Friday, July 23

AHHH! Exciting News!!!



My super good friend /sometimes beta / awesome alpha, Tina Lynn, just got her very first partial request on her very first query letter ever sent! OMG! I'm so excited for her! I feel like a proud parent, LOL. Her story is amazing, so it's no surprise she's already getting attention!

Love you Tina! You deserve this.

xox

Thursday, July 22

Like This...

So today I'm going to continue this new tradition of "Things That Have Inspired My Medieval Romance." This time, I'm posting a poem. One stanza in particular actually inspired this entire story. I'll leave it open for you guys to guess which one.

Now, there are many translations of this poem, so if you've read it before and it seems different, that's why. I went through a medieval Persian poetry kick (I'm odd, I know) and I fell in love with Rumi. So of course, I immediately bought two of his poetry books.

Anyway, I highly suggest you read this out loud and give each beat its due. This is a highly sensual poem. If you don't get that then you're reading it wrong, LOL!


Like This...
by 13th century Persian poet, Rumi

If anyone asks you what the virgins of Paradise are like,
show your face, as if to say,

"Like this..."

If anyone asks you about the rising moon,
go up to the roof, as if to say,

"Like this..."

If anyone boasts about the fragrance of musk,
just let down your hair and say,

"Like this..."

And if they say, "How do clouds part to reveal the full moon?"
undo the ties of your robe one by one and say,

"Like this..."

If anyone asks you how Jesus brought the dead to life,
kiss us publicly on the lips, as if to say,

"Like this. Like this."

And if he says, "Tell us what it's like to lose your life for love,"
present my soul to him, as if to say,

"Like this..."

Whoever out of compassion asks about my stature,
reveal your bent brow, meaning

"Like this..."

Some say the soul leaves the body,
then returns to it again;
show those in denial how you come back home,
meaning

"Like this..."

From every direction that you hear the lovers' lament,
it's all our story, by God, meaning

"Like this..."

This bruised chest is a refuge for any angel,
look up tenderly toward the sky, meaning

"Like this..."

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret,

"Like this..."

And if they cynically assert, "How does anyone reach the Truth?"
place a candle of purity in the palm of each one's hand, meaning

"Like this..."

I said, "How does the scent of Joseph travel from town to town?"
The scent of Truth wafted up from the world of Hu "like this..."

I said, "How could the scent of Joseph give sight back to my eyes?"
Your breeze gave light to my eyes, like this...

The Sun still shines generously from Tabriz.
It rises up in loyalty and tenderness, like this...


So what did you think? Can you guess which part inspired my story??

Thursday, July 15

Writing Update

Medieval Romance:


Current word count: 79,000
Approximate length: 100,000
From July 6th- July 15th (with 2 days off) I've written : 14,000 words
If I keep this up I should be done the first draft around July 24th. Like I said, I just want to be finished before August.

Thoughts:

Okay, so I took two days "off" from my 2000 a day goal since I last updated. The first day was Saturday. I was really busy that day with non-writerly things that I decided to not write to save myself some stress. I did plot though. However, what I plotted only got me to Monday night. Hence the midnight panic post, lol. Tuesday I sat down and went through a scene I wasn't very happy with and filled it out some more (thereby getting my 2000). Wednesday, is the other day I took "off". I sat down and wrote 8 pages of plotted notes and 1 page of jot notes. This should suffice for the next 6 or 7 days. However, I don't think I'll have a panic post again. I now know exactly where I'm going and how to get there, so yay!

In other news, I know for sure who the Big Ultimate Bad Dude (BUBD) is. Yes, I know, I'm sure many of you are sitting there going, "Shouldn't you have known that already?" Maybe, or maybe not. I had it narrowed down to 3 candidates. Since the BUBD doesn't make an actual appearance in the story until the climax, I really didn't have to worry about it. But that has all changed. During my plotting, I realized who the exact perfect BUBD is. And since I didn't realize it was him all along, my writing doesn't give it away. During revisions I'll have to go through and make sure everything flows and makes sense, of course, but at the moment I think it's perfect. My #1 beta agrees.

YA news:
Current word count: 8646
From July 6th- July 14th I've written: 1550 words. Wooo...?

Thoughts:

To be honest, I've been focusing so much on the medieval that the YA has taken a backseat for now. Though I wish I was farther along, I'm okay with the progress being slow. My medieval is the main focus for me right now, especially since I'm SO CLOSE TO THE END! However, I do still adore the YA and look forward to working on it in August while I revise, query, and subsequently plot the next medieval.

