Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Writer in You Blog Hop # 8

Since I just love blog hops oh so much, I decided to host one myself!

There will be no set end date to this blog hop, so whenever you find us feel free to sign up!

This is a blog hop for all you aspiring writers out there. It is a chance to meet other writers and share tips, writing, and experiences, all while gaining new followers for your loverly blog!

I host writing marathons on Saturdays on a Facebook group called Word Wars (today will be our first marathon as well as the first blog hop! Feel free to join us here anytime!). That is partially why I decided to begin The Writer in You Blog Hop; Saturdays are a great day to sit back and write. So what better way to start a Saturday writing session than with a question that makes you think about your writing? That exactly what this blog hop will be.

The Blog Hop!
Start by adding your name to the list of blogs at the bottom of this page. Then comment on this page letting me know you've joined us!
Then write a post of your own answering the question of that week and link it back to this page; we want as many people as possible to join!
Then: start hopping! Visit as many or as few blogs as you like and be sure to leave a comment on their posts letting them know you stopped by.

The Rules!
There are only 5 rules to this blog hop:
1. Follow me, your blog hop host! Then come back every Saturday for the week's question.
2. Be consistent: Don't forget to post your answer on Saturdays! It gives fellow WIY visitors something to comment on!
3. Grab the blog hop button below and post it on your blog; spread the word!
4. Post a link to your blog hop post on the linky-list below every week!
5. Visit other hoppers blogs! The whole point is to meet other writers and for everyone to gain a few followers:)




The Writer in You Blog Hop!


What is your favorite classic novel and is there anything in particular you take from it that you hope to see in your own writing?


Oddly enough because I was in all the AP English classes in high school I haven't read all too many classics. I never read Romeo and Juliet, 1984, or How to Kill a Mockingbird; crazy right? As an English Literature major I'm sure I will be feeling the consequences of that this upcoming year with British Lit I and II on my course schedule. I did read books that I believe are modern classics that will survive such as The Kite Runner, which I absolutely love. So much. Everyone should read it.

I suppose my favorite classic would have to be The Catcher in the Rye. I can't say that I connected to it the way most teenagers supposedly do but I do love that book. I think the reason it is a classic, the reason most books become classics, is because the themes within it are timeless. No matter what year it is, no matter how old the book is, there will still be teenagers caught in the middle of childhood and adulthood wandering around, though metaphorically in most cases, trying to figure out what the hell they're supposed to be doing. That is something I want to see in my books. No, not aimless teenagers, but themes that people will forever be able to relate to.

I have heard/seen so many people say/post something like "people these days need to put down junk like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter and read a classic for once". I could not disagree with that statement more. I think the thing that irritates me most in the literary world, or at least is up at the top of the list, are people who believe the current classics are the only classics that exist. Just because a book has only been around for a few years right now does not mean it will not still be around in 50. Sure today's classics are rather different from something like Charles Dickens or even The Catcher in the Rye, but that does not mean they will not survive. I firmly believe that 100 years from now kids and adults alike will still be reading Harry Potter, because the themes of love and friendship are timeless; I firmly believe that is the first classic from my lifetime to be published. How about The Perks of Being a Wallflower, published in 1999? Though perhaps not quite as well known, it is destined to survive for generations. Even the Hunger Games series has a chance at it. I wish we could redefine the concept of classic literature in many people's minds who, in my opinion, have it all wrong. Classic does not mean old. Classic means timeless. Classic means it will survive. Just because today's work has not had the chance to prove it will survive the test of time, does not mean it won't.


Join the fun! Sign up below!
If you're link doesn't appear right away, don't worry. It just takes the list a few minutes to update. 


Friday, June 29, 2012

Blog Tour: Osric's Wand The Wand-Maker's Debate Review

Title: Osric's Wand The Wand-Maker's Debate
Author: Jack D. Albrecht Jr. and Ashley Delay
Pages: 208 (Nookbook)
Publishing Date: August 2011
Reason for Reading: Blog Tour
Synopsis: While the world leaders of Archana gather for an unprecedented peace treaty signing, tragedy strikes, and rumors spread of war. Osric; a young, untested leader, is thrust into the chaos and must journey far with his unlikely companions to stop the inevitable world war. Circumstance brought them together, but prophecy has entwined their fates.

Now, the young Vigile Contege, the world’s greatest Wand-Maker, and a beautiful Maiden of the Unicorn must put aside their differences and work together, or watch as their homes are destroyed. Their understanding of magic will be challenged as they discover new methods and uses for their powers, and each day will only uncover more unanswerable questions to torment Osric’s mind.

Why the signing was attacked? What do the unicorns want with him? How do you read a book with no words? What is so special about his wand?

