six and the story is about a girl who is jealous of her new baby brother. This would make sense if I had a baby brother. I don't. I have one brother and he's two years older than me so I have no idea where this story came from.  

In fourth grade I wrote a poem and my teacher sent it into the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans and my poem was accepted. My fifth grade teacher also submitted one of my poems and that was also accepted. I am not a poet but this helped pave the way for me to begin extending my ideas into longer formats.

In fifth grade I won the D.A.R.E. essay contest and was asked to read it at an assembly with the entire fifth grade and our parents. I had to wear the black shirt with D.A.R.E. written in red and I decided to pair it with a hot pink skirt and hot pink tights. Yeah I don't know what I was thinking.

In sixth grade I attempted my first novel. A book about the Battle of Salamis in Ancient Greece. I got to seventeen pages and all my classmates were in awe. This would become one of the many ideas I started and never finished.

In eighth grade we put together a book called the Scribbler. In it were illustrations, short stories and poems. About six or seven of my poems made it to the final product. All of which are embarrassing poems that make me cringe to this day. I wish I could find all copies and set them on fire :)

In eleventh grade I took my first Creative Writing class. I was so excited when we had to exchange short stories with a classmate. My piece was amazing. I knew whoever read it would love it. The girl gave it back to me and wrote that the first paragraph description was tedious. To this day I hate the word tedious.

Twelfth grade I was more concerned with cutting school and going to the mall. I didn't write much at all other than a few depressing poems about love. It wasn't until a few years later that I discovered a site online where you could share your writing and people could comment on it. I posted a few poems and got some feedback and then one day I decided I wanted to write a book. I was determined. And for the first time in my life I wrote an entire book. I also received amazing feedback on the site. People whether they liked the writing or not, loved the story. One girl told me she stopped reading Twilight so she could read my story. I was a huge Twilight Freak at the time and that made my heart melt.

The story was loosely based on me and my friends when we were fourteen and I loved it so much I decided the story needed to continue. The story continued into four books. The fourth book I never finished. It's chapters away from being complete, but since the previous books are riddled with beginner writer mistakes, I put it aside. One day I hope to revise the crap out of it and give it another shot. These books were the first time I experienced voices in my head and characters wanting to takeover as I typed. And even if these books never see the light of day, I credit them with where I am today and they will always be special to me.

So what's your story? What was the moment you said, "This is it! I'm a writer?"

* I forgot to mention that Twilight had a part in getting my mind back into wanting to be a writer. You can judge me if you'd like, but after reading the books and being captivated by the story I was inspired. Thanks Juliana for reminding me :) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Second Annual That's YAmore Blogfest

Second Annual That's YAmore Blogfest. (There's still time to sign up. Go, go, go!)

Starting the Saturday before Valentine's Day (that's February 11th), we invite you to post 250 romantic, swoon-worthy words from your YA WIP.  Then check out the entries from some of the other participants.  (Just be sure you have a fan and/or a cold glass of water on hand.)  We know your Valentine will appreciate you getting yourself in a romantic state of mind...

I love this!!! I was so excited when I found this blogfest since all my WIP's are heavy on the romance. My only problem, picking 250 words. I have 5, yes 5, WIP's that are all heavy on the romance. How do I choose? So hard.

I decided to go with Displaced Hearts. What makes this WIP more swoon worthy than the other four is that the two main characters have history. The story is about Liz (Lizzie) and Zach. To give some background my one line pitch that I now love thanks to Kelley (My CP for those of you that don't know and if you don't, go check out her blog now! :)

Liz Wagner's sure the world is ending when her ex, Zach, moves back to town, but when a shooting sends Liz's brother to the hospital and emotional turmoil renders Liz useless, Zach is the only thing that keeps her world from falling apart.

250 (Okay maybe a little more than 250) romantic, swoon-worthy words from my YA WIP:
Streams of tears rushed down my cheeks. I thought I pulled myself together. I thought I was okay, but in the back of my mind the fear of losing him was still there. I didn’t know the extent of his injuries. For all I knew he might not be alive by the time I got to the hospital.
Suddenly, the Jeep swerved. Up until that point I was unaware of the passing cars. Completely oblivious to the fact that we were even in a vehicle. The sound of horns sent my attention to Zach.
What the hell was he doing?
The left lane became further away as Zach maneuvered the car three lanes over until he threw the Jeep in park along the shoulder of the road.
I couldn’t form words. All I could do was stare as if he completely lost his mind.
“Come here,” he said but I continued to stare. Tears spilled from my cheeks onto my jeans. His arm reached out to me and that was all the invitation I needed. I fell against him needing to be comforted in a way that only he could manage.
“He’s okay. Everything is going to be okay. You didn’t lose him. Look at me.” He rested his hand under my chin, guiding me until my eyes were focused on his. “And you are not going to. Okay?” There was something deep within his eyes, deeper than the dark specks that made me believe him.
“Okay,” I whispered, too exhausted from tears to speak louder.
“You good?” He raised his eyes to me as he bent his head. And when he smiled my answer came quickly.
“I’m good.”
“Good, because the one thing I hate most in this world is seeing you cry,” he said as he wiped a stray tear away from my cheek.  

