Monday, August 31, 2015

RSW Wrap-up: August 31, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Katy Upperman. We check in every Monday and conclude on August 31.




So first: Thank you once again to Alison, Jaime, Erin, Elodie, and Katy for hosting this. Without you guys, there's no way I'd have finished the first draft of my MS this summer. And thank you to everyone for stopping by with your encouragement. What an awesome summer for writing!

  1. WRITE ALL THE WORDS!
    I finished my current WIP, which is Beauty and the Beast meets Edgar Allen Poe. Set in 1800's Savannah, Ga. I'm also about halfway through putting together my revisions checklist!
  2. READ ALL THE WORDS! I read Code Name Verity, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Between Shades of Gray, The Wrath and the Dawn, Things We Know By Heart, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Saint Anything and Darkness Brutal this summer plus two beta reads. So that's a huge success for me!
  3. DO ALL THE MOVES!
    I finally figured out a workout routine that works with my schedule and my body. And I'm seeing results--so that's awesome.

Onto my manuscript!

As I mentioned earlier, it's sort of a Beauty and the Beast meets Edgar Allen Poe. So it's twisty and scary but also romantic. Plus, there's magic. Here's my inspiration board on Pinterest. I'll actually be taking a trip to Savannah in October with some of my girlfriends so do a little research (and a lot of drinking) to fill out this story.

Here's an excerpt from the first page:

1880
Savannah, Georgia

Moonlight scattered through the moss hanging from the cemetery’s trees, casting a crisscross of light over the resting place of the dead. Fog settled on the grass. It hovered over freshly fallen leaves, freshly turned soil, a shadow in itself, but not the only shadow that moved among the graves.

Tonight, the darkness roamed. Tonight, the darkness was a woman.

She rose high above the ground—five, six, seven feet tall—a small bundle in one arm. She glided past the newly dead, deeper into the night, trailing shadow-born fingers across crumbling tombstones.

As the moon slipped behind a cloud, she knelt and placed her prey before her. The child’s chest rose and fell, but she was lost in her mortality, comforted only by her dreams. 

For my manicure, I chose a dark gray. In some lights it looks black, in others like storm clouds. So basically it's the perfect color for my story.



Monday, August 24, 2015

RSW Check-in: August 24, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Katy Upperman. We check in every Monday and conclude on August 31.

My goals for the summer:

  1. WRITE ALL THE WORDS!
    Finish my current WIP, which is Beauty and the Beast meets Edgar Allen Poe. Set in 1800's Savannah, Ga.
  2. READ ALL THE WORDS! I currently have several books on hold at the library as e-books. Should I get to the top of the list for all of them this summer, I'd like to finish them. These include Code Name Verity, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, Between Shades of Gray, The Wrath and the Dawn, Things We Know By Heart, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and Saint Anything.
  3. DO ALL THE MOVES!
    Now that I'm in a much less stressful work environment, I'm finally making time for me again. By the end of the summer I'd like to be up to 4 days of working out each week!

How I did on last week’s goals:
Read: I didn't read anything. I've almost made it through my summer reading list, but haven't been able to get P.S. I Still Love You. 
Write: Major big huge success. Draft one complete! Making progress on my revision check-list!
Move: 3 days

My goal(s) for this week:
Read: Read P.S. I Still Love You so I can check off my reading goal!
Write: Stretch goal: Finish my revisions check-list before the end of August!
Move: Exercise 4 days. 

A favorite line from my story:

“It ain’t only what you’ve seen, miss,” he said. “Two nights ago we found a girl’s body among the graves.” He could still remember the deep gash in her throat, the lifeless eyes that seemed not afraid in death but angry, ready to kill. “Wasn’t a pretty sight.”

The biggest challenge I faced this week:
Reading the beginning of this draft. Guys, it needs a lot of work.

Something I love about my WIP:
It just keeps surprising me.


Monday, August 17, 2015

RSW Check-in: August 17, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Katy Upperman. We check in every Monday and conclude on August 31.

My goals for the summer:

  1. WRITE ALL THE WORDS!
    Finish my current WIP, which is Beauty and the Beast meets Edgar Allen Poe. Set in 1800's Savannah, Ga.
  2. READ ALL THE WORDS! I currently have several books on hold at the library as e-books. Should I get to the top of the list for all of them this summer, I'd like to finish them. These include Code Name Verity, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, Between Shades of Gray, The Wrath and the Dawn, Things We Know By Heart, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and Saint Anything.
  3. DO ALL THE MOVES!
    Now that I'm in a much less stressful work environment, I'm finally making time for me again. By the end of the summer I'd like to be up to 4 days of working out each week!

How I did on last week’s goals:
Read: I read like the first page of Orphan Queen
Write: Not nearly enough. Rough week for writing.
Move: 3 days

My goal(s) for this week:
Read: Continue Orphan Queen
Write: I'm pretty damn close to the end. I'd like to finish this draft if I can.
Move: Exercise 4 days. 