First let me just say thank you to Jack and Ashley for letting me be a part of this blog tour!

It has been awhile since reading a book has inspired me to write the way this one did - an effect of excellent high fantasy I suppose, which is exactly what this book is. To be honest I've been sitting up for the past hour trying to work out new plot issues in Disinherited because while reading this book I realized I did not understand the world of Antara quite well enough yet to be writing about it. There is nothing I love more than a story that rekindles my passion towards my own writing.

I will admit I was slightly apprehensive about the book, but my concerns disappeared within the first pages when Osric accidentally steps on a drunken squirrel who then goes on to yell at him and walk away grumbling about it. The take on different species was the first thing that really got my attention. Lions, dragons, and, apparently, even squirrels are all intelligent beings capable of intelligent thought and speech. That's not something you see everyday. I found myself laughing as I tried to imagine a prairie dog standing in front of a dragon having a perfectly normal conversation with each other.

Another thing at the top of my list as to why I loved this book is that it keeps you guessing. There is always some puzzle nagging at the back of your mind as the story goes on, pushing you to keep reading because you simply must know what the hell is going on. Even when there is little action the story never seems to die down as you're constantly being given more background into the world and its magic and secrets. Despite how desperately Osric may wish otherwise, there is never a dull moment.

As an ending note I would like to add that this books needs to be made into a movie just so I can see the fire-tellings; culturally I think that was my favorite part.

I would like to remind you all how rare it is that I give out 5 key reviews for books so that everyone new to the diaries will have at least some understanding of how much it means for me to do so. Even the best of books will often only get 4 keys simply because they did not stick with me the way an elite few do.


This is an extra special review because it also comes with a giveaway! Simply include your name and email in your comment about the review to be entered for a chance to win a t-shirt of the lovely cover - who doesn't love free stuff? The contest will run all weekend and will officially end  midnight, Monday morning when a winner will be selected entirely at random.

Haven't had enough of Osric's Wand? I have an interview with the authors coming up on Sunday! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear Diaries, 3 Liebster Awards and a lot of Questions

I have had the strange luck to be tagged with the Liebster Award by 3 different people all in the matter of a few days. Crazy right?


So. The Liebster Award is for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. I have to share 11 facts about me, answer 11 questions asked by the person who tagged me (which, in my case, mean 33 questions...yikes!) and then tag 11 new bloggers to answer 11 questions of my choosing.

First I'll answer the questions from Kelly over at Reading Kelly.

1. Where do you keep all of your unread books- together or scattered throughout your shelves?

My shelves are organized by series so there are some unread books mixed in with the read since I tend to buy books in a series right when they come out even if I don't have time to read them just yet. I do have one shelf that is mostly stand-alones I have yet to read, though.

2. Do your book selections vary by season?

Not really. I just read whatever sounds interesting. I guess I tend to read longer books in the summer when I have time since I don't have class. But other then that, no.

3. What is your favorite food?

Don't make me pick, pretty please? I love baked and mashed potatoes. And you can never go wrong with babyback ribs...please don't make me choose!

4. Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?

Always read them before buying a book. Its how I decide whether or not I want to read it.

5. Any quirky reading habits?

I cannot buy a book in paperback if I own another book in the same series in hardcover and vice-versa. I have yet to buy Insurgent for this exact reason..

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?

New Zealand<3 New Zealand is Middle Earth to me and its beautiful. Plus there is no end to what you can do there. I wanna go snorkeling, and rock climbing, and, most important, the Middle Earth tour<3
I also really want to go to Italy<3 Preferably before Venice sinks..

7. When did your love of reading begin?

Goodness how tired of you are hearing this story? Haha when I was little my Dad read me The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. After that I was hooked on fantasy. I'd read anything I could get my hands on.

8. What are the best and worst books you have read lately?

I don't really think there is a "worst book" I've read because usually the only reason I don't like a book is because of my tastes, not because its a bad book. I suppose the best I've read recently would be Divergent and my least favorite recently would be Doll House. Horror and I are not friends.

9. Do you have any hobbies outside of reading?

Obviously I love to write. I also like to sketch a bit but I'm pretty much the worst drawer ever. I'm also a bit of a gamer.

10. Which do you prefer- the beginning or end of a story?

Well..beginnings are usually really slow..so I guess the end. But I also get kinda sad when I finish a really good book or read the last book in a series. You know the feeling - we all got it when we finished Harry Potter.

11. What is your fondest book memory?

I really can't pick. Harry Potter 7 will always be a favorite of mine. Hunger Games is up there too - reading the Hunger Games is what finally gave me the push I needed to take my own stories in a completely new direction. They ended my "copying Tolkien" phase and now I finally feel like my story is honestly entirely my own.

