Monday, June 30, 2014

RSW Update #3

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive--hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk--that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. 



1. How I did on last week’s goals
Success! I wrote for a minimum of 15 minutes every day and got a few hours in on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of 5,793 words this wek! I just crossed the 10,000 word mark and one of my major turning points.

2. My goals for this week
Sticking with last week's goal. Write every day. 
Stretch goal: I would love to be at 17,000 by next Monday (average of 1,000 words a day).
Also, I find outlining scenes before I write them helps a lot.

3. A favorite line from my story
The old wooden steps creaked under my feet and filled me with that sinking feeling that I wasn’t alone. If that ghost had followed me out of the cemetery, maybe she’d take up residence here. Then I wouldn’t have to fake a haunt.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week
I struggled with words. I wrote some pretty crappy sentences, but I had to push myself to keep going. You can't fix what you never wrote.

5. Something I love about my WIP
Best friends. Strawberry cream slushes. Murder.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Badass Books: We Were Liars

I'm still getting back into blogging, and while I should be reading over posts from Monday's RSW updates, I'm posting a book review instead. So there. 

Summary (from Goodreads):

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.



Why I read it: I spent most of the week before last at the beach (and am wishing I was still there). Everyone has been talking about We Were Liars, and it seemed like the perfect book.

ZOMG Yes! Everything about this book. I loved the characters—I loved how flawed they were and how real they were. The setting was beautiful and well-crafted. The narrative style blew me away. E. Lockhart wove these fairy tales into the story (short, italicized intros to certain chapters) as a way of dropping clues and hints. Well done.

And then the ending. Oh the ending. I won’t say anything about it beyond that, not even in white text because I was blown away. I had no expectations coming into this other than that it was excellent, and I don’t want to ruin that for anyone.

kthxbai: If you’re even remotely interested in this book, read it. I’m still thinking about it—which tells me it was a good book. You won’t regret it. If you do, well, I can’t really help you there.


Five chiweenies to E. Lockhart!

Monday, June 23, 2014

RSW: Update 2

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive--hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk--that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. 



1. How I did on last week’s goals
Horribly. But that's okay. I managed to almost finish writing one scene. That's it.

2. My goals for this week
Write every day. Even if it's just for 15 minutes.

3. A favorite line from my story
I'd never screamed so loud or so long or so desperately in my life. The sound was ripped from my lungs. It tore through my throat and burst from my mouth but the thunder and the heavy pounding of rain silenced it. I was screaming, but the noise wasn't coming out.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week
Finding time. I didn't even get a chance to visit all the blogs. With one of my best friend's weddings happening last week and me just getting back from vacation, I had a lot less time to write than I thought I did.

5. Something I love about my WIP
Revenge.

Monday, June 16, 2014

RSW: Update 1


Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive--hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk--that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. 





1. How I did on last week’s goals

Success! All goals accomplished—stretch goals included. Managed to knock out chapter one on Wednesday morning and some in the car on the way to the beach Wednesday afternoon. Wrote chapter two on Friday evening when we were taking a sun break. Outlined the next scene on Saturday at the pool!

2. My goals for this week

I would like to outline and write five scenes this week. I used to do word count goals, but I’m trying something new to see if I have better success! 

3. A favorite line from my story

She was death itself, come to claim me, to pull me from this world and never let me return, to rip away my peace my hope my chance to say goodbye.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week

My final stretch goal: outlining the first scene of the third chapter. I’m trying to be a little more of a planner this time around. It’s hard for me, but I think it’s actually making  my writing better.

5. Something I love about my WIP

Ghosts, friendships, and snarky remarks.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ready. Set. Write! Kick-Off Post

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive--hosted by Katy Upperman, Alison MillerJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk--that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.



First: I'm so thankful these lovely ladies are hosting this yet again! Last year I was able to finish the rewrite of the current manuscript I'm querying. This year? I'd like to write an initial draft of my latest shiny new idea: a ghost story!

So in the spirit of focusing on writing rather than blogging, I'll keep this short and sweet. I have a bachelorette party that kicks of Wednesday, so I won't be able to get in a whole lot of writing. What I'd like to accomplish is to write the first chapter for my new WIP. Stretch goal: write chapter two and then outline the next one.

Let's do this!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bad Ass Books: The Killing Woods

First, this review is a little overdue. My blogging has been sporadic at best over the past couple of months. Hoping this summer is better for writing and blogging both, but I did want to share my thoughts on this book so here we go.

Summary (from Goodreads):


Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.



Why I Read It: A while back, I saw a number of people mention this book in tandem with Dangerous Girls. I read Dangerous Girls and absolutely loved it, so I picked up The Killing Woods.

ZOMG YES! The opening chapter for this book is amazing. And I liked the mystery part, too. You want to believe Emily's dad is innocent, and you're pretty certain he is (or at least I was)...because if he's not well that just sort of sucks. So I liked following along to learn who it was.

This was also a pretty quick read for me--easy to get into and follow along. While there were some characters I really wanted more from...characters that I thought would have been better from a romance perspective, overall I enjoyed this read. But...

Let's Be Honest: Ok so most of this section is in white. For this next bit, I'm not giving any spoilers, but I am talking about the end of the mystery, so please read on only if you really want to.

I wasn't satisfied with the end of this book. It felt a little gimicky to me. I did figure out who did it, but I didn't figure out the why/how part. Still, I think I would have enjoyed it more if the ending had been far more sinister. Not sure what that says about me. 

Alright this next section is true spoiler, so don't read it if you don't want to know. It has to do with the romance.

I wasn't a fan of the Emily/Damon relationship. I got that they had a lot in common, and while I liked that they were able to work through that, I'm just not sure it's believable to me that she would fall for a guy who hated her father so much. Of course, she had those questions too, which I liked.

All that to say, I enjoyed reading this because I'm working on a mystery, so it was good research. I really don't like being negative in reviews, because I write. I know what it's like to put so much into a story. But I also want to be honest. This wasn't my favorite book. That being said--if you like unexpected romances, murder, and mayhem, it's a good quick read.

Did you read this book? What did you think?