Category Archives: Recent Reads

ROW80 Recap Post (or: Most Boring Post Title Ever)

Yeah… no WIPpet Wednesday this week. Sorry, guys.

But I will give you this teaser snippet. I’ve got a short story almost ready for you. Some of you saw a pre-edit draft here a while back. Others will find it completely new. Either way, it’ll be my gift to you (at least until it eventually goes Amazon exclusive and I have to charge a whole 99 cents for it).

Coming soon.

bindingteaser1

 

Okay, on to the looking back bit.

Goal #1: Finish drafting Bound Trilogy Book Three

COMPLETED. I flew through that one faster than anything I’ve drafted before, thanks to better outlining than I usually do. I was pleased to find that there was plenty of room for surprises… maybe a little too much, as the draft currently sits at 130,000 words. Good words, but still.

I’m exactly half-way through revisions now.

 

Goal #2: Self-edit Torn one more time before it goes for professional edits.

COMPLETED. My beta readers had wonderful suggestions for me, and I incorporated most of them. Editor J.E. took the book a week ago, and last I heard is making good progress. It’s kind of a crazy time of year, and I hope he’s taking Christmas off, but I’m feeling hopeful about getting this thing back in early January and getting back to work on it.

And then we might just get a release date. And plan pre-orders. And, and, and…

 

Goal #3: Short Story

Okay, I’d hoped to have it out for Christmas, but a) it’s not exactly a feel-good Christmas cheer thing, and b) distribution is pretty much shut down most places for the holidays, so it can wait a little longer. But it’s edited, I made a cover (sorry guys–can’t do my regular artist for a free story!), it’s formatted, and it’s ready to go. I’m calling this COMPLETED.

 

Other Goals:

Listen to two podcasts a week – not even close.

Beta reading – COMPLETED

Other reading – I read several books. Besides the beta reading, I finished Behind the Scenes (Dahlia Adler), The Virgin Cure (Ami McKay), Blink (Malcolm Gladwell), Moon Bound (Sylvia Frost), Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), Here Be Dragons: Strange Creatures of Newfoundland and Labrador (Bruce Hynes), and am making my way through UnSouled (Neil Schusterman). All great books.

I should really do a review of The Virgin Cure on here, or a more complete one on Goodreads, but I haven’t recovered yet. Seriously, so good.

Didn’t read a writing-related book (still can’t get into Writing 21st Century Fiction a year after I bought it), but I asked for Save the Cat for Christmas. Fingers crossed.

Audiobook release – we did a giveaway, it was fun. I still haven’t managed to listen to the whole thing yet, myself. It’s nothing against the production or the actors, I just can’t do audiobooks. They sound so different from how I read in my head. That said, I still have a few copies for people who love them… we’ll have to have that as a party prize at the Torn release party. 😀

Use Duolingo to learn French – I actually forgot about this. The boys lost the iPad for a few weeks, and I got off track. Better get back to it.

 

So there we have it. Not all complete successes, but I hit all of the big ones and won NaNoWriMo.

We’ll see what comes next round. 🙂

Link back below to your wrap-up posts if you’ve been participating! I want to come say hi.

 

 

 


WIPpet Wednesday: Awkwarrrrrd

Okay, let’s start with a confession: I’m sharing from a project that’s technically on hold. Much as I love Cat and her story, I have worldbuilding issues there that I need to work through, and I promised my editor I’d try to get some more pre-editing done on Torn, so that’s what I’m doing.

Sparrowhawk & Son is still a work in progress, though, so here we go. Catalen has been forced by her new employer to have a medical exam done. She’s not too happy about the idea, but she’s been promised that she won’t be poked or prodded.

6 paragraphs (3+1+2 for 3/12)

 

No poking or prodding, my ass. I should have specified that personal questions make me as uncomfortable as physical examinations do. My eye isn’t the only secret I’d prefer to keep.

This room is cold, and not exactly private. Sure, the doctor pulled a curtain around the bed so no one can see me, but the nurses’ hushed murmurs drift through from outside. They can sure as hell hear me.

“Are you sexually active?” The doctor is this roundish old guy with a skinny neck who reminds me of a turkey I once saw.

