Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk in the hopes of bringing writers together on our crazy journeys. If you're interested in finding out more about this blog hop and/or joining us you can read more about it here!



WHAT I'M READING: I FINALLY FINISHED GAME OF THRONES!! This is such a huge accomplishment; it took me forever. Now I am reading Moonfall by Vanessa Morton, which I snagged off of Netgalley. And soon I'll start the long journey through A Clash of Kings. I also read The Murder Complex like I said I probably would. Good week for reading :)

WHAT I'M WRITING: I'm really getting into the fun parts of The Homecoming Court. I'm working through the Opening Ceremony now and soon, SOON the first event! I'm so excited!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW: Reading! The more I read the more I want to write, and I have been reading quite a lot. 

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: Working, mainly. Exciting life I know. I'm also currently trying to win a couple of free tickets to Cedar Point, haha. That would spice up my summer a bit! And I just bought the entire Avatar: The Last Airbender DVD set, after a friend of mine commented on my post featuring it and told me it was on sale, so that should keep me busy for a few days at least.

How are all of you lovely people doing?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ready. Set. Write! (Week 3)

Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing blog hop that posts every Monday. If you're interested in joining us you can find out more here!



Sorry I'm late! I had to wait til I got home to get the favorite line from my manuscript, and then I had a headache so I just passed out. Oops.

How I Did On Last Week's Goals
I am certain I exceeded my word count goal, but outlining turned into just writing by hand and I haven't transferred the last chapter from my journal to the computer, so I don't have an exact count. I did complete Matt's bio and outlining has been fabulous!

My Goals for this Week
  • Add 4,000 words to The Homecoming Court (getting close to my 10,000 word month goal!)
  • Keep writing ahead/outlining by hand

A Favorite Line From My Story
Super rough, obviously, but...

"Her face softened again. He recognized the pity in her eyes. It was the same look his aunt had given him before shipping him off to the Military Academy, so he knew what was coming next."


The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week
Getting myself to actually type up the draft. Outlining turned into really rough drafting, so then I add/change things when I go to type it up, but I just wanted to keep moving forward by hand. Hence why the last chapter hasn't been typed up yet!


Something I Love About My WIP
How well I know my characters. I'm still learning, but I can tell that the time I took to work out their basic backgrounds is making the writing come more naturally.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk in the hopes of bringing writers together on our crazy journeys. If you're interested in finding out more about this blog hop and/or joining us you can read more about it here!


WHAT I'M READING: Someday I will tell you that I have finished Game of Thrones...but it is not this day. I just keep finding other things to read! I think I'm probably going to buy Lindsay Cummings' The Murder Complex that just released last week for my Nook. Seems everyone is talking about it so my interest has been piqued. 

WHAT I'M WRITING: Outlined chapter 5 of The Homecoming Court yesterday and I hope to outline chapters 6 and 7 today. I'm getting really excited because I'm getting to the fun part! And I'm really loving this outlining thing, because my outlines tend to be just really rough drafts. I end up including dialogue and some description. It becomes more like a script and it is going to be really easy for me to type up the actual chapters later this week.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW: When I was reading up on The Murder Complex I saw it was a debut novel and whenever I find debut novels I like to look up the author. Turns out Lindsay is 22 years old (I believe her twitter said she's about to turn 23). She is just under 2 years older than me and she has all this hype around her first book and I just think that is so cool! It has inspired me to push forward with my writing in hopes of maybe the same thing happening for me in a year or two!



WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: I saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 last Friday and it is SO beautiful. If you haven't seen it you really need to. Right now. I'm also finally mostly recovered from my post Game of Thrones hangover (you can find my reaction to the finale here). And one of my best friends is moving back to the west side today so I'm super excited to have her back for the rest of the summer!

In other news. Its storming here. I'm pretty sure Allendale is about to be washed off the map. But the black cloud of death appears to have moved on for now. *crosses fingers*

That's it for me. How have you guys been this week?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! (Week 2)

Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing blog hop that posts every Monday. If you're interested in joining us you can find out more here!


How I Did On Last Week's Goals:
I added just over 3,000 words to The Homecoming Court, meaning I successfully met my word count goal! I also have a pretty good idea of what the first event in the competition is going to be, though I'm still hammering out all the gritty details. I did finish Erin's character bio but I did not make it to Matt's; but that's okay because he wasn't in either of the chapters I worked on this week.

Goals for this Week: 
  • Add at least 3,000 words to The Homecoming Court & shoot for closer to 4,000 if I can
  • Write Matt's character Bio
  • Start outlining ahead of where I'm writing so I don't have to outline after every chapter
A Phrase That Sums Up What I Wrote:
Bad first impressions and a new dilemma from an old tragedy.

Biggest Writing Challenge I Faced This Week:
About half way through the week I suddenly wanted to do 1,000 things, so it was hard to get myself to sit down and write for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

Something I Love About My WIP:
I am just really in love with the basic premise; its like the love child of normal homecoming and the Tri Wizard Tournament from Harry Potter. I'm really excited to get to start writing scenes from the actual competition itself.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk in the hopes of bringing writers together on our crazy journeys. If you're interested in finding out more about this blog hop and/or joining us you can read more about it here!