Wednesday, July 14

Linger is an apt title


I just sobbed my way through the last 30 pages of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, the sequel to Shiver. It's not technically out yet (not until July 20th), but a bookstore in Calgary had a bazillion copies, so my parents stopped by and picked it up for me when they were running errands. Linger started out slow, which worried me greatly, but it built to such a beautiful story that I'm not even sure I can describe it. It was a book that will forever stick with me. The amount of emotion hidden in the innocent, whimsical green ink is unexpected, but breathtaking.


*I will post my usual writing update later today, after I've had some sleep*

Tuesday, July 13

*Insert Panicked Scream Here*

Okay, so I'm starting to feel a little a lot panicky. I am a planster by nature. My mind works best when I have a general outline of the next few chapters. Just enough to let me know where I'm headed. Unfortunately, I have run out of my plotted scenes. I am staring at a blank page. It's terrifying. I know all I need to do is lie down and plot out the next few chapters, but even the thought is making me freeze. I suppose it's because I need to start working towards the big climax. Then after that, I need to start tying everything up. The prospect is daunting. A lot needs to be resolved. Mistaken identities need to be revealed. Bad guys need to be bad some more. Pain and suffering needs to be handed out to my characters in multiple ways--again. Bad guys needs to be uber bad and eventually dealt with. Rejoicing needs to happen all 'round. Romance needs to be happily finished up. Then revision needs to begin.

Please. Someone shoot me now and put me out of my misery. I promise I won't haunt you.

Sunday, July 11

Review of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, so since I promised I would post reviews of the YA books I pick up, I thought I'd start with this one.


For author website, click here.

Genre: Ya Paranormal-esk?
Grade: 4/5

Back cover:

the cold.

Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.

Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.

For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human-- and Grace must fight to keep him-- even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.


My review:

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I started to read this book. For one, with werewolves involved I thought this would have more of a paranormal feel, but it doesn't. The voice is completely different from anything I've seen in the YA genre and it threw me off a bit. However, that being said, I loved this book. I read it in one sitting. The language is extremely poetic and enthralling. The plot is interesting and not at all what you'd expect. I enjoyed reading both Grace's POV and Sam's POV. I think it added more depth to both characters. I honestly cannot wait for July 20th when Linger, the second book in the series, comes out.

Additional Notes & Warnings:

I've heard from numerous people that Sam's character comes across as whiny and suicidal. I did not think he was either while reading the book. He's very poetic and a very sensitive YA hero, but I think it fit the character perfectly.

As well, since I promised to make a note of these sorts of things, there is sex in this book. It happens once and there is absolutely zero detail. The author does make a note of saying they did use protection in the next chapter, so these characters aren't stupid. Honestly, I had no problem with the sex. Teenagers are doing it, so it's not unrealistic to have it in a YA novel. At least Grace and Sam are in love.

Have you read Shiver? Did you enjoy it?

Thursday, July 8

You Can Stop Sharpening Your Pitchforks!!

Wow, two posts in one day, eh? Lucky ducks ;)

Anyway, all of you can stop plotting to fly up here and torture me until I give in. I bought The Hunger Games today at Chapters.  Yes, yes, gasps all around. I know, it's shocking, right? I have not read this book. However, due to a number of alarming Twitter threats from numerous people *cough* Jonathon, Tina, Kristen, and Melissa, to name a few *cough* I decided to relent and buy the book. I figure since I'm writing YA now I should see what all the hype is about with this series. Right?

And for you sceptics out there, I took pictures as proof:





So there you have it. Please don't kill me.

Here are all of the books I got today: 
  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (for self-preservation purposes)
  2. Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas (I LOVE this series)
  3. Tempting the Marquess by Sara Lindsey
  4. My Dangerous Duke by Gaelen Foley (one of my favourite romance authors ever)
  5. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (school book)
  6. Monster by Walter Dean Myers (school book)
  7. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (school book)
In other news, when I got back from the city I sat down and wrote the 2000 words for my medieval romance! Woohoo! I am now up to 67,000! Go me.

Wednesday, July 7

Writing Update

Medieval Romance:

Current word count: 65,000
Approximate length: 100,000
From July 1st- July 6th I've written: 10,000 words
If I keep this up I should be done the first draft around July 22nd. *crosses fingers*

Thoughts:

Okay, so I've had two rocky days in the last week.  On Saturday, my medieval was not cooperating. I was ready to toss it onto the street and give it a piece of my mind, Murphy Style. Looking  back, I realize now why I was having such trouble. Besides the fact that everyone in my family (including me) seemed so hormonal--and therefore crazy--the scene I was working on took place after a BIG IMPORTANT SCENE. I guess I felt a little down that this scene seemed so, well, boring. I have since had the whole medieval beta-read and I was told to stop being an idiot. The scene I had problems with isn't boring, it's just transitional. So yay!

