Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Reads 2014

I've been thinking of a better way to come up with a way to keep track of all the books I've read this year and what I thought of them. Hope Katy Upperman doesn't mind I borrowed her idea! I finally went back and created a (short) blog post for each month this year showing which books I've read and briefly what I've thought about some of them. Going forward I'm going to try to do a small review of each book in one monthly post. Images of books lead to goodreads link.

August was a bit of a slow month. Only managed to get through eight books, half of them being audio books.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9807262-wanderlove

Okay, I really, really liked this book. But...I didn't love love it. I'm not sure why. I loved the characters and the surroundings were described incredibly well but I'm not sure what I missed. Maybe more romance? I don't know...but I did enjoy reading it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12812550-days-of-blood-starlighthttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13618440-dreams-of-gods-monsters 
Finally finished the series. I listened to all three on my Audible app and the narrator was really good. She did amazing voices. And while I was completely swept away by Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight took me a long long time to get through. But then Dreams of Gods and Monsters saved my feelings on the series. Overall I really enjoyed this series.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13406425-burn-for-burnhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10662420-fire-with-fire
Why have I not heard more about this series? I love The Summer series and To All The Boys (these books are the complete opposite of those) but was hesitant about picking up these books. Mainly because I haven't heard anything about them. Until a friend (thanks Katy!!) told me how much she loved them and of course I had to read them. And I LOVED them. Ashes to Ashes comes out next month and I can't wait to see how the series concludes.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/816953.Someone_Like_You
Sometimes you read a book and aren't sure if you like it. It just hasn't hooked you. Then you get to the end and that all changes. The ending on Someone Like you totally grabbed my heart.



Why did I not read this series sooner? Or, in this case, listen (I love Audible). I'm not sure what I was expecting when I got into this series because I didn't know much about the books but I'm glad I finally picked them up. This is another series that the third book comes out this fall and I can't wait to finish it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Goodbye Ready? Set. Write!


Ready? Set. Write! is a way for writers to keep in touch with each other and keep themselves accountable to the goals they set. This year it's hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk. Check out their blogs for more details and be sure to link up each week.

How I did on my goals?

1. I'm sticking with the goal my CPs and I came up with last month and that's completing my current WIP, a YA contemporary titled When The Wind Blows, by June 30th. To do that I need roughly around 1000 words per day to finish on time. As of now I'm on track to finish. I'm at 42K and usually draft around 55K-60K words.

2. After that it'll be revising WTWB. I'm not 100% sure how much time that'll take and exactly how I'll go about it until I'm finished, so I'm playing that by ear. Everyone always says let the draft sit but I write so slow the first half basically is and by the time I get to the end it will have.
3. I also need to think about a query letter...and I'd rather not. I'll fit that in somewhere down the road.

4. I want to keep up with reading at least one to two books a week. I set my book goal for the year at 80 and am already around 66 or 67 books. Hoping I can make it to 100.
5. Get to the beach more often this summer and visit the Gulfarium again (of course taking kiddo along). Both are a huge inspiration to WTWBs.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

THE END

The biggest challenge I faced this summer

Myself, honestly. Making myself work. I'm glad I did.

This book is done. You know, for now. I'm so glad I did RSW this summer. It really helped me get this book done. I finished the first draft, edited, revised the whole thing and edited it again. Wrote a basic synopsis and wrote the query (then rewrote again and again). And now I'm ready to query it. Well, it's ready, I'm not. No matter how many times I do it, t's still scary to hit send. But I'll get there. Eventually.

I managed to read at least 1 1/2 books each week, some weeks I read more, so it evened out. I'm on book number 81 of the year so I'll get to 100 and pass it.

Went to the beach a few times. Never managed to get to the Gulfarium, though we drove by it a few times. Maybe once the tourists are gone or something.

Overall I'm very proud of what I accomplished this summer.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Writing Process

I was tagged by my lovely #nerdherd pal Tabitha Martin in the Writing Process Blog Hop. The quote that started it all: "We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one's playlist grows as the draft grows, why one's poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook..."

So here are my answers

What am I working on?