WHAT I'M READING: I'm still working my way through Game of Thrones (I think I can. I think I can.) I am also reading, and hopefully finishing today, Numbers by Rachel Ward. It's a pretty interesting read. I wouldn't say it is going to become my new favorite, but so far I've really enjoyed it. I love first person narration from sarcastic characters.

WHAT I'M WRITING: I added 1,147 words to The Homecoming Court yesterday, which is super impressive considering I spent literally the entire day watching Nintendo's E3 live stream so I only ended up writing for a little under an hour. I have a goal of writing at least another 1,000 today and I'd like to finish up the character bio for Erin. I'm getting close to the actual competition starting and I'm super excited to start writing the crazier scenes!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW: I've been following the twitter conversations (primarily tweets by Maureen Johnson; if you're not following her you're doing twitter wrong my friend) about the subtle sexism and not-so-subtle condescension in the recent articles about John Green and how he has apparently "saved" the YA genre (note that I adore John Green and know that he has been openly speaking out against these implications). I am loving seeing so many writers and readers coming together to tell the world that YA does not need saving and that it is a legitimate and widely diverse genre that anyone should be proud to read and write. It has made me even more excited about finishing up my own novel so that someday I might join the list of YA authors that I love so much. Long live YA!

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: My new blog launched this week! 


The Pop Cultist is officially up and running and I'm so excited! You can check it out here!

I also went to see The Fault In Our Stars last Thursday and it is amazing; I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend you bring tissues and lots of them.


And last but not least I spent all day yesterday watching the Nintendo E3 live stream and fangirling over all the new games coming out in the next year. It is going to be a good year for Nintendo fans, and a bad year for my bank account. You can read my top 5 highlights from the showcase on my other blog: here!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Ready. Set. Write! (Week One)

Ready. Set. Write! is a summer writing blog hop that posts every Monday. If you're interested in joining us you can find out more here!


My Goals for the Week
  • Write at least 3,000 words of The Homecoming Court
  • Outline the first Homecoming Competition event
  • Finish Character bios for Erin and Matt
My Goals for the Summer
  • Finish draft of The Homecoming Court and start revisions
  • Start draft of The Last Dragon

Saturday, June 7, 2014

NEW BLOG IS OFFICIALLY LIVE!

Hey everybody! Just a short post to let you all know that the first post of my new blog has officially been posted!

The project has undergone a rather large bit of a transformation since I mentioned it on here earlier this week, but I am so super excited to start it and I love what it has shifted towards and I cannot wait to see what it will become.

The new blog is called The Pop Cultist. You can find out more about this new project by checking out the Behind the Blog page here! And if you are interested in the project please subscribe to the blog! Starting out is always the hardest part, you know?

My first post is a review of The Fault in Our Stars. I just review the story as a whole rather than specifically the movie or specifically the book because the movie follows the story so well that I did not feel the need to make much of a distinction. Check out the review here!

I will still be posting to The Diaries regularly, so no worries! The only change will be I will probably not be writing tons of book reviews here any more since it seems kind of silly to post reviews on the same book to 2 different blogs. So this will likely become exclusively a writing blog :)

Thanks so much and I'll talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk in the hopes of bringing writers together on our crazy journeys. If you're interested in finding out more about this blog hop and/or joining us you can read more about it here!


WHAT I'M READING: I just finished reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner (review coming soon!) Would definitely recommend it the plot definitely keeps you guessing. I'm also still slowly but surely making my way through George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones. It is taking so loong since I've watched the show so I already know what is going to happen. Plus I'm reading it on my nook and I bought the e-book box set so I never know how close I am to finishing the book because it only tells me how close I am to finishing all 5. I realized I still had a little over 200 pages left last night and wanted to cry.

WHAT I'M WRITING: I feel like I'm talking about this too much in one week, haha. I'm currently hard at work turning my characters into people for The Homecoming Court and I la-la-love them! I love when they start to feel real and their personalities start guiding my writing. I think creating realistic well-developed characters is both one of the hardest parts and the most rewarding parts of writing. I don't want to give too much away just yet, but I can give you guys the picture I've used to model my MC, Devon Halestorm!

Devon Halestorm

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW: Maya Angelou. I was and still am quite sad about her passing. She has always been an inspiration of mine, but over the past week since she passed I've been reading all the articles people have been writing about the amazing life she led and how she was able to use her writing in such powerful ways, and that has really pushed me to keep working to improve my writing and to dedicate my time to it so that I might have a chance to make a difference too.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: I went to the Zoo! It is not much of a zoo, to be honest. But it has penguins which is all I really need. And I got to hang out with some pygmy goats!


I am also still in mourning and shock over last weeks Game of Thrones episode. No spoilers here; if you watch you know what I mean. /Heavy sigh.

That is what's up with me this week! How about you all?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop!