Okay I'm going to answer these questions in 3 different posts and I'll tag my blogs at the end.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog Tour: The Orphan The Soulcatcher and the Black Blizzard



Author Kimberlee Ann Bastian has stopped by my blog today with a guest post for her blog tour.  Check it out!

Tools to creating the Road Map
By: Kimberlee Ann Bastian

To keep a story in check, some writers use outlines, some posted notes, others journals. Me, I use them all and as an added bonus, I literally use a map. From the start, I had a map of Chicago printed out so I could dot the path for Charlie and Bartholomew accordingly. Once I had the visual, I started in on the outline, which ended up looking more like storyboards without the images. Along the way, I wrote ideas down in my journal as they came and used posted notes as reminders. At times, I would come to roads still under construction in which case I would dig into the “encyclopedia” which houses a lot of my historic research and character profiles.

The main storyline surrounding Charlie and Bartholomew as they come across the non-supernatural elements of the story was by far the easiest thing to handle. The secondary part of the storyline, the mythology surrounding Bartholomew was a bit trickier. I knew which supernatural elements I wanted to introduce early on, but the question became how much do I reveal without bogging down the essential story. As the drafts evolved and the mythology of the series grown, it became apparent; I needed a three-tear process. The Orphan, the Soulcatcher, and the Black Blizzard would focus more on the human element with a sprinkle of supernatural, Book Two would Annie-up the mystical elements and by Book Three the gloves would be off and a high-fantasy storyline would resolve the first third of the nine-part odyssey.

Writing three books, or at least rough drafting three books truly helped with the foreshadowing of the mythology. Without it, certain items may not have been introduced properly. For instance, it is imperative the reader know that Bartholomew knows a secret, but not what that secret pertains, at least not yet. They will get an idea, but the relevance to Book One puts it on the back burner. Another example is the introduction of four key players in the series, The Golden Faun, the Black Tortoise, the Shepherdess and The Trickster. Like Bartholomew’s secret, none of these characters are merely stars on the road map with no roads leading to them.

With a story so dependent on mythology in the secondary storyline, it is vital to think ahead and know ultimate where you want to end. It does not have to happen all at once, but it is good to know if there is a gas station up ahead.  

 Author’s Links:


Purchase on Amazon for Kindle

Purchase on Amazon in Paperback

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Writer In You Blog Hob #7

Since I just love blog hops oh so much, I decided to host one myself!

There will be no set end date to this blog hop, so whenever you find us feel free to sign up!

This is a blog hop for all you aspiring writers out there. It is a chance to meet other writers and share tips, writing, and experiences, all while gaining new followers for your loverly blog!

I host writing marathons on Saturdays on a Facebook group called Word Wars (today will be our first marathon as well as the first blog hop! Feel free to join us here anytime!). That is partially why I decided to begin The Writer in You Blog Hop; Saturdays are a great day to sit back and write. So what better way to start a Saturday writing session than with a question that makes you think about your writing? That exactly what this blog hop will be.

The Blog Hop!
Start by adding your name to the list of blogs at the bottom of this page. Then comment on this page letting me know you've joined us!
Then write a post of your own answering the question of that week and link it back to this page; we want as many people as possible to join!
Then: start hopping! Visit as many or as few blogs as you like and be sure to leave a comment on their posts letting them know you stopped by.

The Rules!
There are only 5 rules to this blog hop:
1. Follow me, your blog hop host! Then come back every Saturday for the week's question.
2. Be consistent: Don't forget to post your answer on Saturdays! It gives fellow WIY visitors something to comment on!
3. Grab the blog hop button below and post it on your blog; spread the word!
4. Post a link to your blog hop post on the linky-list below every week!
5. Visit other hoppers blogs! The whole point is to meet other writers and for everyone to gain a few followers:)




The Writer in You Blog Hop!





Have you ever had a character you intended to kill refuse to be killed?


I'll admit this weeks question stems from some personal curiosity.
My main character's mother originally was dead before the book even started. I had to move a few things around for everything to make sense which resulted in her being present for the beginning and dying shortly into the book.
Except I'm now almost 50 pages in and she's still kicking. She is determined to be a part of this story; I feel bad that I simply cannot allow it. Her death is what essentially sets the entire story in motion. She simply cannot be allowed to live. But she is trying as hard as she can. Fitting to the character really; she's a fighter and a bit of a badass. I think I might have to write a standalone about her later in her honor. Her story is quite an interesting one.
I have finally figured out how to successfully kill her, but it took me awhile. She was a stubborn one!


Join the fun! Sign up below!
If you're link doesn't appear right away, don't worry. It just takes the list a few minutes to update. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Diaries, A Night with the Trenchers

Dear Diaries,

Before I begin what is sure to be an epic fangirl post I have a few small announcements. First...