I shrug, and the open-backed gown they’ve got me wearing slips down my shoulder. “I’m not sexually passive.”

He looks at me over the top of his glasses. “I’ll just mark yes. Any chance you’re pregnant?”

“I’m promiscuous, not stupid,” I tell him. He gives me that look again, and I sigh. “I’m always careful, okay? Always.”

 

For anyone new here, WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by KL Schwengel where we (the WIPpeteers) share a snippet from a work in progress that relates to the day’s date in some way. For more entries, see here–there’s usually a good range of genres, and often work that’s more polished than my first draftishness here. Want to join in? Post to your blog, link back on the linkamajigger, and be sure to visit and comment on other people’s posts.

Apologies to anyone I missed last week (which is everyone who posted after late Wednesday afternoon, I think). Not having my laptop stinks, especially when we’re away for the weekend. :/

—–

ROW80 Update

On to A round of Words in 80 Days, which I keep forgetting to link back to on their blog. Oh, well. Still nice to have some accountability, even if it’s just in my head.

It’s been an interesting week.

Writing:

First thing: I pulled off that NaNoWriMo win before we went away. Just barely, but I did it. Between that and my insane month-and-a-bit before that of drafting Bound book 3, I’ve written about 130,000 words of first drafts since the end of September. Not a lot for some people, but I’m pooped. Never mind the two weeks of editing I did in there… yeah.

Editing:

I’m not sure how to say this. We’ve hit a series of small snags on Torn. Nothing to panic about. It’s just that my editor can’t take it until a bit later than estimated (not his fault, just the way things worked out. These things happen). On top of that, I might not even be able to see his notes until the new year. Why? Remember how my laptop died, so I have to use my old desktop? Turns out it’s too old to run the current version of Microsoft Office (or the current version of Windows), so I can’t put Word on it to see Track Changes. No, I didn’t have Word installed on it before, because I use Scrivener and kind of hate Word.

I can’t get my laptop fixed until I get it into FutureShop (hi, pricey service plan!), which means a 4 hour trip to St John’s. I tried to order a mac laptop (which I need anyway) as a replacement. It would have been perfect. Delivery by December 10, a more reliable computer, everything I need…

OOPS, they won’t deliver to a PO box, and we don’t have home delivery. Wait… I need to find out whether I can get that with expedited shipping.

I’m rambling. Sorry.

Just frustrated. And none too happy with Microsoft, either. *glares*

BUT… I’m still moving ahead, and currently using AutoCrit to catch repeated words and other issues to try to save time on editing later. You’d think at this point that I’d notice when I’ve used “hideous” twice in one paragraph, but it’s all a blur to me. And it’s so rewarding when they tell me “nice job!” for not having any dialogue tag-related adverbs in a chapter.

“YAY, ME!” she shouted shoutily. Oops.

Please wish me luck in either getting my computer fixed, getting a new one, or finding a hard copy of an old version of Word.

 

Reading

Started Deathmaker (Dragon Blood Book 2) by Lindsay Buroker, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been having a lot of trouble really becoming immersed in books lately, but this one did it for me on a long car ride in a way that nothing else I sampled over the weekend did. It’s book 2 of a series (not sure how that happened, but it was on my Kindle), but I didn’t have any trouble getting into it. Good story so far. I did have a moment of “Aaaah, crap” yesterday when they announced something to do with gem power (which is what they use in Sparrowhawk & Son), but hey. It’s all been done before, and I’m sure there are major differences. It’s just a jolt when you see a concept/idea/familiar bit of action from your work in someone else’s.

Anyway, I think I’m going to need to pick up more of Lindsay Buroker’s work if the story ends as well as it starts. Really great stuff. And for writer types, especially independent authors (or author-publishers, or whatever term you prefer), her blog is a fantastic resource.

I also wish I was as prolific as she is. Maybe some day, but I don’t think I’ll ever be “finished first draft at beginning of November, publish the book by Christmas” fast, even on shorter books. I need more time than that. So jealous, though…

More ROW80 here.