As of last night I'm between two projects. I just finished up a major revision on WHEN THE WIND BLOWS (a YA contemporary). I'm waiting on notes for a few chapters from my CP and have entered it into a contest. I'm going to see how that goes and then query from there. EEP. Next up is another YA contemporary, WHAT IF I WAS NOTHING. I have a few chapters written and some plot points jotted down.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I wrote it. I mean, there are only so many different story lines out there. It's all in the way it's presented. My stories are my spin/take on an story line. Everyone sees the world in a different light and only we can tell the story from that point of view. I also like to think I have a unique voice.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I love contemporary. Simple as that. I wanted to write YA science fiction (my first MS was YA SF) but I'm not sure it's for me. I have another idea for one, but we'll see how it goes. For some reason contemporary is what fills my head. And I'm okay with that.

How does my writing process work?

Strangely enough it starts with a song. I'll have an idea or a character and then I'll hear this song and BAM! A book idea is born. It can be a song I've known for years or a song I've never heard before...either way in that moment it hits me and makes sense. I wish I was a plotter. I'm trying to be because I know it'll be so much easier but for the most part I plot as I go. I know how the book with go one to two chapters ahead of where I am with only a general idea of where the book is going to go. I am a huge fan of making a book map after I've written a rough draft to see where the book is and where it's going.

And this all happens slowly. I am a horribly slow writer. I pushed myself this summer and finished my novel within two months, writing at least 1K a day. But it drained me. I tried to pick right up into a new MS but couldn't do it. Now that WTWBs is pretty much done I can focus on WIIWN. I may not crank out 1K a day but I'll take what I get while I'm querying. I wish I were a faster writer but I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not. And that's okay because it's me.

So that's a look into my crazy writer brain. I'm tagging two of my incredibly talented CPS! Jessica Leake and Joy N. Hensley. Both have amazing books out this fall! Check out their posts next Monday!

Ready? Set. Write! Week 10


Ready? Set. Write! is a way for writers to keep in touch with each other and keep themselves accountable to the goals they set. This year it's hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk. Check out their blogs for more details and be sure to link up each week.

1). How I did on last weeks goals?

NAILED IT! Revisions for WHEN THE WIND BLOWS are DONE! Also, that query I dreaded...I have a pretty good one right now that's to a few writer friends! Two who participate in RSW (thank you ladies) and one who doesn't but might read this (so thank you).

2). My goals for this week

Read, read, read. I only managed to read one last week and it was 2/3 done when by the beginning of the week. Also fix anything my CP finds when she reads over the last 8 chapters of WTWB.

3). A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

“I can’t promise you forever, not now. But I can promise that I won’t walk away. That I’ll be here for you as long as you’ll have me. I left once, I won’t do it again. From here on out, it’s up to you.”

Grayson, the love interest in When The Wind Blows.

4). The biggest challenge I faced this week

Needing sleep. I can't tell you how many times I feel asleep with the lap top on the bed and the lights on. Oops.

5). Something I love about my WIP

That it's done. Maybe not 100%. Because is it ever? But for now, it's done. And I'm (mostly) happy with it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ready? Set. Write! Week 9


Ready? Set. Write! is a way for writers to keep in touch with each other and keep themselves accountable to the goals they set. This year it's hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk. Check out their blogs for more details and be sure to link up each week.

1). How I did on last weeks goals?

Chapter Eight and Nine completely rewritten. Books read...two and a half.

2). My goals for this week

Looks like Chapter Ten will be a completely new chapter as well. Get that done and start putting the rest of the puzzle together.

3). A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

“Sorry, I was just trying to get a better look. Won’t happen again,” I say and turn toward the beach. But before I go I look over my shoulder and back at Grayson. “Beside, I can tell when I’m not wanted.”

My main character and the love interest aren't very interested in each other at the moment. And it's sort of fun to write.

4). The biggest challenge I faced this week

Just when I thought I was done with new chapters.....over half the opening is completely new.