My critiquing mailbox is empty! Send those excerpts in people! I love reading them! Thefictiondiairies[at]gmail[dot]com. Do it!
I do have one for the next critiquing day that I am terribly sorry didn't get posted this past monday. I had intended to do it after my physical but after getting 6 needles shoved into my arm by 4 different people I wasn't in a pleasant enough mood to trust myself with a critique. I hope you understand :P

And second..

I am SO close to having 100 followers!


 I'm sitting right on the cliff at 99- show some love! I think I might have to give a shot out to my lovely number 100 so if it turns out to be you let me know! I am also trying to think up something fun to do in honor of this wonderful occasion. I have a few ideas but I'd love to hear from you as well! Leave any suggestions in the comments!

Now, onto the topic of the day:

MARIANAS TRENCH<3<3<3<3


Marianas Trench came to Detroit last night! To put it mildly, it was a hot show.

To put it accurately..it was the hottest, stickiest, most disgusting show I have ever been to.... and it was oh so completely worth it!


This beautiful boy is Josh Ramsay. If I could live in his voice my life would be perfect.

Now, I think I've been to my fair share of concerts for being only 19. I've been to Warped Tour 3 times during which I've seen All Time Low, 3oh!3, Hot Chelle Rae, NeverShoutNever, Breathe Carolina,  and Mayday Parade to name only a very few. I saw 3oh!3 again in Detroit where I Fight Dragons and Cobra Starship opened. I saw Paramore, also in Detroit, and I saw Panic at the Disco, Plain White Ts, and Jack's Mannequin all in one night.


The point is I am not new to the concert scene. And last night Marianas Trench gave the best live show I have ever seen. It might be tied with 3oh!3 in Detroit...but if you knew how much I love 3oh!3 then you'd know that's pretty damn impressive.


I'm rather ridiculously short so I have never gotten pics this good and this close at a show before - aside from Hot Chelle Rae but I saw them when no one had a clue who they were so it wasn't that hard. I honestly I have no idea how I ended up so close or how I was lucky enough to not have some 6' giant in front of me like I usually do. I think the Trencher gods were looking out for me. Thank you, Trencher gods!


This pic I was not lucky enough to take. I stole it from someone on Twitter.

I've always thought it would be really creepy and weird to have people grabbing at you like that. But he crowd surfed like 3 times so he was basically asking for it. And I might not have been lucky enough to get this pic, but I was lucky enough to grab his hand one of the times he did it. Not even intentional - I got pushed into the chaos by the people behind me. But..still...



Pretty much...
Go ahead and judge. 

I was really close to catching one of his guitar picks but it fell just in front of me and some chick picked it up before I found it.



I feel kinda bad because I didn't get many good pics of the other guys in the band. I was dead center the whole time so Josh was the easiest shot..and the one I'm most in love with. Plus I think Mike was just determined to be blurry in every pic I got. What a jerk :P


Best I can offer for any Matt fans out there. He refused to stand still and whenever he did I got shoved or something. It took like 10 tries just to get this one.

**UPDATE** So I was running through Twitter and Matt tweeted about how last night was the first time he ever performed shirtless. Apparently a lot of people are rather jealous of the Detroit Trenchers right now - as they should be! But since it was such a momentous occasion I ran along to tumblr to find a better pic to honor it with<3

Guh. So beautiful.
And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Fo'sho though. I am in love with Ramsay's voice. I had always knows he was an amazing singer in and out of the studio but I had never heard him live for myself until last night.



If I had one wish it would be for him to sing me to sleep every night. Seriously.

Basically I am a full-fledged Trencher and damn proud of it!



I shall leave you with videos of their songs and beg of those of you who have never listened to them to press play. You will fall in love. Guaranteed. Non-negotiable. 

You're welcome ;)

Ever After 

Truth or Dare - one of my personal faves off the the Ever After Album<3

Bill Joel fans? This is their cover of And So It Goes. Entirely a capella. Perfect example of one of the biggest reasons I love them; every single one of them can sing like nobody's business<3 

I don't know why the videos aren't showing up but for some reason you can still push play if you click where they're suppose to be..I don't know what blogger's playing at but check'm out anyway!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Writer in You Blog Hop #6

Since I just love blog hops oh so much, I decided to host one myself!

There will be no set end date to this blog hop, so whenever you find us feel free to sign up!

This is a blog hop for all you aspiring writers out there. It is a chance to meet other writers and share tips, writing, and experiences, all while gaining new followers for your loverly blog!

