"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

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!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Pretty Special Series

 Uglies. Scott Westerfeld.

This series blew me away.

It is a trilogy-plus-one, meaning that the first three books all involve the same characters that are continuous, but there is another book afterward in the same world and the same characters are probably mentioned (I have not read the fourth one yet) but it deals with different things or perhaps characters.

The first book, Uglies, was recommended to me by two different people. At first, I was kind of wary. I had no idea what to expect, and it took me a while to understand the gist of the story, and how it is futuristic and they have many, many cool things that we do not have. All very future-like things, obviously, since it takes place hundreds of years from now. Now, I have never read a formal futuristic book. But I LOVED this! I was warned that it may take a while to get into, but that did not happen whatsoever. After I basically understood it, it was breathtaking. And the chapter cliffhangers were always very good, but it wasn't until near the end that a HUGE cliffhanger that made me gasp came. I won't spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read these yet, but I HIGHLY recommend them.

Basically, there are different stages of life. Littlie, Ugly, Pretty, so on. Once the people of the city turn sixteen, they get an operation that turns them pretty. Tally, the main character, wants nothing more than to be pretty. She spends all her ugly time dreaming of being pretty. She meets Shay, the crazy best friend. Shay shies away from the idea of being pretty. Then, just before their shared sixteenth birthday, Shay tells Tally about running away and where she can run to so they won't get the operation. After a turn of events, Tally has two options: She can turn in Shay to the authorities and turn pretty, or she can stay ugly forever.

(OK, so the format from here on out may be a little weird because working with these pictures is very, very confusing. But anyhow.)

Pretties is the amazing sequel. I found this one even better than uglies which is relatively unusual for sequels. I thought the last one was good and I thought I was enraptured with the characters, but I could not have been more wrong. This was-surprisingly-even more engrossing with the characters. I got so attached to every character in this book, and many choices the characters made either made me smile with pride, want to hurt them, or really confuse me. Either or. This book was also higher on the action level and deviousness. And talk about cliffhangers.This one had much more intense cliffhangers, many of which made me gasp and spasm out inside. That's what I call a good cliffhanger. This book had many, and many surprises as well. Like Uglies, the cliffhanger it ended with was AMAZING, making you crave the next book and keeping it in the front of your mind until you have started the next book, which starts the cycle over again.

Specials is the thrilling third book in the trilogy. Not only was this my favorite, it was the most unpredictable. Just when you think you have it figured out, you don't. I will not say in any detail what this book is about because it will give away the first two. But this was definitely my favorite out of the series. It made me laugh out loud, cry, and want to never leave this amazing futuristic world. Just, wow. If I could write something half as magnificent as these, I would be more than ecstatic. (I would like to add that this one definitely has the coolest cover art.) Keeping me on my toes, throwing surprises, and such, this book kept me on my toes straight up until the end. The end made for what I consider a truly amazing book. It was one of those books you don't really know HOW you feel about the way it all played out. I had no idea what to think, honestly. At first, it was I LOVE THIS SERIES. But then, it became 'I may have just wasted a three book period of my life on these.' After seriously thinking it through and trying to figure out what I thought, I came to the conclusion that I loved these books. Despite some of the feelings I had, I realized not every story can end the way you want. Not every story will. And its the truly magnificent books that you still love and would recommend to anyone even if they didn't end the way you would have chosen. And Scott Westerfeld is an amazing author for that.

I am THRILLED to get the next one, Extras, which is the extra trilogy book. (Get it? Speaking of jokes, Pretties and Specials books are discussed here, and look at the title of this blog entry. Yeah, that's clever.) I don't think it's even possible that I will be disappointed by Extras. I will be a happy person once I get my hands on that one! Until then, have a great weekend! And read!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Writer's Life = Total Insanity


I just watched Nim's Island for the first time.

I really didn't want to see it, was not very keen on the idea. But that is one of the CUTEST movies I have seen in a LONG time! Definitely went high on the list of favorites.

