Passions

"Writing can be messy; full of pointless breakdowns, yelling at the computer, banging your forehead against the keyboard, and hiding under the table."
-Rachel Sammons

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Day of *Sniffle* Writing

Hello lovely readers! Or, um, reader. But whatever.

I have been under the weather lately.  Which actually has turned out to be decent writing time for me. Yay!

I have extensively drafted the Ember outline.  I am SO proud of finally getting it done today!  I must say, at times it was rather frustrating.  But I am so thrilled with how seamlessly it all came together.  I can't wait to one day share Ember's story with you.

I have rewritten the first six chapters.  Though I say 'rewrite', to me, it feels like the first time I'm writing it, because I have drastically changed the story to make it much more interesting.  So it still feels like a first draft to me.  And yes, it's rough.  But its a heck of a lot better, I can guarantee you that.

I have such plans in store for Ember that I ought to go write them. With a blanket, a cough drop, and a box of Kleenex.  But I shall write it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Video, New Covers, New Ember

So, I really need to get better about updating this thing when I'm busy.  Really do.

Anyhow, Ember has gone through some major transformations as of late. I started to redraft it, with intentions of adding a MAJOR element to the story.  I started to redraft it; I got two chapters in.  Later, I came to the realization that I prefer first person novels.  I get into them easier, I tend to like them more (for the most part). Ember was third person.  I started redrafting AGAIN, and this time, WA-LA!  It's so much better in my opinion, and I cannot stop writing it.  It just works. 

Working on Chapter 4 as of late, and loving it.

In other book news, regular readers of this blog will know that I am in love with Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Series.  The series is getting a complete makeover will new covers.  They are SO beautiful.  Check them out.

One thing that was the main reason for my logging on and frantically updating: this new Hunger Games video.  I think this book series was one of the greatest things that ever happened to the world.  No joke.  This is being made into a movie, and a group of very talented actors made this video. I'm under the impression that its their audition for the movie, but don't quote me on that.

I was so obsessed with this I watched it several times before downloading it onto my iPod.

I cannot wait for the real movie. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Few Of The Same Famous People

So, I really need to get better about writing these things around the same week that they've happened in. But anyhow.

(PS: I will no longer be posting my book reviews on this blog. I have moved over to GOODREADS.COM. where you can read all my reviews at any time about any book I've reviewed, as well as see the books I plan to read, and what I am currently reading. Many authors -such as Jessica Day George- are on this, and I highly recommend you get one. Make sure you add me as a friend to follow my reviews! Thank you so much-you're support is fantastic. The web address is goodreads.com/amberpowers )

Last week, THE BAND PERRY'S CD came out! I was thrilled! (If you read my last blog post, I saw them in concert the week before, and I Heart Them.) Wait, wait, it gets better.

They were signing at a Best Buy near my house.

Yes, I went, are you crazy?! OF COURSE I WENT!

Okay, wow, crazy-obsessed-fangirl-moment. Deep breath in, deep breath out.

But anywho. It was totally cool and I so looked like a bum, which was a shame, but they were such cool people with such enviable southern accents!

Be jealous.
(For those of you who may have just joined us, I'm the bummy looking one in the gray sweater. My mom is in the red, my sister in the blue. The rest are the members of the most amazing country band you will ever encounter.)

But yes, it was so unbelievably cool, I just had to share. And you know what else, it made me really think about the concert all over again, and it really fueled that writing jet in me. I mean, I KNOW that is the whole purpose of this blog: my writing journey, my attempt for become a published author and perhaps a poet.

And the thing about poetry is it is SO alike song lyrics. And this band's CD is one of my inspirational ones that fuel the desire in me to write even more, to wrestle with that poem until it's just the way I like. I have a list of poems I'm working on at the moment, and I truly hope I can share them with you in all their glory one day. I was even thinking, is it too far-fetched for a poet to turn song-writer? I guess we'll see in the future.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Few Famous People

So guess who I met. Almost an entire week ago. (I know, I know.  I should have said something sooner about meeting this person, or at least having her stamp my book. It was technically "meeting." But anyhow.)

Suzanne.
Collins.

I am not joking you. The amazing, fantastical mind that wrote the phenomenon that is The Hunger Games Trilogy. The books that just about inspired me to do anything.

Yeah, I met the author.
No big deal.