I host writing marathons on Saturdays on a Facebook group called Word Wars (today will be our first marathon as well as the first blog hop! Feel free to join us here anytime!). That is partially why I decided to begin The Writer in You Blog Hop; Saturdays are a great day to sit back and write. So what better way to start a Saturday writing session than with a question that makes you think about your writing? That exactly what this blog hop will be.

The Blog Hop!
Start by adding your name to the list of blogs at the bottom of this page. Then comment on this page letting me know you've joined us!
Then write a post of your own answering the question of that week and link it back to this page; we want as many people as possible to join!
Then: start hopping! Visit as many or as few blogs as you like and be sure to leave a comment on their posts letting them know you stopped by.

The Rules!
There are only 5 rules to this blog hop:
1. Follow me, your blog hop host! Then come back every Saturday for the week's question.
2. Be consistent: Don't forget to post your answer on Saturdays! It gives fellow WIY visitors something to comment on!
3. Grab the blog hop button below and post it on your blog; spread the word!
4. Post a link to your blog hop post on the linky-list below every week!
5. Visit other hoppers blogs! The whole point is to meet other writers and for everyone to gain a few followers:)




The Writer in You Blog Hop!





When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Did you share it with people or keep it to yourself?


I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. From third grade and on I would start random stories (never finishing any of course), write poems, the works. I acquired a love of reading at a very young age thanks to my Dad who, instead of reading me Cinderella, read me The Hobbit. The more I read the more I wanted to write my own stories. Of course when I was in high school I got stuck in the "you have to pick a real job" crap that they do, which I hate so much. I wrote very little throughout high school because it had been pushed into my head that writing isn't a real job. I missed out on a lot of valuable writing time because of that, but I don't think I ever really stopped dreaming of being a writer.
As for telling people - I think my mom knew I should be a writer before I did; she's been saying it for as long as I can remember. I never really felt the need to hide it since my family is so supportive, but I know not everyone is so lucky. And of course there are always going to be those people who you say "I want to be a writer" and they look at you like "good luck with that".
I don't know if I'm destined to be an author, but I know I was born to be a writer.


Join the fun! Sign up below!
If you're link doesn't appear right away, don't worry. It just takes the list a few minutes to update. 

**Notice** Starting this week the link list will close every Friday. In order to participate now you must post the link to your post every week. Sorry for the inconvenience but there are too many people using this just to get traffic and not actually participating. 



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dear Diaries, Sherlock Holmes: Rapture Up North

Dear Diaries,

Rapture by Lauren Kate come out yesterday and I am just oh so excited about it! I can't wait to find out how it all ends!


I am intrigued by the fact that the dress is white for this cover when it has been black for the others. Interesting..

In other news I will be headed up north for a short visit to my grandparent's this weekend. This should mean a lot of free time to write without much distraction which I desperately need. Unfortunately it may also mean I will not have my review of Rapture up until next Friday. I doubt I will have the book finished before we leave and the internet up there tends to be a bit sketchy. But I shall do my best. And I will schedule the WIY Blog Hop post ahead of time so that will go as planned and I just won't be able to read all of your lovely responses until I get home.

How many of you are just here waiting to see what Sherlock Holmes has to do with this post? Well I'll tell you.

I just finished season 2 of BBC's Sherlock. And instead of describing my reaction to the season finale I think I will allow my gifs addiction to do the talking for me:

At first I was like...

And then I was like...

Naturally followed by...

Moving on to something like the last few seconds of this...


And at last we reached...


                                   

Damnit Steven Moffat why must you be such an amazingly cruel writer? For those of you who don't know Moffat is also the lead writer of another amazing BBC show. Perhaps you've heard of it..  

                                  


OOO-WEE-OOO



Nope. It's true.

Sherlock is awesome and you should watch it. Fo'sho. Just be warned that the season 2 finale will leave you just as it left me and that season 3 isn't scheduled to begin production until 2013. Why you ask? Because Moffat is probably busy with Doctor Who for one (season 7 begins in the fall! ahh!!!) and two...

 Benedict Cumberbatch aka Sherlock



is a busy voice acting for...
Smaug 

and..

Martin Freeman aka Watson




is busy finding the ring
and pissing Smaug off as..    

Bilbo Baggins















I suppose filming The Hobbit is a good enough excuse to make me wait. I've been waiting far longer for this movie than a year so I'm sure I can survive without a new Sherlock episode...if I must.

I do hope you have enjoyed my parade of gifs today. I think that is everything for this week. I shall leave you with the epicness that is The Hobbit trailer. Watch it! And you'll have to let me know if I'm the only one who thinks Kili is hot....I doubt it ;)




Monday, June 11, 2012

Avengers for your Thoughts?

This week, instead of giving my thoughts on writing, I'm going to ask for yours. You see, I have been having some serious trouble getting myself to sit down and write. I have so many ideas in my head that I love but I just can't seem to sit still long enough to write them. These wonderful boys have been keeping an eye on me..


buts its just not enough anymore.