But one of the parts I loved most about the movie? That crazy, insane writer. If you have not seen this movie yet, I suggest you do. This writer lives alone in her house and has a phobia of, I guess, many, many things. Germs, and leaving her house.

She is hysterical! I love laughing, and try to do it whenever I can and she definitely had me laughing throughout the movie! Oh, my!

One of the things that struck me, her character of her novels was so, so, SO real to her! He would show up, looking exactly like any real person in a movie, and she'd have full conversations with him, standing right there in character garb. Of course, everyone around her thought she was crazy, which added another element of my own hysterics. It was just SO wonderful! I hope my characters will start to be like that with me after spending many, many more hours with them, which I plan to do.

Well it is late and storming here like crazy (I am rather frightened!), so I will be going! Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A New Journey

FINALLY I have started looking at Ember again. And I honestly didn't realize how much I missed the characters until I started editing the first draft. And I have big plans for it! Several chapters will be added. Essentially, a whole new branch of the plot needs to be written in. Hopefully, this will make it more than the average love story novel. I sure hope so.

I have also cut dialogue, added dialogue, and  changed some full paragraphs. I get the feeling that when I'm all done with it and its in a shiny dust jacket, that it will be much, much different than the first draft is right now. But that's okay, because I am making it even better!

I also have been writing poetry pretty aggressively, but now I will be focusing on my book. I will TRY to send them into Poetry Magazine sooner rather than later, but they will be sent in with no expectations other than them being rejected.

So. Back to my little fantasy world!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rejection Number #25453

Well, not really.

Only number 2.

But still.

Another four poems of mine Poetry Magazine will not be publishing.

Well I'll send four more and see what happens....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Music-Filled Endeavor To Write and Purchase

Oh, my. This heat is killer! I have mini desk fan pointed at me right now AND a ceiling fan going full speed an it is still uncomfortably hot in this house.

Well, it is the beauty of summer!

Speaking of summer, mine was supposed to be filled with rewrites and edits of my book! Has that happened. No. But it will! Oh, yes it will! I am grasping with the tips of my nails at the hope that I WILL have time! I have to!

Drivers Ed ends Friday so I will be getting a lot of time back with that. You know even though it IS only an hour and a half in the morning, there is a LOT of studying outside of class. Yesterday, I LITERALLY did not do anything but study all day. Today was my last test and so I finally feel like I have my life back. July is a busy month, but with school out of the way maybe it will start to feel even more like summer finally.

I will throw myself into Full Crazy Writer Mode the second I get the chance to devote myself to it.

I will be writing a lot of poems, first off! DEFINITELY will be doing a lot of rewrites and editing for Ember. And, I've decided I may just start doing book reviews on this blog. The next book I plan to start reading today or tomorrow is Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. It's the second in the Uglies series, so I'm very excited. I'm considering having that one be my first book review on here. We'll see.

Also, I have been searching high and low for songs that fit in with the story of Ember. Stephenie Meyer has a playlist for each of her books, and they all have AMAZING songs on it, so I've been looking for some for Ember. If you have any ideas or songs you think might work based off what you know, let me know.

On a musical note (pun intended), music is the one thing that has gotten me through all this studying and going to school and not being able to write. I have fallen in love with many more bands and songs. As of this second I am listening to "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam. And since I want to keep typing, I will allow myself to go off on another rambling.

Some of my favorite bands that I have fallen for are Mayday Parade, We The Kings, Boys Like Girls, Kill Hannah, and Breaking Benjamin. And I feel that I will be broke because of this music affair. Not only do I want to go to a concert of all these bands, but I have been looking on their sites and they have some very cool t-shirts and hoodies and I have more than a few I want to buy.

And I don't believe I've mentioned this before on this blog, but I am a big Chicago Blackhawks fan (and yes, I am from Chicago) so when they won the Stanley Cup I was PSYCHED! I was so proud and Chicago was in an absolute uproar. So, not only will I be broke because of my bands, but also because there is a lot of Hawks stuff I am planning to buy.