A favorite line from my story:
He opened up his arms to her, and she didn’t hesitate to fall into his embrace. When he held her, it felt as if their bodies fit together, as if they belonged that way. But more than the rightness of it, it felt as though he needed her to stay grounded, to keep from slipping away.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:
Self-doubt.

Something I love about my WIP:
The setting.

Monday, August 10, 2015

RSW Check-in: August 9, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Katy Upperman. We check in every Monday and conclude on August 31.

My goals for the summer:

  1. WRITE ALL THE WORDS!
    Finish my current WIP, which is Beauty and the Beast meets Edgar Allen Poe. Set in 1800's Savannah, Ga.
  2. READ ALL THE WORDS! I currently have several books on hold at the library as e-books. Should I get to the top of the list for all of them this summer, I'd like to finish them. These include Code Name Verity, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, Between Shades of Gray, The Wrath and the Dawn, Things We Know By Heart, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and Saint Anything.
  3. DO ALL THE MOVES!
    Now that I'm in a much less stressful work environment, I'm finally making time for me again. By the end of the summer I'd like to be up to 4 days of working out each week!

How I did on last week’s goals:
Read: Finished Darkness Brutal (review here), still need to post my review for Saint Anything
Write: 6,802 words (almost 2k more than I'd hoped!) Thank GOD for peer pressure.
Move: Four days of cardio+strength!

My goal(s) for this week:
Read: I haven't decided what I'm in the mood for this week. So first goal is to pick a new book!
Write: 4,750 words added to my WIP
Move: Exercise 4 days. 

A favorite line from my story:
He flexed his fingers, strong and sturdy but already changing. The shadow’s claws showed through where the man’s fingernails had once been, the whites of his eyes completely swallowed by the darkness. Even his once-blond hair had turned black.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:
I'm in the middle of writing the climax, and I always take FOREVER to write those scenes. 

Something I love about my WIP:
Third person omniscient. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Badass Books: Darkness Brutal

As I've been in between holds at the library for my summer reading list, I'm also working through books I've pre-ordered or have in my Kindle library waiting for me. This week: Darkness Brutal by Rachel Anne Marks.



Summary (from Goodreads):
Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.

In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.

With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?

Why I read it: I actually heard about this lovely bit of urban fantasy from my agent, Rena Rossner. She's also Rachel Anne Marks' agent. And I figured, Rena has good taste so it must be good! I was not disappointed.

ZOMG Yes! For me, Darkness Brutal was what I wished so many of the urban fantasies I've read had been. It's got all the things you want--angels and demons and magic and brooding guys. But it's also got more. Rather than just being tied to Catholic theology (I feel like a lot of urban fantasies fall into this boat), we get some good pulls from Judaism.

Beyond that, I really enjoyed the characters. I had a hard time putting this book down because of them. They each have their faults and vulnerabilities, but they also have a lot of fight in them.

kthxbai I think my favorite thing about this story, though, was the way all of the magic and theology was blended so well together without feeling like someone just said "lets throw it all in!" Definitely pick this up! Then you can wait with me for the sequel :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

RSW Check-In: August 3, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Katy Upperman. We check in every Monday and conclude on August 31.

My goals for the summer:

  1. WRITE ALL THE WORDS!
    Finish my current WIP, which is Beauty and the Beast meets Edgar Allen Poe. Set in 1800's Savannah, Ga.
  2. READ ALL THE WORDS! I currently have several books on hold at the library as e-books. Should I get to the top of the list for all of them this summer, I'd like to finish them. These include Code Name Verity, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, Between Shades of Gray, The Wrath and the Dawn, Things We Know By Heart, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and Saint Anything.
  3. DO ALL THE MOVES!
    Now that I'm in a much less stressful work environment, I'm finally making time for me again. By the end of the summer I'd like to be up to 4 days of working out each week!

How I did on last week’s goals:

Read: Not so much. I ended up starting a different book then did some beta reading--so still successful!
Write: 4,800 words! Success
Move: One yoga class and a few walks.

My goal(s) for this week:
Read: Finish Darkness Brutal (the book I started when stuck getting the engine mounts on my car repaired)
Write: 4,750 words added to my WIP
Move: Exercise 4 days. 

A favorite line from my story:
Again, names redacted. Sorry.

A shadow tore through the room like a gale, extinguishing [redacted]'s lamp.

A hand gripped tight around [redacted]'s neck with nails sharp enough to cut clear through her throat and sever her head from her body. She pulled at the fingers as they clenched tighter and tighter, but the monster held firm, her own hands slipping through the shadow. Stars spotted her already-dark vision as she struggled to breath.

The monster pressed its mouth to hers and breathed. Darkness poured into [redacted]'s mouth like slick oil, but it stopped on her tongue, sizzled, and faded out.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:
Some personal stuff I don't really want to blog about plus the car engine mounts dying.

Something I love about my WIP:
It's scary. And I like that.