"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, 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."


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!


*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.