 

 


ROW80 Update- Receding Waters Edition

*Enters blog space, collapses into comfy chair*

Well, we’re home. Just two weeks after I first posted about our basement flooding, we’re pretty well back in business. The problems with the septic system were far more extensive than anyone suspected at first, including a bad installation 12 years ago and collapsed pipes under a neighbour’s yard. The guys fixing it had to dig a trench across the yard next door… and the house beyond that (and their driveway)… and across Main Street before the problem was totally fixed, but they did it.

We have working toilets. We have hot water. Our washer and dryer survived. The flood waters have left us, the guys cut out the bottom section of drywall everywhere to prevent mold, the floors are reasonably cleaned and disinfected.

And best of all, we don’t own this house. I think seeing the bill for all of this would be the end of me.

I think the only one who’s sad to see the end of the water is this guy:

20140426-162709.jpg

He made me laugh when I found him swimming around the basement like he owned the place. Gotta laugh when you can, right?

We spent a few nights with AJ’s parents, then a few with mine, then another with AJ’s parents before we got the all clear to move home. But it was good timing, really. Not only had I just finished my “no heavy lifting for a week” rule after surgery when it came time to hoist appliances, but the kids had last week off of school. At least all of this kept them busy.

So now I need to get back to work. I’ve edited a few chapters in recent nights after the kids have gone to bed, sitting at the dining room table and trying to concentrate. I’m finding that it’s hard to get started every time*, but once I get the document opened and start, things are going well.

No promises on release dates or anything right now, but right now it’s still looking like June or early July. Thank you to everyone who has offered to help with cover reveal/release/ARC stuff already. Youse all is the metaphorical bomb.

I can’t really set my office up the way it used to be, what with the guys coming back some time in the next month to finish the walls. Still, I worked hard yesterday to set up a place to work, and since the kids aren’t allowed to play in the basement right now, I kind of have privacy. I miss my bookshelves, but at least the desk survived.

 

20140426-162744.jpg

Check out the bottom– you can see exactly how deep the water got in my office (the high spot in the basement) after I took the drawers and fled.

So that’s my update.

Oh, and I didn’t set reading goals this round, but last week I read “Write, Publish, Repeat” by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. It was an excellent read with very non-gimmicky advice on indie publishing, and was entertaining and encouraging without promising the moon. Sometimes it’s incredibly comforting to hear, “yes, you have to work like a dog, but you can do this” instead of “FOLLOW THESE TIPS AND RAKE IN THE DOUGH” (which is always BS, in my experience). I like their ideas on product funnels and on balancing the art and business aspects of writing. Definitely worth the $5 price tag.

There we go. Updated. Now that I have my space back (sort of), I just need to find the time to work in it.

*This has nothing to do with the situation… this is just how I am. I sit down to work, and my brain starts searching for distractions. They make a pill for that, don’t they? :/


Wednesday Stuff: Icy Cold Edition

IMG_4734

It’s been a little chilly. Most of our snow melted last week, which was simply grand, but then everything kind of iced over.

IMG_4732

Everything.

Pretty, but slippery. I nearly killed myself getting these pictures, so I figured I might as well share them with all of you.

Okay, on to WIPpet Wednesday. Edits on Bound are still progressing, if slowly at times. Not to jinx anything, but we’re on schedule as far as that goes.

*waits for roof to crash in and exploditate the computer*

No?

Good. So here’s a snippet from Rowan’s POV in chapter 22, because I’m playing by the rules. But it’s a short one, because spoilers and good times abound, and I’d hate to ruin anything. We’re walking in on the middle of a fight, here.

I hesitated for a moment and felt some of my anger leave me, but my heart continued to pound. “You don’t think you can want something and still be afraid of it?”

His mouth twitched. “No, you can, and you should. What you’re saying no to is better than you can imagine. This decision should be so easy. You have until tomorrow to decide what you—”

I stepped closer again. “I don’t need until tomorrow. I know what I want.”

I know what she wants, too. Whether I let her have it is another question.

#DrunkOnPower #GodComplex #EvilGrin #IveHadTooMuchCoffeeToday

For anyone not in the know, WIPpet Wednesday is when we share a snippet of a work in progress relating in some way to the day’s date. The group is always growing. Take a look here, and then feel free to join in! And if you want updates on that there story (in which I never once use the phrase “that there,” FYI), feel free to add your name to the mailing list for updates and other fun stuff. Next edition (April-ish) will have news on ARCs, cover reveals, and publication dates.

