Writing Update – October

As we are on the verge of another NaNoWriMo – I look at those that are going to do it and wish them luck. I have never had the time to do it. I can look at my schedule and know there is no way I could have the time to get it all done. Currently, I am in my 4th month of working on my novel and only about a 1/3rd of the way through. With school, I am lucky if I get a few nights a week. Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes I need to just zone out and end up falling back into the world of Sims just to get away from it all (cheaper than a vacation).

I am writing though, and that is the important thing. I have added several new chapters to my novel and have fleshed out the story so damned much its beautiful to me. I recently went to a Writers Conference and loved it, I was surrounded by all these people who had achieved the same dream I had. When I had gone, I was kind of trudging through the swamp of my novel but by the end I had become re-inspired to keep going. I even spent several sessions working on background for my story. I love taking this story and making it realistic to the reader. Going over details with my husband because he is a wonderful sounding board for me. I am also feeling more confident in my writing and the story, having had a chance to talk about it to other people outside of my small group of family and friends.

I would recommend conferences to anyone wanting to write because it is a wonderful experience. Maybe one day I can get into a writers group.

What is going on with my story? I have gone from a single person view-point to multiple… 3 females and 1 male. I do feel bad because out of all them, she is having the worst time ever in a story of some really bad times but it is really interesting to write her story. It is interesting fitting the different stories together, making sure the timeline matches up and that you have the details right. You can’t have someone seeing something happen that hasn’t happened yet or too far in the future – I have done this a few times already.

I have also found that some of my characters are unnecessary to put into the foreground and have gone to very minor roles, whereas a minor character that I thought was a throw away one and I thought I would delete now has a major role that is becoming very vocal in the story.

That right there is why I am enjoying this story, because it feels like it has a life of its own sometimes. But I have learned that giving everyone a distinct voice is WAY more difficult than it sounds but it can be fun trying to figure out their personalities.

All in all, it is still going and will finish one day. I really hope so because I have about 10 more ideas for stories I want to work on; including several non-fiction pieces and scripts. I just want to write and maybe something will happen. 😀

 

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Rewrite Central

A few weeks back I came to a stopping point in my original rough draft and I decided it was time to work on editing as well as a possible rewrite. I ended up going with a rewrite and I am rewriting my story into a whole new creation. It is amazingly free and I am very happy with the direction it is going, it feels more in line with what I always wanted to write. The words feel like they are pouring out and all I want to do is sit at the computer to work on it.

Tonight though was a break-thru because I came up with the working title for my story, I can only hope it works out well because I love the idea of what it evokes when you hear the word. No, I am not telling you just yet because I don’t want to leak too much information now. I like to keep my work close to the chest. Which I know doesn’t always work for a writer but I just want to focus on getting it all together.

I can give hints 640px-1305755545-planet-space-wallpaperthough:

  • One of my characters is named and designed after a favorite comic book villain… but he is much nicer in my story.
  • Everyone is shaving their heads for science.
  • Love still plays into the story.
  • Bad guys are fun to write… and so are whole new worlds.

Good night everyone!

Over the Hump!

Well, I did it. I broke the halfway mark on my word count goal for my book. Now I just have to write 35,000 more words in the next month before school starts. That will give me a month to work on and finish the proofing and editing before my pitch meeting in September. I also need to find people to read it and bounce it off of. Maybe I will leave some pages on the couch when the babysitter comes this week and see if she reads it.

I am still trying to come up with ideas for a title of the series as well as the book.

My fav book in the series. Learned I could be a new me by dying my hair and wearing new belts.

There is also the issue of edge for the book. Is it edgy enough? Will YA readers connect with the story and the characters? Why do I ask this? Sadly, I read some reviews on Amazon.com about the Babysitters Club and was shocked that 13 year olds were disappointed that they girls in the book didn’t deal with real issues like doing drugs and having sex as well as who cares about babysitting at that age when partying is so much more important for teens to be doing? For me when I was younger, around 10 The Babysitters Club was the shiznit and I did deal with problems like that when I was 13. I babysat. Didn’t really get invited to parties. Wasn’t into drugs or drinking at 13. Wasn’t having sex. Hell, I didn’t even have my first kiss at that point. By the time I was 13-15, I was reading The Thorn Birds and Clan of the Cave Bear along with some Sweet Valley High and trashy romance novels thrown in for balance.