The lovely Caitie over at Tea & Knee Socks tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Hop last week! For this blog hop I have to share a bit about how I go about my writing and what it is I'm working on right now.

What Are You Currently Writing?

I am currently working on a novel I've titled The Homecoming Court! This story takes the usual homecoming drama and flips it on its head. I've ripped up the typical high school setting and instead planted my characters in a military arts academy, where instead of a popularity contest the Homecoming Competition is a fierce and dangerous contest of strength and wit. 

For Devon Halestorm, being voted onto the Court is a dream come true. For Jared Ender, it is the beginning of a nightmare. The Trials are not for the feint of heart, and while Devon is determined to win, Jared simply wants to escape with his life.

In addition to the suspense-filled competition, there is also a bit of mystery to the story. How did Jared, a student next to no one has heard of get enough votes to make the court? 

What Makes Your Work Different

I'm always drawn to creating badass heroines for my protagonists. I had so few of them growing up and they are still often hard to find, though they do seem to becoming more popular (thank you, Katniss!) I find myself writing the characters I want to read about, but can't find. I've never been interested in writing a solo male protagonist. There are plenty of those in the world and more are published all the time. That's boring to me. I like writing about awesome women doing things female characters don't often get to do. I write about badass ladies who are the center of their own stories.

I tend to avoid writing extensive romance plots, for much the same reason. They are a dime a dozen, and don't get me wrong who doesn't love a good romance, but its less interesting to me to write about. I feel like every YA book with a female lead has essentially the same synopsis: Girl was leading a normal life until she met the mysterious boy and her life changed forever; she also probably found out a secret about her past or that she has hidden powers. And I like those stories. People keep writing them and I keep reading them and I really love a lot of them, but I'm not interested in writing them myself. Romance is always only ever a subplot in my stories. There are lots of fantastic stories to be told that don't revolve around girl meets boy, ya know? I like exploring those.

Why Do You Write What You Do?

I answered a lot of this question in the last question, oops. 

I write YA and I bounce back and forth between predominantly fantasy and dystopian stories. I write these genres because they are what I read. I like imagining new worlds in far off places where magic is real (because as a 21 year woman I am still very heartbroken at the lack of magic in this world; seriously who approved that?). I also really like asking "what happens if..." which often leads me to dystopian story ideas. 

What Is Your Writing Process?

To be honest I'm still working on figure out a process that works well for me. I used to be a HUGE planner. I would spend months working out plots and character back stories and figuring out exactly where I wanted the story to go. Then I would go to write the story and lose interest because I already knew what happened; the fun part was gone.

My last project I refused to let myself plan anything major. This worked in the sense that I did finish the draft, but the lack of planning created such a messy draft that I'm completely overwhelmed at the concept of revision and rewrites. I didn't know enough about my characters to keep them interesting and to make sure I was writing character actions and reactions instead of just pushing them along a plot with no real control over what they were doing. Its a mess. It really is.

So now I'm trying to find a happy medium. I'm doing extensive character planning so I get a good feel for who my characters are, what their motivations are, why they are the way they are, and how they would react to certain situations. I'm planning out all the major plot points but letting myself fill in the scenes between as I write. So far so good! 

That's about it for me! Now I just have to tag a few other bloggers for the blog hop! I have decided to tag Krista over at kjmclaughlin.com and Jaime over at jaime-morrow.com! You should definitely head over and check out both of their blogs; they are pretty fantastic :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Its June!!

Today is the first day of June and the writer in me is starting this month off running!

Last month. We don't really need to talk about last month. Its in the past guys.



Last month I did not complete any of my goals. I am only half way through Game of Thrones, I've probably written 4,000 words tops of The Homecoming Court, and I obviously did not post even once a week most of the month.

And that is fine.

I'm a person who appreciates my schedule. So when the basic aspects of my daily life get disrupted, say for example when I go from being a full time student to not having class for 4 months, it throws me off a bit. It takes me a little while to get my footing.

But now it is JUNE. And now I am ready for a super productive month of reading, writing, and blogging.

GOALS FOR JUNE:
1. Write at least 10,000 words of The Homecoming Court
2. Read 3 books. Any books.
3. Post to the diaries at least once a week.
4. Launch my new blog!



Yes you read that correctly. This month I will be launching a new blog. This project is a big part of why I fell so far behind with everything else this past month.

I am starting a new blog called Her Story Rewritten where I will talk about the importance of representation in popular culture as well as deconstructing problematic (or awesomely progressive!) representations of gender in popular culture and the implications those representations have for society. This is a topic I'm very passionate about and I'm super excited to get to share that passion and hopefully start some productive conversations as well. You can read a bit more about this upcoming project here! I hope you'll join me!

Now then. Today I'm off to work on character bios. I love watching my characters go from names on a page to living breathing people; it makes them so much more interesting to write about! I'm feeling super motivated and I'm ready to work! And of course, that also means having a productive space to work in, right?

That can only mean one thing....


BLANKET FORT!!

I've really been hurting because I do not currently have a desk, so I needed to do something to change my work space up. What you think?

What are your goals for the next month? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Writing!