5). Something I love about my WIP

I'm getting super close to the sections that need to only be rearranged and revised a little. Not completely rewritten.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ready? Set. Write! 2014 Week 8


Ready? Set. Write! is a way for writers to keep in touch with each other and keep themselves accountable to the goals they set. This year it's hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk. Check out their blogs for more details and be sure to link up each week.

1). How I did on last weeks goals?

It started out only needing 2 new chapters completely written. That turned into 4...so far. But I'm on chapter eight now. Slow and steady. I did get my book reading in though. So yay.

2). My goals for this week

Revise, revise, revise.

3). A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Soul searching

4). The biggest challenge I faced this week

Writing new chapters. Two of them were completely from scratch. Like no cutting and pasting at all...so that was a ton of fun as I stared at the screen willing the words to appear. They're done though!

5). Something I love about my WIP

 The family aspects. The banter between the MC and her older, annoying brother. The connection between my MC and her twin 8-year-old cousins. The relationship between my MC and her Gramma.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Reads 2014

I've been thinking of a better way to come up with a way to keep track of all the books I've read this year and what I thought of them. Hope Katy Upperman doesn't mind I borrowed her idea! I finally went back and created a (short) blog post for each month this year showing which books I've read and briefly what I've thought about some of them. Going forward I'm going to try to do a small review of each book in one monthly post.

Started July off with a bang! I raced through 5 books in the first week. Finished off the month with eleven. I had just under a week toward the end but couldn't seem to focus on a book.

The first book I finished in July was That Summer by Sarah Dessen. This isn't my first Dessen book but it is her first book. It took me a few chapters to realize that no one was pulling out cell phones to text each other and I wondered why so I had to check the pub date. It was so weird to read a book that was published the year I started high school. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15513156-of-tritonhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12425532-of-poseidonhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18525702-of-neptune

Of Poseidon and Of Triton were re-reads for me. I finally caved and decided to end the trilogy. Thought I didn't want to. It's a bitter sweet ending. Of Poseidon was the first book I've ever seen go from an idea to a first draft to a finished book. And now it's over.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm usually not a fan of love triangles but this Dahlia did it right. I swooned for both boys by the middle of the book and couldn't pick which one the MC should go for.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18298225-on-the-fence
I read Kasie West's The Distance Between Us earlier this year and loved it. I was not disappointed by On The Fence. I love a good boy next door love interest and this one had me on the edge of my seat with the will they won't they.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15749186-to-all-the-boys-i-ve-loved-before
I won't say I loved this book right away. I picked it up a few months ago and couldn't get into it. I'm so glad I finally picked it back up. I got about a quarter of the way through it and did not want to put it down. Now I'm all Veruca Salt and I want it (PS I Still Love You) now. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/306364.Sugar_Daddy
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. To be honest, I was kind of bored and skimmed through the first two-thirds of the book. However, once it picked up, it was really entertaining. I'm not crazy about one of the characters who is the main focus in the next book, Blue Eyed Devil, but I've been told if I stick to the series my mind will change. We'll see.

Miranda's done it again! I adore the Hundred Oaks series so much. I think one of my favorite things is seeing characters from the past books make appearances in the current book. This one took me a few chapters to get the feel of it and really get into it, but once I did I wanted more and more. And I also want to take up running. Now Breathe, Annie, Breathe is right up there as one of my favorites of the series. I think it beat out Racing Savannah and is tied with Things I Can't Forget. I'm already wishing it was next July so I can get my hands on Best Day Ever.

Band camp, flirting and Florida? Was this book made for me? It definitely brought back memories from high school. Jennifer captures the essence of teen angst so well. I can't wait for the rest of the superlative series. My only issue with this book was the cover. Once again, the characters on the cover are nothing like in the book.

This is my first 2 star rating ever. I wanted to like this book. But it threw me for a loop. It was kind of predictable and it read so 2007 it hurt my eyes. The first time I read TRL I had to stop and look at the publication date. And one thing like that would have been okay but it seemed that something like that, from a bands to myspace, was on almost every page. I get why some books do this (Eleanor & Park but it was supposed to be set in the 80s) but this book didn't need it. I almost wish I had read it back when it came out. I might have had a different review.