I'll get random bursts of inspiration which are awesome. They're usually brought on by reading or watching something amazing and me going "I want my book to be that epic!" and then I run off to write for a few hours. But those few bursts are simply not cutting it.

I have decided I'm going to try outlining for once (ironic considering what last weeks WIY Blog Hop question was) in hopes that having my thoughts outlined ahead of time will make it easier to focus, so I suppose we'll see how that turns out. But in the mean time I want to know what all of you do to get yourself to sit down and write when your mind wants to do just about anything other than focus on a word doc.

 I'll also happily accept any advice you veteran outliners might have. How do you outline your stories?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Writer In You Blog Hop #5


The Writer in You Blog Hop!
This is a blog hop for all you aspiring writers out there. It is a chance to meet other writers and share tips, writing, and experiences, all while gaining new followers for your loverly blog!

I host writing marathons on Saturdays on a Facebook group called Word Wars (today will be our first marathon as well as the first blog hop! Feel free to join us here anytime!). That is partially why I decided to begin The Writer in You Blog Hop; Saturdays are a great day to sit back and write. So what better way to start a Saturday writing session than with a question that makes you think about your writing? That exactly what this blog hop will be.

The Blog Hop!
Start by adding your name to the list of blogs at the bottom of this page. Then comment on this page letting me know you've joined us!
Then write a post of your own answering the question of that week and link it back to this page; we want as many people as possible to join!
Then: start hopping! Visit as many or as few blogs as you like and be sure to leave a comment on their posts letting them know you stopped by.

The Rules!
There are only 3 rules to this blog hop:
1. Follow me, your blog hop host! Then come back every Saturday for the week's question.
2. Be consistent: Don't forget to post your answer on Saturdays! It gives fellow WIY visitors something to comment on!
3. Grab the blog hop button below and post it on your blog; spread the word!




The Writer in You Blog Hop!



Q: Do you outline your writing?


I do not make formal outlines because I never end up following it. I could plan out every single detail of a story and then when I start writing I'll think of something and be like "oh I like that!" and then suddenly everything changes and the outline is useless. I have the basic concepts planned out; I know all the important stuff that has to happen, but for the most part I just let the character go and then write down what they do.




**Note** Be sure to link to your blogs homepage rather than a specific post. The link list doesn't reset every week:)



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Diaries, A Week in Hogwarts

Dear Diaries,

I am the worst little NaNoWriMo-er ever. I'm not technically doing it for June since I'm working on something I had already started, but I still signed up for motivational purposes. I've written a little over 3000 words since June 1.












Pretty much.

Instead of being a good writer like I should be I've been watching the Harry Potter movies and just being generally lazy with my sister.


















Aren't we cute?

I'm staying with her for the week in an attempt to get away from everything and figure out whats going on in my head. Instead we've just been running off to Hogwarts. She just finished reading the books for the first time ever and so now we're working out way through the movies. We'll be watching Goblet of Fire either tonight or tomorrow morning.


It's amazing, isn't it? How powerful these books are. I've never read anything quite like it. I think what is most remarkable to me is that, it seems, Rowling had everything figured out right from the very beginning. The cloak seems rather insignificant until 7 books later when the Deathly Hallows are introduced. Tom Riddles Diary and the fact that he destroys it with a basilisk fang seems to be said an done until the horcruxes are introduced in book 6. It is amazing how much thought was put into the plot of the Harry Potter books. But, above all, my absolutely favorite part about the entire series is...


Severus Snape<3

Snape is easily the most tragic character, pretty much ever. Sitting in the theater watching his memories in the pensieve (I saw the movies first. I know, bad Katie) I just sat there going "everything I know is a lie." The detail and extent of his character never ceases to amaze me. He is, by far, my favorite character of all time. Always.

However, I am still very upset at miss Rowling for killing Fred. You couldn't have taken Percy instead? You monster.


Oliver Phelps (George) on filming Fred's death scene:
“Filming Fred’s death was actually pretty easy. On the day we filmed I knew it was gonna happen so every time I saw James I would get really sad. When we went to film it they had James lay down on the stretcher and just wait until the rest of the cast got there. I took one look at James on the stretcher and burst into tears. I can’t even imagine how it would feel to lose him. We have done everything together since birth and to see my brother laying down on a stretcher pretending to be dead just killed me inside. After James got up and I gave him a huge hug. David said you did great, it was very believable. Then I told him I just thought of it as me and James not Fred and George.”

Daww. Personally I bawled my eyes out during that scene in the movie. And then again during that scene in the book. I repeat; Rowling, you monster.

