Monday, June 27, 2011

Isn't It Good...

This past weekend was fantastic as far as getting some good writing time in. I was super motivated to write, so write I did! My new WIP is now nearing the 10,000 word mark, with about 3,000 of those words brand spankin' new as of Saturday. I'm starting to feel the story unravel as I write it. I'm not worried anymore about the things I was questioning so much in the beginning. I'm just allowing it to come out as I write it. I'm already attached to my characters and I can't wait to get back to them. I was so concerned at first about how it was all going to come together...but I just have to tell you guys, sometimes when I get going even I don't know where I'm pulling this shizz from. Someone once asked me in regards to my last story "How do you come up with so many words?" My honest answer is: I don't know. I don't know where they come from, but they need to get out. And plus, making stuff up is just so much fun. You really should try it sometime.

A little sidenote: my inspiration for this book is the song Norweigan Wood by the Beatles. You'll see it pop up from time to time in the story, specifically these lyrics from it:

I once had a girl
or should I say
She once had me

And when I awoke, I was alone
this bird had flown

That's really all I can say about that at the moment...I actually haven't even worked that into the story yet, but it's coming. Very soon.

Anyway. So my motivation to write this weekend soared. My motivation to run, however, was non-existant. I'm not sure I mentioned here before, but I started training (well, I use the word "training" pretty loosely) to run a 5K- my goal is to be able to run at the Race for the Cure in September. I've been doing the Couch to 5K program for the past 3 weeks- I did week 2 a couple extra times. I had planned on running this weekend, but um, yea. Didn't happen. I'm going to hit the treadmill this afternoon and start week's not going to be pretty. I'm starting to feel the urge to give up on it, quite honestly, and just go back to the elliptical and pilates. I've never been a runner (I can't even count the one year I ran hurdles on the track team in high school, because I sucked so hard) and I'm not sure why I think I can start it up now in my old age. Running and me...well, we just don't click.

Happy thought of the day: Lending friends books I love so, so much. I just handed over Jellicoe Road this morning...that book almost damn near killed me. I love it so. Sweethearts is next for you, Patti! :o)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading List

You guys, I am never short on books to read. If my stack starts to get low, I head immediately to Half Priced Books or Amazon and start buying more. It's a little bit of a sickness, I know. And now that I got my Nook the sky's the limit. I can check out new authors who are selling their novels at a steal of a price- usually under $5- a marvelous idea to get your work out there, I think. Also I can download my favorite authors for a lot cheaper than buying a physical copy, AND I can download books from the library! Although I have to say, my library's eBook selection is not so great yet...but hopefully they'll be adding more and more.

Anyway. I thought I would take a moment to share some of the books I plan on delving into this summer. These are all books sitting in my stack at home, or books I plan on buying/getting from the library. Some are just coming out, some have been out forever, but regardless I plan on getting to 'em! And yes, the majority of this list is with it.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater - I devoured the first two books in the Shiver series this winter. Stiefvater's writing about a girl and her love for a boy-wolf (not really a werewolf, per se, just a boy who turns wolf when the temperature drops) is beautiful and poetic and you can't help but be drawn right in. Forever comes out in July, and is the conclusion to the trilogy. This is definitely one I'm buying a hard copy of to complete my series.

Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - I. Love. John. Green. I don't honestly know what it is about his books- they just have the perfect blend of humor and sincerity. I laugh, I cry, I laugh some more, and just generally enjoy every word. The characters are so believable- I feel like I've known people just like everyone he describes. So yea. Can't wait to read more of his stuff.

Matched by Allie Condie - This will be the first book I've read by Condie, so I don't have anything to compare it to. It's set in the future, where your perfect mate is picked for you via a matching ceremony. A computer glitch causes the main character to wonder if her match was get the idea.

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han This is the second book in Han's "Summer" trilogy, and I read the first one back in the fall. It was a lovely little YA romance in a beach setting- I'm figuring the second one will be just as lovely for me to read while I'm on the beach. I don't actually own this one yet, but plan on downloading it before I head out on vacation. I just love books set on summer vacations...a setting I will surely use in one of my own books one day.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - I have to admit, Oliver's other book that I read this spring, Before I Fall, was a bit of a downer and a frustrating read. But that didn't mean I could put it down. I was completely sucked in to the story, regardless of how much I wanted to punch the main character in the neck. Delirium is completely different though- it's a dystopian, set in the future where you're given a "cure" when you turn 18 so you don't ever fall in love- falling in love = pain and scientists have eradicated it. Very interesting concept...

