Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: NaNoWriMo Catch-up

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly writerly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow.

What I'm reading

I'm loving Nick and Tesla's High Voltage Danger Lab. Middle Grade has been my favorite thing under the sun lately -- since the summer, really. I left behind some of my favorite YA reads over break, including Proxy, which I am just getting into and which was verrrry painful to leave because it is SO GOOD. But. I knew that if I took it, all I'd do was read it. I am definitely looking forward to finishing it once I come home for break.

What I'm writing (aka NaNo update)

At the risk of boring you all to death with yet another NaNoWriMo post, I'm a few thousand words behind the projected word count. Oh well. I am almost to 30k (words written since Nov. 1, not words total). That puts me a good 13k above what I had for last year's NaNo, which makes me happy. I will return to Mask some day...but right now, Contracted is my baby. 

When I'm not writing it, I like to conceptualize, daydream, plot, and imagine the makeover I'm going to give The Book. WIP multitasking. I have decided to regender/gender-swap a major secondary character. Compared to the plot changes I'm thinking of, that's nothing. Sigh...

What else I'm up to

Musical, musical, musical. Also, someone left a passive-aggressive sticky note on our door that said, "Stop stomping." I am still in a boot. I guess I don't limp quietly enough for some people. This is really perplexing because we don't live above anyone who would get annoyed at us for "stomping" on their ceiling.

What inspires me right now

The Word Sprints forum in NaNo. It always gives me an idea for a sprint, or a challenge to do.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Wednesday. What's Up?

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow. 

What I'm reading

A biography for class, called Bess of Hardwick, Empire Builder by Mary Lovell. It's very good nonfiction -- engagingly written, informative, and about a very interesting person during a very interesting time in history. I'm also reading Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab and The Last Unicorn. I really need to read for fun and reviews more, but as I'll explain, I've been quite busy.

What I'm writing (aka NaNo update)

Contracted passed 70k last night/this morning. I'm technically behind on the NaNo stats chart, but only by a little under 2,000 words. I've been hanging out on the word wars, prompts, and sprints forum late at night when I should be doing homework, playing catch-up instead. I recently finished a major section, so huzzah! 

One thing I've noticed is that while I get a lot of words out during NaNo, the speed does cramp my writing and plotting style a bit. When I finish a major section in Contracted, I usually take a day or two to mull over what I've written. I'll play things over in my head like a movie, and envision scenarios for what happens next. I mean, I know what happens next, but I haven't decided when it happens -- or more importantly, what perspective I'm going to write it in. Do I continue with this plot arc, or switch over to the villain plot arc on the other side of the country?

But -- thank goodness -- the journey-through-the-woods montage is DONE. Actually, the entire journey segment of the book is over. That was a good 30k chunk in the middle of the story. FRICKIN AWESOME. Now I NEVER have to try and keep "characters clomping through the forest/along the road/past the town" interesting again!!!

What else I'm up to

I'm working on the crew for a musical, Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan, that goes up this weekend. *stresses out* I ordered two pizzas in advance for this week because I know that I am always hungry after rehearsal, no matter how much I ate at dinner beforehand. 

What inspires me right now

I've talked about music and writing playlists here before, but I've been using certain videos to write to a lot. I'll listen to the same video over and over, because the repetition isn't as distracting as choosing a new song. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tag, I'm It! 10 Questions from Alyssa

Alyssa, fellow college blogger of I Am Writer - Hear Me Roar! tagged me in a blog-hop interview. You can read her list of questions and answers here. She asked me:

1. What in your opinion do you think YA (or fiction in general) needs more of?

A lot of answers to this question vary depending on what is trending at the time. If something is trending, people generally say "YA/fiction should have more of [whatever is opposite or different from the current trend]." I'll try to answer this more generally. I think YA needs more scary stuff. As much as I love paranormal, I have consistently disliked how it has been softened down for YA. I would like to see either paranormal that doesn't lose the horror elements, or just more pure YA horror.

Which leads me to...

2. What is something you would absolutely love to see a book about? (Be specific if possible!)

I want more horror retellings of fairy tales. I've had the genre on the brain lately thanks to my NaNo novel. I think fairy tales lend themselves particularly well to horror, since they were originally cautionary tales told to frighten children. Like paranormal, the original tales have been softened down and made more vanilla and less scary over the years. Let's bring back some of that fear.

3. How many non-American authors can you name? (List them!)

Ack. I don't know. I don't really pay attention to an author's country of origin. If I liked the book enough, I might read their author bio, maybe even visit their website or follow them on Twitter. But I generally don't bother to learn too much about the author. This might be because I write reviews. I feel like I can't be honest enough in my review if I research the author's personal life and background too much. I'm sure I know quite a few non-American authors by name, but I don't know who they are, if that makes sense. 

Margaret Atwood is Canadian, though. She's famous.

4. How many non-American YA authors can you name? (List them!)
The first three that come to mind are JK Rowling, Darren Shan, and Garth Nix. I liked their books so much that I developed a bit of an obsession and sort of Internet stalked them soooo...

5. What are books that have made you sob and/or cry out loud?

Oh, dear, difficult question. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch was the last one that reduced me to an "I'm going to throw this across the room and sob" wreck.

6. What is your favourite book from childhood?

Taggerung by Brian Jacques (another non-American author) got me into the Redwall world. I also started reading The Fellowship of the Ring when I was 11 and never looked back. Vivian Vande Velde and Tamora Pierce were also authors I enjoyed, Vande Velde more so because Pierce's books tended to tackle all that awkward sex stuff which I did not enjoy reading about. I still really, really like her Protector of the Small quartet, in particular the last book Lady Knight. Mostly because the protagonist was down to earth and sensible like me, and didn't bother with any of that silly romance and sleeping around stuff. 

I was probably too young for a lot of the stuff I read as a kid. But my older self appreciates that series in particular -- oh look, a virgin protagonist who has an interest in love but who doesn't seek out a man to complete her or feel guilty about not having had sex or children. It's not like Pierce is trying to preach abstinence; the character just has a very strong sense of self and doesn't have a romance or sex for the sake of doing it. That's something you don't see a lot of in YA. Romance taking the backseat in a non-romance genre??? Whaaaat?

7. What do you like to do that has absolutely nothing to do with reading, writing, or anything of the like?

I like to do theatre and I like to knit. :)

8. What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity is connected to the experiences people have with how their differences from others have shaped their perspectives and experiences on life.

9. How would you describe your style of clothing?

"Whatever I can wear that is clean and looks mostly decent for the activities of the day." 

10. What is your goal in life? (It could be at the moment or overall).

My goal right now is to finish NaNoWriMo. And to not have a meltdown while doing it. ;P 


To continue this blog tag, link back to the person who tagged you, answer their ten questions, then make ten more questions and tag ten more people. Now, my ten questions for you are...

1. Do you think NaNoWriMo works?
2. Have you ever done NaNoWriMo or are you doing it now, and how did it turn out for you?
3. You are trapped alone in a room for the next year with only one book to read. Which book do you choose?
4. Do you prefer e-readers or paper books, and why?
5. What is the hardest thing you have ever written?
6. What is your favorite book (or books) from childhood?
7. What book has had the most profound impact on your writing?
8. Do you have a favorite genre to read?
9. Do you have a favorite genre to write? Is this the same or different from your favorite genre to read, and why?
10. And lastly, a fun question...You can choose one of the Deathly Hallows. Do you choose the Elder Wand, the Invisibility Cloak, or the Resurrection Stone?

Review: Style by Chelsea Cameron

A book I read was good, and I want to share it with you all via a review! :) I'm reading more of Chelsea Cameron's stuff, and this...