Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blogging hiatus. Or, how I plan to finish this damn rewrite

Hello, friends and followers and people who happen upon my blog. I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I'm finally going to quit procrastinating on my rewrite. It's been a busy summer so far, and if I want to make any progress on my WIP, then something has to give.

Now for the bad news.

That something is this blog and you. What this means: I won't be blogging or commenting on blogs for the next few weeks. If you post some REALLY awesome blog posts while I'm on hiatus, please please please put a link in the comments so I can come back to them when I get back. Otherwise I will miss you all dearly!

Happy writing. Happy blogging. Happy summer!

Also, if I come back to zero links in the comments, I'm going to be one very sad panda.

Friday, June 8, 2012

On writing and music

I've discovered there are a handful of songs that really get me in the mood to work on my current project. In the past, I would just get really excited when they came up on Pandora or I'd play one of them over and over again on YouTube. But two weeks ago, I took a trip across the country. I wanted to write on the plane and I needed music--YouTube and Pandora were out of the question.

So I caved in.

I bought the songs that I love (a genius idea, I know). Now I have the playlist on my phone and can get in the mood to write anywhere. Without further ado, here is my writing playlist!

1. Comes and Goes by Greg Laswell

2. Parachute by Ingrid Michaelson

3.The Longer I Run by Peter Bradley Adams

4. Mother to the Moon by Jason Myles Goss

5. Gray or Blue by Jaymay

6. The Only Exception by Paramore

7. The Call by Regina Spektor

8. 9 Crimes by Damian Rice

There are a few others, but these are the big ones!

What about you? What are the top songs on your play list?

Badass Books: Insurgent

I've been talking about INSURGENT (by Veronica Roth) all month. I'm sure you've seen a mention of it in a blog post or two, but mostly I mean talking about it in the literal sense. Any person I know who loves YA books with badass characters, beautiful character growth, heart wrenching plot twists, and the like has had an earful of this book. As always, spoilers are in white text--highlight to read.

Summary (from Veronica Roth's website):

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Me wishing I was half as cool as Tris.

Why I read it: Um, hello? Did you read DIVERGENT? And if not, have you been living under a rock? I read the first in the series when it came out last summer, and I couldn't wait for the second. I purchased the e-book version, and read the entire book on release day. I plan to go back and re-read it so I can absorb a bit more, but even this sort of read-through was amazing. Also, INSURGENT is this month's YA Highway's Bookmobile book. So if you haven't read it--you should. There will be a live chat with Veronica Roth on May 29.

ZOMG Yes: This entire book falls into the category of ZOMG yes. That's right--the whole damn book. Veronica Roth has amazed me. Not only does INSURGENT continue the story she started with DIVERGENT, it's a completely, 100% stand-alone novel. Sure it carries on the themes and overall series plot, but it's a new story. It's fresh. It's beautiful. It's rare that I feel this way about the second book in a series. Take THE HUNGER GAMES for example. Sure, CATCHING FIRE was a separate book, but it didn't feel that much different from the first one. INSURGENT is in a category all by itself in this regard.

I think the best part of this book and the series as a whole is the growth and depth of Tris Prior (and even all the minor characters with whom I'm in love even though some of my favorites died or turned out to be traitorous bastards) is so strong throughout this book. I love her. No wait, I think I want to be her--minus all of the terrible things she has to endure to become who she is.

Oh, and the scene in chapter six I think it is--when she's in the Amity compound and they give her that injection--ZOMG YES. I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair. Well done, Veronica Roth.

Meh: Honestly? Not much made me say meh. But according to this blog post by Veronica, there were a few errors in the book. I was too caught up in the story to notice, and that's saying something.

Guys. You have to read this book. If nothing I've said so far has convinced you, Four's sheer sexiness should be enough. Five chiweenies to INSURGENT.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RTW: Best book of May

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the contributors over at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. Then readers answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: What was the best book you read in May?

I bet you can't guess. Oh wait, if I actually made that bet, I'd lose. So no betting, only book loving. As I mentioned here, here, and here--I thoroughly enjoyed INSURGENT by Veronica Roth. Ha, thoroughly enjoyed. That sounds so tame. Let me try again: ZOMG INSURGENT WAS AMAZING AHHHH!

Here's my review.

I also started the DELIRIUM series by Lauren Oliver--reading both DELIRIUM and PANDEMONIUM. I really enjoyed these books and strongly recommend them if you haven't read them. I'll have reviews up at some point in June.

And since we're on the topic of books, I cannot wait for my pre-ordered, signed copy of SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo to come in the mail. Can. Not. Wait.

What about you? What was your favorite book? What are you looking forward to this month?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Life and Love

Three years ago today, I married the love of my life. It hasn't been an easy three years, but it sure has been worth it. I'm thankful for my husband in more ways than I can even begin to count.

My relationship with him, things he says on a day basis, the way he refuses to ever let me settle, they influence a lot of the characters I write. I don't have any particular character based on him, but I think every good man I've written has a bit of my husband in him.

To another beautiful three years and many more:

What about you? How do your relationships (romantic and not) affect your writing?