I love that last line and it's so Zach, sweet, caring and I just love him. They had other swoon worthy moments through out (one includes an Easy Bake Oven), but what I love about this particular excerpt is how even in a horrible situation the love that Zach has for her shines through.

I can't wait to hop around and read all the swoon worthy excerpts :)

What's Their Name Again?

Currently I'm reading Renni Browne and Dave King's Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. I'm only twenty pages in and I can already tell this book is going to help me a great deal. Throughout the book there are comics and I just came across one that had me laughing. Of course I can't find it anywhere on the internet so I'm going to try and describe it. Here goes.

A writer is at his desk, a pipe in his mouth, a look of determination on his face, hunched over a type writer, typing away. There are stacks of paper all around him and for some reason his dog looks angry. I'm guessing because he needs to go out and the writer is too consumed with his WIP. The caption says, "The dwarf! The dwarf! The damn dwarf hiding in the foot locker! A hundred pages, or so ago! What was his name?..."

Ha! I can't even tell you how many times this happens to me. Now I have a system. I have index cards and not just any index cards. White is boring so I have hot pink, green, yellow and orange index cards. I write the characters name on top and then on the lines provided, I keep track of their personality traits and how they look.

Do you have a system so you aren't the crazy writer with the dog who has to pee really bad?
My system. 
Sometimes I plot on post it's. So I have my characters on one side and the plotting on the other. I bought another corkboard so I can keep them separate.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When do you write?

Ideas come to me at random times throughout the day and I've learned to write them down. I can't even begin to recall how many times I thought, no need to write it down. I'll remember. Yeah sure. Now I write everything down. However when I want to actually sit down and add words to my WIP it tends to be at night.

I've tried to write in the morning, but it never works out well. I get distracted by Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, Radaronline, and any other website that can waste time. Sometimes in the afternoon I can get a few hundred words down, but my writing spurts always tend to hit when night falls.

I have tried disconnecting myself from the internet, forcing myself to sit in front of my laptop and write. It doesn't work. I can spend an entire day trying to get myself to write and not get a single word down. As soon as the sunsets, my mind starts going and my fingers start itching. I need to write. Then instead of being in bed at a reasonable time I'm up till the wee hours typing away.

Not to say that I can never write in the morning or afternoon. It happens from time to time. (Last week it happened a lot actually. Of course after I wrote this post) It just seems that night is when I get into the zone.

Are you a night writer? A morning writer? A midday writer? Or do you just write whenever you can?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Emotional Scenes

Can I just say a quick WOOHOO! and a YAY for the NY Giants!!!!!!!
Okay now back to the topic: 
Emotional Scenes.
Have you ever wrote a scene and broke down in tears? You get so sucked into your WIP that your characters become real and when something bad happens it breaks you apart even though you are the one writing it. Or even find your characters cracking you up? As you write a conversation between two of your characters the comments they make to each other have you laughing out loud. This happens to me from time to time.

During my JaNoing (Yes I tried to stick with it and though I didn't finish the first draft I did manage to write 56 pages in two days! And I am only pages away from it being complete.) I had to write a scene that I thought I was prepared for, but as I started putting the words down I broke down. For 26 pages I cried. It was the hardest 26 pages I have ever written. As soon as my fingers started to type the tears poured out to the point that I couldn't see my screen. Of course when my boyfriend came home I told him, he looked at me like I was crazy then verified his look by adding "You're nuts." Thank you dear :) He's not a writer though and he's not a reader either so I can't expect him to understand. That's why I have all of you. So has this ever happened to you? Do your characters play on your emotions?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

A quick overview from Laurie Halse Andersen's website:

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secrets,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way – thin, thinner, thinnest – maybe she’ll disappear altogether.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl’s chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.

Wow! Talk about the most realistic story about anorexia I have ever read. It is brutally honest and opens your eyes to the struggle and difficulty that is anorexia. Laurie Halse Anderson doesn't just open your eyes to it she puts you in the mind of a girl who is losing the battle with the disease. Every time Lia ate a single thing she calculated the calorie intake in her head. If it was too many calories she calculated how she could shed those calories. She was lost in the disease, lying and deceiving the ones around her to continue down this path to get thinner.