I'm still quite bitter about Dobby too, but we won't go into that.

To end this lovely Potter rant I will leave you with what is probably my favorite video of all time on youtube ever. Enjoy!


P.S. I just watched the video and the "Sirius Black is dead a can be" reminded me of something. Am I the only one who thought that his death scene was a bit odd? Like he just fell and was gone. Now I knew he was dead when I read it (again, bad Katie!) but it still confused me. You're just expecting him to climb back up but instead they're like yea...he's dead. Sorry Harry. What?
I suppose the moral of that story is don't fall behind those curtains. There is no return. You shall not pass!
Thoughts?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Critique: Dragonslayer Excerpt


For this weeks critique we have an excerpt from Dragonslayer from Celine. Thanks for sending it in!

Alys decided to take one of the many alleyways. It was a lot quieter in this particular one. Quieter than what? The houses were built so close together that their roofs almost touched, making it feel like she was inside rather than in the open. There were some stores left and right (here and there? left and right makes it sound like she is surrounded by stores on every side, but the rest of the description implies there are only a few) and some taverns where meaty looking men were having a pint of ale. Good details.
It crossed her mind that she should be afraid, walking through this part of town on her own. She had heard stories of innocent ladies being attacked or abducted, or worse. But why should that fate befall to her? She didn't have any money, and she had a rather influential family. Surely, if something would happen to her, they would come for her and kill the culprit. Good character details: Alys seems a bit naive/the "nothing bad could happen to me" type/ maybe resulting from her family? It does seem odd that she isn't afraid of being abducted. Sure her family would come for her, but what about while she's waiting for them? She rounded another corner. It was so much quieter here. She could barely hear the noise from the main street. Where would these little alleys lead to? Would they just stop at the city wall? Or would they lead to a wonderful secluded place? There must be some reason why people would want to live here, Alys thought.
The street wasn't paved any more, but merely a sandy path, with the occasional remnant puddle of the morning's rain. It was nice to walk here on her own, with no one bothering her or watching her. Implying that she is often being watched - overprotective parents perhaps? Even the occasional shop had disappeared. She saw some movements behind open shutters, but never more than glimpses. It was almost as if there were only ghosts living in these houses,not real people.
"Why hello, little lamb." Alys jumped, turning instantly. The gravelly voice had come from behind her. She was so sure she had been alone just a second ago. Now a scruffy young man stood in front of her. His face and hands were dirty. The underside of his pants of indefinite colour were caked in mud. Or excrements. Alys preferred to think of it as mud. Gross :P He had short blonde hair that stuck to the top of his head. His youthly face was curiously void of any facial hair. It made him look a lot younger than he must be probably was. What was even more curious that he didn't have any hair on his face. No eyebrows either.
"Pooh, you scared me there! How do you do, sir." Alys made a little curtsey. Definitely showing how much she stands out in this part of town. The hairless man frowned. At least she thought he frowned. It was hard to tell without any eyebrows.
"I am Curt the Cutter, and I want your money now!" A knife appeared from between the folds of his threadbare jacket. He seemed a little proud that he had remembered his lines.
"Oh I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I didn't take any with me. Is there any other way I can help you though?" A real lady always has her manners with her. If only Mother could see this, she would be so proud, Alys thought. Even if she isn't showing it, wouldn't she be at least somewhat frightened? Especially considering it sounds like she comes from a rather proper/sheltered home life. Having her not be scared at all feels unrealistic. Have her eyes focused on the knife and trying to keep her voice steady. Maybe have her considering a way to escape. Something so that the reader knows, despite her hiding it to the man, she is frightened.

All in all this is definitely an interesting excerpt and I'd be curious to see what trouble Alys manages to get herself into. I think the main thing to focus on here is making her truly realistic; regardless of who she might be surely she'd be frightened when a man with a knife shows up behind her in an ally. Maybe she gets a chill or a feeling of being followed while she walks through the ally? Even in safe places that happens to people when they are alone, so adding in a few details like that would make Alys feel more believable.


Have anything to add? Feel free to leave your constructive comments below.

Want to have your writing critiqued on the Diaries? Check out the guidelines to submitting your work here!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Writer in You Blog Hop #4


The Writer in You Blog Hop!
This is a blog hop for all you aspiring writers out there. It is a chance to meet other writers and share tips, writing, and experiences, all while gaining new followers for your loverly blog!

I host writing marathons on Saturdays on a Facebook group called Word Wars (today will be our first marathon as well as the first blog hop! Feel free to join us here anytime!). That is partially why I decided to begin The Writer in You Blog Hop; Saturdays are a great day to sit back and write. So what better way to start a Saturday writing session than with a question that makes you think about your writing? That exactly what this blog hop will be.