It was amazing! She has a hand condition so she signs books rather than stamps them. We also got a free key chain that has the Mockinjay pin, Coal, and The Pearl. If you haven't read it yet, yes, that will sound like nothing. But it's actually pretty cool.  It also had something else on it, but I couldn't figure out what it was and neither could my sister.

I did some research and it seems no one else can figure out what that mystery spherical thing is.

Speaking of famous people, I was at Chicago's Country Music Festival yesterday. Yes, I love country music. (It's one of my biggest pet peeves that people instantly think you're peculiar because of a love for country music. I can just as easily think you're weird for wearing whatever shoes you happen to be wearing at the moment. Chew on that.)

And the reason we went to this festival is to see a brand-spanking-new country band that I happen to be in love with. The Band Perry. Their singles "Hip To My Heart" and "If I Die Young" are genius.


Very exciting. Equally exciting, they will be signing at a Best Buy near me Saturday. I fully intend to attend. Their CD drops Tuesday, check it out.

And just to leave you with a tune in your head...


video
Have a great extra day off!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Surfacing! For Who Knows How Long!

So, I'm truly sorry I haven't been here in...FOREVER! No exaggeration! It's been rough on this end. My last post was about my HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER READ so that just shows how long it's been. I've since started school and have become worn out by it completely, hence this past long silence.

My recent reads consist of The Hunger Games Trilogy.  Did I love this book? Yes. Did I become overly obsessed with it, as did almost everyone else who's read it? Yes. It's just completely and utterly phenomenal. I know I've been doing reviews lately, but I'm just too tired. I can't. So, read it. If you like to read, you'll absolutely devour these three books. I highly recommend them and they are among my top favorites.

On a much less important note, high school is going OK. Better than freshman year. That's a plus. Though I am slightly worried about some classes... but I CAN do it! I will! I will conquer sophomore year! OK, that's enough.

Driving is going OK. My parents traded in our old car and got a stick-shift. I had to relearn how to drive. Demoted to parking lots. But I am back out on the street! Watch out! I'm pretty proud.

That's about all. I've just been trying to find time to do this and I haven't. I may not again for some months. It's a busy life. Plans and all, being a teenager.

**In reading over this blog, yes I realize how lame it is, and I apologize. Hopefully I'll be back soon to make a better one.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"The Kind Of Book That Can Be LIFE CHANGING"

That quote is on the cover of the paperback version of The Book Thief.
And it's not an exaggeration.

The Book Thief is one of the most stunning, searing, painfully heartbreaking, and beautiful books of all time.

Initially, I had zero desire to read this book.  I wasn't really sure what it is about, and I'd never heard anything about it. Then, high school.  Despite my abhorrence of school, it certainly helps me wet my feet in the many different kinds of books I wouldn't otherwise reach out to. This was one of those books.

I vaguely remember being on vacation with my cousin and being at a Barnes and Noble and picking up this book, examined the covers.  The title intrigued me.  But I couldn't find enough to decide to read it.

My school has a Summer Reading program, where we have to read an assigned book over the summer and take a test on it within the first day or so of school.

This was my assigned book; the book for sophomores in honors English.

This was one of THE BEST books I have ever read.

Told from the viewpoint of Death, it gave a very interesting and enlightening perspective. The storyline takes place during the time of World War II. About a girl who steals her first book at her brothers graveside.

Read this.  You truly will not regret it.

This novel made me smile down at the pages, and it made me bawl. And I mean, BAWL. I knew, I KNEW!  World War II, people die, and I WILL cry.  But even with the warning, I got attached.  To each and every character in a way only a very, very polished writer can do.  Markus Zusak suspends chronological order very often, letting you know what will happen, but you still CANNOT STOP! You still hope!  You hope maybe some crazy, twisted things happen and everyone will live happily ever after!  But its historical fiction.  And in the real world, you can't live happily ever after.  It just doesn't happen.  At least not often.

Through absolutely beautiful wording (that is a high level read, by the way) you will fall in love.  And you will cry, if you have a heart. (Just kidding. But I would wonder if you didn't get teary AT ALL.)