The only one that had any type of impact on her was her stepsister. That's what made Lia real to me. The relationship she had with her stepsister proved that while she was consumed by the disease she still cared about something other than the disease. She was ridden with guilt when she disappointed her stepsister and there was one scene particularly (I don't want to spoil it for anyone) that brought me to tears.

This is the second book I've read by Laurie Halse Anderson (The first was Twisted) and I can guarantee I will be reading more. Her books seem more like a biography than a story. She delves into her characters minds and pulls you in with her. You don't just read her books you experience them. I would highly recommend Wintergirls.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Why did this book sit on my bookshelf for as long as it did? I am seriously mad at myself for not reading it the minute I bought it months ago. Okay a quick overview from Sarah Ockler's website:

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, FIXING DELILAH is a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.

From the minute I started to read this book I knew I would love it. The writing style reminded me of Sarah Dessen who is one of my favorite YA writers. It has a strong voice and I instantly sympathized with Delilah. The issues were heavy, but they didn't leave me drained like other books. This was a more uplifting book and I was routing for Delilah as she tried to figure it all out.

The supporting cast was great. I'm in love with Patrick. He was sweet and fun, but more than anything he was realistic. Her mom was a big part of the book and I loved how their strained relationship slowly started to mend.

My favorite part was learning about the aunt who died before she was born. Everything that had happened with her family, all the issues they were dealing with were related to this aunt she had never met. Slowly she started to put the pieces together and Wow! I won't spoil it for those that have not read it, but I didn't see that one coming.

If you love a book with a good romance, a good dose of drama and a bit of mystery, or if you just love a good contemporary YA book this is the book for you.

I also LOVE the cover. It's so different from the other covers that are out right now and I feel like it really encompasses what the book is about.

Have you read Fixing Delilah? Have you read any of Sarah Ockler's books? I can't wait to read more from her.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What does that say?

I am embarrassed to admit this but there are times when I am reading and I come across a word I have never seen in my life. Even worse I have no idea how to pronounce it and for the life of me cannot give a definition. I'm sure this happens to everyone, but for me it makes me feel like less of a writer.

I can't even tell you how many times my boyfriend says something and I'm like what does that mean and every time it is the same response, "You're the writer." So does that mean just because I am a writer I should know every word in the English dictionary? Because I don't. I could bet you money that I don't know half of them.

That's what I love about reading. I discover new words that I never would have knew existed and am able to look them up. I can bank that word in my memory and be able to apply it to my own writing when necessary. I wish I would have done that when I was younger instead of skipping over those words. 

Am I alone here? Or do you still come across words that stop you in your tracks? If you do, do you look them up or do you do as I once did just skip over them and forget about it?

And this post would not be complete without:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

It's time to write reviews for the books I read during my Ten Books in Ten Days Challenge. The first book up is: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. A quick overview from Nova Ren Suma's website:

Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be captured or caged. After a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers a dead body floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away—away from home, away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns home at last, she finds a precarious and deadly balance waiting for her. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

Imaginary Girls is a masterfully distorted vision of family with twists that beg for their secrets to be kept.

You can't deny how beautifully written this book is. The words are almost poetic and the visuals she creates become tangible in your mind. I could picture every detail and feel every emotion. However, I didn't love the book. I know I am probably in the minority, but every person has different tastes, it's what makes the world go round. Honestly I finished reading it and had no idea what to make of it. Was it contemporary? Maybe. Yes. No. I have no idea. Was it paranormal? I don't thinnnnk so. I was completely confused.

The other problem I had with this book is Chloe's obsession with her sister. I understand a young girl idolizes her older sister but this was to the point that it distorted her view of reality. It was unhealthy and I wanted to reach into the book and shake her and try to make her see her sister as the self centered, mean spirited person she was. The whole book is Chloe speaking about her sister and I hated her sister. Despised her. And maybe I was supposed to hate her and I guess she redeems herself at one point in the book, but that doesn't make up for everything else. I kept waiting for Chloe to see her sister for who she really was, to grow from the naive little girl she started as, but that never happened.

Again it is personal opinion and I know so many people who have loved this book. In the end it just wasn't for me. Though since the writing was divine and I did get sucked in at one point I give it 3.5 stars. Not to mention, how gorgeous is that cover!

I do look forward to reading more from Nova Ren Suma. Have you read Imaginary Girls? Thoughts?