However, after the horrible Saturday writing experience, I took a "break" on Sunday. Rather than push myself to write the 2000 words, I simply spent the day fixing up what I botched up on Saturday. I ended up losing 1000 words and of course, didn't get the daily writing done. Therefore, I was 3000 "behind" my goal. After that, I sat down and plotted out the next few scenes.  On Monday I ended up writing 3000 words, so now I'm only a day behind (2000 words). I'm perfectly okay with that. However, it does push my finish date back to July 22nd. I'm really just hoping I finish this in July, that's all ;)

YA news:
Current word count: 7096
Approx length: Uhh...who knows? I have it down as 100,000 but I doubt it'll be that long.
From July 1st- July 6th I've written: 5018 words


Thoughts:

*squee*

Yep, I think that gets my feelings across quite nicely, LOL. Okay, but no really. I adore writing this story. The characters are so much fun and I can't wait to see where I go with this. Writing it is a challenge for me since the voice is so different from what I'm used to. I mean, my one story is a hot medieval romance and this one is a YA urban fantasy with some romance thrown in (cause really, I can't write a story without romance). In my MR, I've been told my writing is poetic and my descriptions are very vivid. In the YA, I can't do that. So cutting back on the diction has been a challenge, but so much fun. As of right now, only my mum and Chris have read the YA but they both loved it. Once I get to a certain spot, I will send it to Tina and Melissa who have both offered to beta it for me =)

Now, for this story I have no word goals. I am not keeping track of how much I write a night. In fact, for three of the six days, I didn't work on it at all. I was too tired for two of those days and had a headache the other. *shrugs* And that's perfectly fine with me. As of right now, this story is purely for my enjoyment. As surprising as it may sound, it's also helping me stay focused on completing my medieval. By working on two stories, I'm keeping myself from being burnt out with either one. It's fabulous.

So how are your stories going? Have any good news??
 
*No, I will not tell you what my YA urban fantasy is about. Only five people know (three of which I'm either related to or marrying) and I'm going to keep it that way. It's a shooper shooper shekret project.*

**I have not worked on either story so far today.**

Tuesday, July 6

Everyone, Meet Evie

Everyone, I'd like you to meet Evie Ashford. She is the main character in my YA! Tina Lynn's wonderful daughter Sam drew her for me! Isn't that cool? After a ton of questions, this is what she came up with!

Evie's a cutie, isn't she? =)



Thank you Sam for drawing her for me! You did a wonderful job! And yes. Cheese IS awesome.

*Click on the picture to make it bigger*

Monday, July 5

Go Faster, Go Slower, Or Go With the Flow?

I don't know about you guys but I am constantly bombarded with conflicting advice, especially when it comes to how I should write. These are the three suggestions I get most often when it comes to how fast you write a MS:

  1. Some people say I should fast draft and get that first draft finished in record time, that way I can spot the plot holes and work through boggy spots without worrying over the description.
  2. Others say I should take my time and make my MS sparkle. If it takes a year, so what? 
  3. And finally, there are the hippie types (*winks*) who say I should just go with the flow. If I don't feel like writing for a week, then don't.

With these three choices, I'm not quite sure where I fit. I do not fast draft--it doesn't work for me at all. But I know many who do write that way, and it seems to work for them. However, I don't really go slow either. 2000 a day can hardly be considered slow. I used to be a "go with the flow" girl, before I took my own writing seriously. However, that accomplishes nothing now and the lack of structure bugs me.

So I suppose I'm closest to the second option. I always say take your time. Everyone says a first draft sucks, and they're right for the most part, but IMO, you can still attempt to write a good draft. If you write crap the first time, I think it is harder to fix up during revisions. That's just what I've noticed in my own edits, anyway.

What do you think? Do you say go faster, go slower, or go with the flow?

Friday, July 2

Perception of Spouses

So Christopher found these pictures and I thought I'd share them with you guys. I think they're pretty darn accurate ;)



Pictures found here.


What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 1

HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!

Yep, that's right. Today is Canada Day! It's similar to the American Fourth of July in that we celebrate the "birth" of our nation with fireworks, BBQs, parades, pancake breakfasts, and all-round revelry. However, to celebrate on the blog-o-sphere, I thought I'd post two videos that are distinctly Canadian!

I do not endorse this particular beer (beer in general= blech), but their commercials are great. I'm pretty sure I've already posted this video during the Olympics but here it is again.



And this video is extremely creative IMO and I got a kick out of it. The only problem is that they state the facts "wrong." When they say that Britain's got the monarchy, that implies we don't have one. But we do. The British monarchy is our monarchy too. But that's okay, I understand they did it to make the song work. Anyway, here it is! It's not very long (2:30) so I'd watch it the whole way through. They throw some creative things in at the end.

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