The Blog Hop!
Start by adding your name to the list of blogs at the bottom of this page. Then comment on this page letting me know you've joined us!
Then write a post of your own answering the question of that week and link it back to this page; we want as many people as possible to join!
Then: start hopping! Visit as many or as few blogs as you like and be sure to leave a comment on their posts letting them know you stopped by.

The Rules!
There are only 3 rules to this blog hop:
1. Follow me, your blog hop host! Then come back every Saturday for the week's question.
2. Be consistent: Don't forget to post your answer on Saturdays! It gives fellow WIY visitors something to comment on!
3. Grab the blog hop button below and post it on your blog; spread the word!




The Writer in You Blog Hop!



Q: Teaser Time! Post an excerpt from your current WIP:)

I hear the water before I see it, crashing towards me like cannon fire. I take a deep breath and feel the heat rising, coursing through every vein, burning in the markings on my palms. I’ve never felt anything like it. In all my years of Artisan training never have I felt power like what surges through me now. I release the breath, and with it, the flame.

It's a sloppy shot but it finds it mark. But I waited too long; the water was too close. Out of instinct I recoil and turn my face away from the steam; the water would have hurt less. I know my mistake the second I’ve made it. I raise my hands to block a second after the kick finds my jaw, knocking me to the ground. I’ve gotten better at ignoring pain but there’s nothing like a good kick to the face to leave me seeing stars. I’m just grateful she didn’t crack anything this time; there’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough.

**Note** Be sure to link to your blogs homepage rather than a specific post. The link list doesn't reset every week:)



Book Review: Doll House by Anya Allyn

I'm such a bad little blogger, posting a day late like this. Terribly sorry about that!

**EDIT** I have received confirmation from the author that the version I read is considerably shorter than the final book. She believes that it is either an earlier draft of the book or that something went wrong went converting it. That being said, obviously this review will only be so accurate. 150 pages is quite a few missing scenes and if it turns out it was a draft copy there could have been any number of edits between it and the final copy of the book. I apologize for all the confusion. Please take this review with a grain of salt as I can't be sure how big the difference is between the one I read and the one available for purchase. I may in the future read the correct version of the book and change the review accordingly, but unfortunately I simply do not have the time to do so at the moment.


Title: Doll House
Author: Anya Allyn
Pages: 217 (Although I've seen its listed as 372 everywhere else..so I'm a little confused about that)
Publishing Date: May 2012
Reason for Reading: Received copy from author
Synopsis: For fifteen year old Cassie Claiborne, there's only one good thing about moving from steamy Miami to the wild inland forests of Australia--the even wilder Ethan McAllister. But Ethan already has a girlfriend--Aisha Damaj--the girl with a hundred different moods a minute.When Aisha goes missing on a hiking trip in the local mountains--presumed dead--the whole town points a finger at Ethan.
Cassie defends Ethan fiercely--and she's just about the only friend he has left. But is Cassie letting her feelings for Ethan cloud her judgment of him?
Or does something dark lurk out there in the forests? Aisha isn't the first girl to vanish there in recent years.
There's only one way to find out--go back to the forests.

Okay, so I'm not entirely sure if formatting was the reason why my version was so much shorter page wise or if my version was missing things that were put into the final version (I received a pre-release copy from the author).

This book definitely creeped me out. I always try to avoid anything that is going to scare me because I have a very overactive imagination so for me personal this probably wasn't my best decision, but if you like creepy books this is one to check out.

I personally thought this book dragged a bit. There are long conversations that don't seem to have any real purpose except to fill a few pages. Even once the creepy stuff finally started happening it felt like there was a lot of time with nothing of importance going on; the characters go through similar days over and over again and as a reader you just sit and watch waiting for something new to happen to move the plot forward again.

The characters were a bit ify for me as well. Although the book is written in first person point of view from Cassie's perspective, I feel like I never really got to know Cassie. She's always describing what is going on around her but we rarely get to hear what is going on in her head. It feels more like a book meant to be written in third person and all the "I"s are just added in. I also found it a bit hard to believe that a girl who moved to Australia from the US would be using British vernacular without a thought after only a few months.

All things aside, the story itself is an interesting one and definitely succeeds in creeping a reader out. I knew fairly early on that this was not going to be my next favorite book, but I still wanted to know how it all ended because the plot itself is rather unique - it does keep you guessing and I was determined to find out what was going on. I do feel like there were a few things that never really get explained, like why the doll house was created to begin with, but that will probably be explained in the next book.

Basically the story itself is an interesting read but the writing, to me, got in the way a bit. If you are a fan of creepy books, which I now remember I am not, then this is one to check out. For this book, I think it really all comes down to taste; I personally didn't love it, but quite a few other people have really enjoyed it.