Yes, some of those issues may come up but my stories are more about the internal struggles girls have with themselves and their friends. Teen girls trying to find their own way, trying to not get lost in the crap of teen drama that so many of us end up getting stuck in. Something I wish I could have read when I was younger. Cause no matter how hard I tried – I never looked like Jessica Wakefield (but I did get some fashion tips from her :p).

 

Following Your Dreams…

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Can Be Hard When You Start Doing It…

I haven’t been posting a lot in the past few months, or at all, because my life has been a bit hectic. My last semester at school was one of the worst I have had since graduating high school. All those doubts, worries, and stresses associated with my LDs (learning disabilities) seemed to rear their ugly head. It didn’t help that my health has also taken a dive. In the past few weeks we have a received a confirmation of Sleep Apnea from the doctor and next week I get to go in for my face mask so I get to go to bed looking and sounding a lot like Darth Vader. This is my first step to getting my health back in line including getting my weight off because it seems when you don’t go into REM, you don’t produce the hormones to control or produce a natural metabolism. Thankfully, I passed my classes… didn’t die in a car wreck due to falling asleep at the wheel… things are being done to make life better and the support I am receiving from my family has been lifesaving because I had reached the end of my rope with no idea where to turn.

At the time all this is happening, I finally decided its time to really start following my dream. No longer mess around with just writing for fun or for one day but to sit down and actually do it. So here I am, not blogging and spending as much as my very rare free time to try to write and finish a novel by the end of the summer. With everything going on this past semester I didn’t get to finish my other story, which wasn’t working in any way but is still there. I barely had time to write. BUT! At the end of the summer I am attending a Writers Conference where I may have a chance (slim, very very slim) to sit and pitch a book.

FOCUS!!!

I just finished my first edit on the first 10 chapters of my book. I am nervous but I liked what I have read. So often, with my other writings I have gone back and wondered what I was thinking when I typed those words. This time, it feels different. Part of me believes that it is because I am not trying to write something that isn’t me. I have tried many genres and it seems teenage angst is something I can write. Of course, this is probably because I was a total drama queen and experienced a lot of craziness when I was growing up. Seeming to find trouble even when I wasn’t searching for it. I do hope to go back to some of my other pieces and flesh them out when I have time to, heck there are more stories than I can count bouncing around in my head. You just need to focus to get it done.

My blog from here on out will probably be a lot more about my writings, health, weight loss than everyday life. Hopefully, I can remember to post more often. Please note that all my blogs are done in the free-writing format – I don’t worry about editing. Which is probably stupid for a person wanting to be a writer when they grow up but meh!

Hunger Games…

I sit here thinking about the movie “The Hunger Games” and trying to put down in words my thoughts on this movie. I will say there will be spoilers for the movie in this review so proceed carefully.

I guess the best way to start is to discuss the most important issue: adaptation from book to movie. I personally think they did a pretty good job with the adaptation. It is not easy to take any story and adapt it for the screen while keeping the essence and beauty of the story alive. There have been some absolutely horrid adaptations and this is not one of them. I do not know how much Suzanne Collins was actually involved in the creation of the screenplay but it always is a plus to me to see the novels author on that list of names. Yes, as per usual there were many things left out of the movie that were in the novel but they were able to work in many of the more important plot points in other ways. There were times I wish they had expanded upon some parts of the story, like the relationship between the two tributes – Peeta and Katniss. It made it hard to believe there was any connection between the two by the end of the movie – whether it be friends or lovers. But this may work for the upcoming movies or maybe we are made to feel the disconnect, the unrealness just as some of the other characters do. But all in all, it was not a bad adaptation of the novel. While at points the story was rush, it would have been nice if we could have felt a little more depth in the story. More on that in a bit. My favorite part in the adaption is their use of the anchors for the Hunger Games to explain some of the things that happen in Katniss’ head in the novel. They gave us the explanations of certain aspects of the film that we wouldn’t have gotten unless they had inserted a narrator into the story. Plus, it gave us more Stanley Tucci! But it felt that they gave up parts of the actual novel to give us a different aspect of the story. Showing us how the game worked behind the scenes to show us how much of a “tv show” the games are for the people in the Capital.