On to ROW80, then!

Editing: As I said, not too bad. I stalled over the weekend, but things are moving again.

Reading: Haven’t had time. I know that’s sad, but there you have it. Well, I read a good chunk of a romance novel, but I’m giving up on it. I don’t believe that this woman (or anyone) would fall for the guy. He’s an alpha male with no redeeming qualities except for what she’s projected onto him (and massive junk, because they always have that, don’t they?). I just KNOW her love will redeem him in the end, but I don’t think I’ll be sticking around to see it.

Life: I was supposed to see a chiropractor today, but he got the flu and had to reschedule for Thursday. I was disappointed, but what can you do? I went out and got groceries, anyway. And walked the dog. So that’s something.

Oh, and the snow came back.

20140121-213525.jpg

And on that note…

Thanks for stopping by!


He Looks Like What?!

So here I am, reading “Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight into it” and having a grand old time. I like Eris a lot (maybe partly because she reminds me so much of me), and Michelle Proulx has managed to create a male… well, I don’t know what he is. He’s certainly antagonistic, but something tells me he’s not going to end up being the enemy, so… prantagonist. That’s what he is. Anyway, he might be even less likeable than mine, which pleases me greatly. Why go half-way, right?

The book is a YA sci-fi, which means lots and lots of ALIENS. Obviously an author isn’t going to spend pages describing every detail of every creature we run into; that would be boring, and to my mind unnecessary. If it’s not important to my understanding of the story, I like to be given a few details to sketch a character in my mind, and then be allowed to fill in the rest myself. Tell me a character is deadly attractive and give me a few details; let me decide the rest for myself.

This book is a good example of that approach, but it’s made me consider a question I’ve asked myself before: how do the characters in my mind match up with the ones in the author’s?

This goes for any book. It’s one of the reasons I get nervous when a favourite book is being turned into a movie or TV mini-series (hi there, Under the Dome!); there’s no way all of the actors will look like they do in my head, and it ruins it a bit for me.

I drew a sketch of one of the characters from Imminent Danger, Miguri. He’s described as humanoid, 3 feet tall, brown-skinned, with massive blue eyes and a mop of white hair, plus a huge white, furry tail. He wears a brown, knee-length, belted tunic. Also, Eris thinks he looks like a cross between a monkey and a garden gnome, which kind of tickled me. And this is what came to mind:

20130322-133548.jpg

I didn’t say it was a GOOD sketch 😉

It’s a great description, isn’t it? But I’d be willing to bet money that Michelle Proulx’s mental image of Miguri is nothing like mine. There were still blanks to be filled in, weren’t there? Ear shape, for one. My mind made them big and pointy, I don’t know why. Face shape is another; I guess what I see in my mind came from the monkey thing. Even the shape of the milky-white gem on his belt and the way that it’s hanging are probably off; I picture a smooth, round gem, but in the author’s mind it could be cut and polished.

I like that. It’s like a collaboration between writer and reader, and something new is created every time a different person reads a story.

I also wonder what people think my characters look like, the ones I’ve created. I tend to lean toward less description; Rowan has auburn hair and grey eyes, fact. I know exactly what she looks like in my mind, but does it really matter if someone else pictures her differently? Not so much. Aren gets a bit more description as Rowan notices things about him, but again the details are up to the reader to fill in. Does it affect the story if I think Rowan has a few freckles? Not unless Aren notices them when it’s his turn to speak. Then it matters… but he generally has other things on his mind.

Likewise for creatures. I don’t have a plethora of aliens to describe, but I have critters and creatures. My horses are rather unusual, so they get a few extra lines of description, but when a dog appears and I say “brown shaggy mutt,” you guys can feel free to give him floppy ears or straight as you see fit. Heck, give him white socks and a black patch over one eye. Have fun with it.

Stephen King says a little about this in On Writing, and if you haven’t read that one, I highly recommend it. He’s an author who tends to give very little physical description of characters unless it’s important to the story (or his POV character is observing it), but I’ve never had trouble picturing his characters in my mind.