And now a couple non-YA:

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - I've read all of Weiner's other books, and this is one I actually bought for my last vacation and never got around to reading. Too many good YA books got in the way, I guess. I hope to finally get to this one this summer- although I remember feeling her last book was just "eh".

My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster Jen's (I feel like she's my friend, so we're on a first name basis here) books are HI-freaking-LARIOUS. I've kinda been putting off reading this one because her latest is fiction and not autobiographical, so I want to hold on to this one for a while. Although I'm sure her foray into fiction is going to be awesomely funny too.

You'd think that many books would get me through the summer, eh? It might...but probably not.

Happy thought of the day: Ok, well this really isn't a "thought", but it still cracks me up- every morning when I'm making the bed, Stewie dives under the throw blanket on the end and "hides". Then we play peek-a-boo for a minute. This happens pretty much every. single. day. and it never gets old.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No. Just...No.

So I'm totally late in posting my reaction to this batshit crazy article that ran last weekend in the Wall Street Journal. I'm not sure if I had to take the time to gather my thoughts on it or what, but...yea.

As someone who's a HUGE fan of Young Adult fiction, I am completely shocked by this article. A quick synopsis: apparently, this lady went to Barnes and Noble to buy her daughter a book, and she was just appalled at all the terrible, dark and scary books that are out there for teen readers these days. There was, and I quote, "nothing, not a thing" that she felt she could give to her daughter- "It was all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff."

Excuse me? So apparently this B&N doesn't carry any John Green or Sarah Dessen or Meg Cabot? Really? REALLLLLY?

So then the writer of the article goes on to say that all these books dealing with self-mutilation, abuse, depression, homosexuality- in other words, all things that HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD, are basically going to open doors for kids who otherwise would be blind to such topics. That "books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures." I suppose she also may think that a group of kids aged 13-18 may end up in the streets fighting to the death for our amusement just because the Hunger Games is so popular.

Look, bad things are out there (ok, well maybe not vampires, but still). And kids are going to experience some of these said bad things, regardless of whether or not there are books about them. I find it slightly hysterical to think that the lady looking for a book for her teen daughter really, truly believes that her daughter has lived THAT sheltered of a life. Provided she does, in fact, go to a regular high school. I think that kids can actually find comfort in these types of "dark" books- just knowing you're not alone in your suffering can make all the difference.

Anyway, so yes, there are books out there for young adults that cover "dark" topics. But there are also TONS of books out there that are light-hearted, funny and still manage to have a message (I'm looking at you, my new-favorite-author John Green).

I'm not saying the writer of the article isn't allowed to have her own opinion on teen literature. I'm just saying, perhaps she should actually, I don't know, READ some of it.

I'm actually too annoyed now to do a happy thought for the day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Slacker No More

Yikes, my last post was May 17th? Doesn't seem like it's been over two weeks since I posted...time is just flying by these days! Probably because it's finally SUMMER.

We kicked off the start of my second favorite season (fall is my favorite favorite, sorry summer) with a cookout Memorial Day weekend. So I spent some time getting ready for that- shopping, cleaning, setting up the house, etc. It's pretty much our one big party of the year, since it's too hard to do stuff at our place when the weather is crappy (our parking situation blows). We had a good turnout and I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time. Lots of food and cornhole and drinks, as per yoosh.

Then I actually FINALLY got some writing done on Monday. Like, a good, solid two+ hours of writing. I'm super excited for this one, too, and can't wait to get some initial reactions from my trusty readers. Of course the beginning will probably change a few times before it's done DONE, but I definitely would like some feedback to see if I'm going in the right direction. I believe I have around 7000 words, or about 3-4 chapters, so far. Clearly I have a long way to go, but it's awesome to be excited about writing again. I just burned myself out on In My Mind's Eye towards the end there.

In other news, I splurged and bought myself Barnes & Noble's ereader, the Nook! They were having a super sale on the first editions since the second edition is coming out now, so I couldn't resist- I've wanted an ereader for awhile. The best thing about this one is that I can borrow books from the library on it! I already borrowed my first one, too (Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, my new favorite author) and can't wait to start reading it. If anyone else has a Nook and has any tips or would like to share books (when I finally purchase some, that is), let me know!

Happy thought of the day: Flip flop season!