As for the acting, before I even heard of the novels I heard of the uproar around the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and I hope they were not disappointed. I feel that she did a wonderful job in the role. One of the biggest traits we see in the novels of Katniss is a kind of disconnect, she has this huge shield up not letting anyone in except maybe her sister and her best friend Gale and I felt that Ms. Lawrence was able to make this happen on the screen. You as an audience member were able to feel this shield she has up because you wanted to see her to express something, anything to see her breakdown and unfortunately this is one of the parts where the screenwriters screwed up because they cut out some of those moments in the novel where Katniss lets it all go and shows so much emotion. These were some of the most powerful moments in the novel because they let us see the humanity in Katniss, instead they did not give that to us and showed us for the most part a very robotic character.

Now the other characters, there acting was very well done as was the casting. You could sense the nonsensical desperation in Effie Trinket (played by the wondrous Elizabeth Banks) in the few scenes that she had. I wish we had, had more of Woody Harrelson. His part in the story is brushed over even more. It would have been nice to see a bit more from him but alas the movie was already a long 2 1/2 hours long. I am very torn on the casting of Peeta. I do not know if I should love it or hate it. In truth, like a lot of the other characters I felt as though there really wasn’t enough of him to be able to really know anything of his character. In the novel, we learn so much about his strength and character after he and Katniss can finally fight together but part of the movie is rushed by and smushed into what now seems to only be one day instead of days and days of time for them to connect and bond.

My favorite character was the President, okay not favorite character but my favorite role in the film because we really don’t see him at all in the first novel but they gave him a bigger role in the movie. Showing us what could have happened with him behind the scenes. But even with a few scenes, Donald Sutherland, was able to show us so much about how this man thinks and what makes him tick. They did a great job casting him in this role because he is one of the few actors I think who could have given us so much and helped set the stage for this important character.

I will say that the screenwriters did a good job at projecting the essence of the overall story into this movie. There is a scene in the film that I believe give us a hint of the next two films and did not happen until then. And I do hope the next two books do make it to the screen and this film doesn’t fizzle out like some of the other series have once they made it to the box office – Lemony Snicket and Eragon. I want to see who they cast in the future movies for certain roles. Can’t you see Meryl Streep as President Coin?

I think fans of the book will be happy with the movie, it gives you more to talk about when discussing the story. It makes you double think some of the things that you thought were important to the novels but maybe they really aren’t. And I think people who go see it may be slightly confused at certain points but will enjoy the movie as well. I wouldn’t take younger children to see it and I think any parents who let their kids see it, should see it themselves and use it as a starting point to a deeper discussion on humanity and how wrong it can go. We have many examples from the past but sometimes a fictional story can help explain the darkness in our own reality.

Now on a side note: Before I had a chance to read the novels, I read a lot of reviews and there were a lot of people aghast at the idea that anyone would think that this was a good idea for a novel for teenagers, tweens or anyone to read. How dark they were and how can they dare make this into a movie?! But in many ways, this is not a new story to us. Even I made the comparison to Battle Royale before I picked up the books. Or even the short story I think everyone I have ever met has read The Lottery. But Collins took this basic plot and made her own story of it. Yes, the idea of killing children for the entertainment or as tribute is something many people could not fathom but in many ways, death as entertainment is not anything new. While not real, just as The Hunger Games is not really real, how many horror films center around teenagers being ganked by some faceless serial killer? In many ways the story of The Hunger Games reminds me of a future despotism society’s version of the Gladiator games. We saw a similar story with The Running Man. This not anything that is new. Yes, it is a horrific idea but death as entertainment is not something we made up recently. Think about how people used to go to hangings for entertainment. I stated it a little bit ago that I think this story is a great thing for a parent to use to sit down and talk to their children. Maybe one day I will use it as well when my son gets older.