It's truly a classic.  It reminds us of history, and the danger that one human could be.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Want Slippers Like That

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
My sister first discovered this book (when it was on the Rebbecca Caudill list, I believe?) and she fell in love with it. I never had a desire to read it.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps because she's younger than me and I wrongly presumed that it was child's book. Wrong. I chose over the summer to expand what I read, taste the waters, discover books I may have never usually picked up. So I was going through my sister's bookshelves and I came across this book, which I had bought for her as a present. I started to read. And read. And read. I FELL IN LOVE! This is by far one of THE best fantasy books I have read. I treasure this masterpiece. And Jessica Day George uses SUCH beautiful wording that definitely inspired me to use my language skills better.

Basically the plot of this story, is that Creel's aunt wants Creel to marry into a wealthy family and then the whole family will have an easy life. So she leaves her at the mouth of the cave of the town dragon, expecting Creel to be rescued by a handsome prince, and married, thus leaving the family in luxury. Instead, she makes a deal with the dragon to get her freedom. And this dragon (rather than collecting the usual dragon gold) has a hoard of shoes. Creel bargains for one, and picks out the most beautiful blue slippers. The dragon is very tentative about letting her take these; evidently these slippers mean much to him. But a deal is a deal, and Creel leaves with the slippers to go find work in another city, the King's Seat. She meets a charming prince, and gets a job as an apprentice dressmaker, and soon realizes that her slippers are much, much more than just slippers.

Dragon Flight
is the thrilling sequel. "Dragons are rarely quiet." -Front Cover. Read it. AFTER Slippers. You won't regret it. I really can't say much about the plot of this one, because I don't want to give anything from the first one away, but if you enjoy the first one, you'll be craving this one the second you finish Slippers.



Dragon Spear
the unbelievable ending to a beautiful trilogy. Again, I can't say much about this one without giving away the first two, but AGAIN, if you liked the first two..... You will have no choice but to read this one. It's fantastic. I can only WISH that my writing will one day be this good, as well as my stories this creative. I can truly say I am now in love with dragons. I have one in the novel I'm writing, but it was SO enlightening to read this book. I loved it.

You know that feeling after you finish a series?
That "Oh my goodness, that was amazing but... but now the series is OVER?! FOR GOOD?!"
Yeah, I hate that feeling.
I loved this books so much I can't express it, but now I have that nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like I lost family, or something. Sure, I can reread them, but it's never the same! You KNOW what's going to happen, you KNOW where all the cute, unexpected lines are. And you never get to know what happens past the last book! You can imagine something, but it's never quite as creative as the books! It's that "I've read their story, and their story is never going to change. And I'm never going to know what they're up to now."

Sigh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In Need Of Advil and Water. And Rest, etc, etc...

So I am sitting at the library, typing furiously away on a laptop.  Furiously.  Not like 'mad scientist, finally have a breakthrough' furiously, more like, 'I am so mad at my story' furious.  Yeah, you know the kind.

First of all, I had to wait to get a laptop. No biggie. Then there was this little girl running around who was quite irritating to me.  I love kids, don't get me wrong.  But she rolled her eyes at me like she was so much better.  The kid can't be older than nine.  Anyway, I suppose I do look quite silly sitting on a stepping stool in the middle of a vacant children's book aisle, but that is because ALL the seats were taken here. Psh.  And then later she was just staring at my computer screen...which was quite disconcerting. :\ Anywhoo.

Second, some guy came in asking a librarian (who was on break!) about something, and he was being very cruel and giving her attitude and saying that if they didn't have it, 'the library sucked.' Like, seriously? Who does that? I'm sorry, if that were me in her shoes, I would have given all the attitude in the world right back to him.  Just because she's an employee, doesn't mean you can treat her like dirt.

Then, amidst all this, I was attempting to rewrite my chapter 3.  Make it much, much better. But no. It just HAS to be one of 'THOSE' writing days.  Where everything I write, I secretly hate. Where with every word I get more depressed because the wording is not as fancy as I wanted.  Where I question whether or not I am chasing the wind at being a writer. OH! How I abhor these days!  I swear, one of 'these' days will be the death of me. Sigh.

I plan to ride my bike home, take an Advil, have a big glass of ice cold water, and go to sleep.  This just isn't
working here.  And tomorrow I have to start yet ANOTHER rewrite of chapter 3, and I will have a hefty thesaurus by my side to use the fanciest words that no one ever taught me!  I will fight back!

Scary.

*Reads back over post*

Okay, sorry about that big complaining long rant.

Have a better day than I am!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Friendly Librarians On A Rainy Day

Hello Readers!