One other note, while we’re on the topic: do you guys remember when they revealed the casting for the Hunger Games movie, and there were people who were outraged that Rue was being played by a black girl? Oh, the horror. -_-  How dare they use this beloved character to promote some kind of… Well, I don’t even remember what the arguments were, I tuned them out, they all sounded like assholes. Basically, people thought it was political, and were for some reason upset about racial diversity.

Guess what?

“She has bright, dark eyes and satiny brown skin…”

The Hunger Games, chapter 7, page 98 in my edition. Quoted.

It doesn’t matter how you describe your characters, people are going to see what they want to see in their minds. If I pictured Miguri as a fluffy, pink-haired, horse-faced, 7-foot-tall thing with nifty shoes… that would be really weird, but I doubt the author would lose any sleep over it.

What do you guys think? When you’re reading, do you see characters clearly in your mind? Do you prefer more description, or less? When (and if) you’re writing, how badly do you want your readers to understand your vision of your characters, human or otherwise?


Kobo! Eek!

Forgive my excitement, I’m new to the e-reader thing.

Yes, I finally have an e-reader. No, my books aren’t jealous; we had a little talk about how much I love them, and how no machine will ever take their place in my heart. An e-reader will never feel the same, or smell the same, or give the same experience, but I am excited about it for several reasons.

Most of those reasons are books. Specifically, cheaper books. Also, the ability to carry them around without breaking my shoulder with my bag.

My mom passed her kobo on to me when she got a new kobo mini for her birthday (isn’t that awesome? Thanks, mom!). This newfangled contraption still seems a bit strange; it’s so light, it feels like it’s going to snap in half. It’s like one of those fake TVs they have at Ikea, but it’s real. It works. I know, I have an account and TWO WHOLE BOOKS HOLY CRAP TWO BOOKS.

And I’ve been waiting for a while to get these books.

Blogging’s fun, isn’t it? (I am going somewhere with this…) You get to meet other writers, and some of them have books you can buy! And read! Yay! So my first two purchases were books by bloggers I follow here on WordPress. In no particular order (with links!):

IMMINENT DANGER And How to Fly Straight into it   by Michelle Proulx

Born In Flames by Candace Knoebel

Whee! For less than $15, I have two new books to read that. No wait time, no shipping fees, cheaper than paperbacks. No, e-books are not real books, at least not as I think of them. But they’re real stories, and that’s what I’m paying for.

They’d better be good, guys… 😉

If you’re wondering, yes, I’ve already discovered books I can’t get through kobo; looks like I’m going to have to get Robertson Davies’  the Deptford Trilogy as a real book off of Indigo. I would have wanted them as a “real” book anyway, but it would have been fun to have them available this way. On the other hand, look how adorable it is when it’s sleeping! Aww… I can’t stay mad at that little face.

20130321-151206.jpg

Zzzzzz…

EDIT: I did it, I read a whole book on the kobo! Imminent Danger was way too much fun for you. You couldn’t handle it. I don’t usually read sci-fi, but I really liked this one. Recommended. Yay!

EDIT 2: OMG the free books that there are!


Book Review- Bossypants

I would leave my husband for Tina Fey. I want to grow old with her.

That is all.

(OK, that’s not all. There’s also the fact that this book is effing hilarious- the introduction alone had me giggling in the store before I bought it, and the parts about birth and breastfeeding made me cry from the funny-because-it’s-true. I want the audiobook version now, please and thank you.)

Please feel free to nominate this post for any “worst and least insightful book reviews ever” awards you know. I know of none, but it would be an honour just to be nominated. For anything.


Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .

rogerbloomsfield

An Aspiring Author's Adventure

Are You Finished Yet?

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

life, love writing

Heartwarming, Authentic, Inspirational Contemporary Christian romance

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Blogger, Designer - Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan

Doorway Between Worlds

Communication tips with a creative twist

CHOUETT

Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Wild Magic. Wild Stories. Wild Souls.

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

B E L I E V E 🦋Life is Never Fair

I gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie

inkedrainbowreads.wordpress.com/

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister - Author

I love sharing my stories but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie

J.R. RASMUSSEN

new epic fantasy for old-school fans