Upcoming Book Releases

Here is a list of the upcoming book releases that I want to share with you all! I don’t have all information on the books but as I get it… I will post it.

Carrie Vaughn – my fav werewolf novelist!

October 1, 2009

Kitty Takes a Holiday – Audio CD – $34.99

November 1, 2009

Kitty and the Silver Bullet – Audio CD – $34.99

January 1, 2010

Kitty’s House of Horrors – $7.99
REALITY BITES Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV’s first all-supernatural reality show. She’s expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life. The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in . . . before it kills them all.

March 1, 2010

Voice of Dragons – $16.99

Upcoming Jim Butcher Books:

November 11, 2009

Dresden Files: Death Masks Audio – $49.95
Princep’s Fury Paperback – $7.99

December 1, 2009

First Lord’s Fury – New Codex Book – $25.95
The savage Vord are on the march, and Gaius Octavian must lead his legions to the Calderon Valley to stand against themusing all of his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save his world from eternal darkness.
Audio Book -$ 49.95

January 10, 2010

Mean Streets – $7.99
From four of today’s hottest fantasy authors comes this collection of all-new novellas of dark nights, cruel cities, and paranormal P.I.s.

April 6, 2010

Changes: Dresden Files 12 – $25.95
(audio CD release on April 15, 2010)

Upcoming releases by Kim Harrison

September 1, 2009

Unbound – $7.99
Revisiting the paranormal realms they’ve made famous in their popular fiction, “New York Times”-bestselling authors Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, and Jocelynn Drake–plus YA author Melissa Marr with her first adult work–unleash their full arsenal of dark talents. Original.

December 1, 2009

White Witch, Black Curse – paperback release – $7.99

March 1, 2010

Black Magic Sanction – $25.99

Charlaine Harris…

September 1, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse Box Set – $63.92
The inspiration for HBO’s hit television drama “True Blood,” Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series is now available in this boxed set. Includes “Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead,” and “From Dead to Worse.” Original.

Must Love Hellhounds – $15.00
These four tales of man’s worst friend, written by today’s hottest paranormalauthors, will have hellhound-lovers howling.

Club Dead – $14.00

October 6, 2009

A Touch of Dead – Sookie Stackhouse Series – $23.95
Every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written in one special volume  from the
“New York Times” bestselling author Charlaine Harris has re-imagined the supernatural world with her spunky (“Tampa Tribune”) Southern Vampire novels starring telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Now, for the first time, here is every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever writtenatogether in one volume. Stories include Fairy Dust, One Word Answer, Dracula Night, Lucky, and Giftwrap.

November 1, 2009

Grave Secret – $24.95
Harper Connelly Mysteries #4

Other Paper back Releases:

Dead to the World – $14.00 – October 6, 2009
Dead as a Doornail – $14.00 – November 3, 2009

Defiantly Dead – $14.00 – December 1, 2009
All Together Dead – $14.00 – January 5, 2010
From Dead to Worse – $14.00 – February 2, 2010
Dead and Gone Mass Paperback Release – $7.99 –
April 10, 2010

Okay lunch break over… I will do more later for other authors. If you have someone you want to know more of – let me know and I will see what I can find out. Also, those of you that I know want to order anything – contact me.





Dresden Files: Turn Coat – Update

Got this from the myspace Jim Butcher group  I belong to where someone posted this (from the Jim Butcher website):

When Morgan shows up on Harry’s doorstep, broken, bleeding, and begging for protection from the Wardens, Harry finds himself at odds with the White Council yet again.

So, thats a twist I didn’t think of at all! Hum….