Currently, I am sitting at my local library typing madly away.  I have been doing this for several hours the past three days.  I know, I'm a dork.  But anyway, I have OFFICIALLY finished the new first chapter of Ember Sparks!  It is now much, much longer, which was rather unexpected.  It just sort of happened.  Monday when I was here, I was working on typing out all the ideas I had to add to it and such, and then Tuesday I was working on rewriting the first part of the first chapter which took two hours.  Then today I was back at it again to finish rewriting chapter one, and I have successfully completed it! 

But to be honest, this whole draft this is REALLY hard, because its like I've thought it all out already, written it down already, and now I want to change everything about it to make it more beautiful.  But it will all be well worth it in the end!

Honestly, I don't know for certain if I will keep this chapter the same until it's published, because you just never know with writing, but I am BEYOND happy with it!  It is truly some of the best writing I have done in this book so far, and I'd be happy showing off this pretty little chapter to anyone.  Not to toot my own horn, or anything of the like, but just because I am SO pleased with it! 

I also am TOTALLY trying to increase my use of fancy words in it.  Because I was reading Dragon Slippers, and now I am reading the sequel (expect reviews of the books once I'm done with the series!) and there is such beautiful language in it that I found it truly inspiring!

So, all in all, I feel as though I am growing and developing as an author, and hopefully I am.  I hope to one day see Ember all decked out in a shiny dust jacket.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Extra Warning


Wow. Extras. A heart-stopping, fist-pumping, life-changing kind of book.

This book, like the ones in the series that came before it, is truly amazing and very, very inspirational to me. This book deals with a different set of characters set in the same futuristic world as Uglies, only three years later. This book was so creative, so completely a work of art. And I seriously can only DREAM of ever writing something as perfect as this.

Warning: This book is not only highly addictive, but for those with an overactive imagination, can be much, much more. I LOVE being freaked out. So I read a big chunk of this book at night.
Yeah, perfect thing to do to freak you out.
That night when I was lying in bed, my dog was right next to me, and I SWEAR that he was shooting something at me through his whiskers. I became thoroughly convinced that my dog is an undercover spy trying to kill me. Perhaps he is controlled the way they controlled the avatars in Avatar. And then, the insects outside sounded like robots. Yes, read this book at night and your imagination will run wild afterward.

And then I had one of THOSE days. You know the days I mean. Where you don't want to do ANYTHING other than sit in your pjs all day, on your bed, reading.
Oh my.
So my sister was on the phone with my mom, and I don't even remember WHAT my sister said, but it made me laugh insanely. I mean, deep, DEEP laughing. And then my sister said "That sounds inhuman!" Now, understand, there ARE 'inhumans' in this book. So what was my response? "NO DON'T SAY THAT! THE BOOK WILL HEAR YOU! THEY'LL HEAR YOU! THEY'LL COME GET ME! I'M GOING TO DIE!"

Yea, that was me.

My mom could hear me on the other end and she told my sister this, which my sister then relayed to me: "You need to get out of the house more."
But it was just one of those days!
It was great.




Bright Young Things
by Anna Godbersen
Author of The Luxe Series

This cover and information about the book was just released on Anna Godbersen's blog on July 26 and you can read the Prologue on her blog. It's set in the Roaring Twenties. Amazing.
I first fell in love with Anna's writing during the first book of The Luxe series. Actually, more like the first few pages. If you haven't read them, stop reading this blog right now and go read them. Go. You will fall in love. So, you can see how much I love her other series, so when I found out about this book the other day, I was BEYOND THRILLED. It made my entire day, and that is not an exaggeration. Reading the prologue was so great. It intertwines the history flawlessly. I specifically remember learning all about the Roaring Twenties because I found it so fascinating. So all the history references made me smile with pride. And I am SO THRILLED to read this!


One other note...
My book.
I did major brainstorming.
After reading Uglies, mine just was a whole other world. That world was 'Stupid, Cheesy Romance.'
So I decided to change that.
Of course, there will still be romance! Goodness gracious I am not THAT crazy!
But there are many, many things added to the outline that I will be working in probably for a long time. But it SHOULD add 200+ pages to the book! Yay! I am very thrilled. It will be a kind of whole new look for Ember. Hopefully a better look. Those few that were privileged enough to read the first draft will see how dramatically the book changes. I will reveal more later! Have a great weekend!