Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RTW 186: Best Book of June

Road Trip Wednesday: Best book of June. (Click here to see details)

Let me first say, it's crazy to think that June is already over! I feel like it was just yesterday that June 1st hit and I thought, this summer is going to be long! Now I have little over a month until I have to go back to training for work at school. Luckily it's my senior year.

Back to the best book. The book that really made me say, "wow" was The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard.

I won this book on the Goodreads giveaway section. If you haven't noticed, quite a bit of my book collection comes from this website. (Tip: If you don't have much money, the giveaway section is a great place to win free books, just make sure you leave a review as a thanks.)

It's about Kirsten, a young girl who idealizes a teenage girl that ends up dating her brother. The teenage girl goes missing and Kirsten's brother is the last to see her. The town, and even the family, start to implode. When I started reading this book I was weary. While it sounded interesting, it wasn't a book I'd normally pick up.

After I started reading it, I got more and more into the groove of the story. It was interesting reading the book with the teenage girl as a character, knowing she was going to disappear; just waiting for it to happen. (By the way, I didn't spoil anything, it says on the back of the book that the girl disappears!)

Then, I hit a spot in the book where I just felt like I was done. I knew what was going to happen, and I wanted to stop reading. I felt like I had all the answers and the book was just dragging it out to make a page length. I almost put the book down, and almost skimmed parts. Boy am I glad I didn't.

The ending hit. And when I say hit, I mean HIT. This book has one of the most mind boggling endings I have ever read. Others said it was out of nowhere, but looking back there were clues to this ending. I can usually see endings coming when watching movies, tv shows, and reading books, and this often takes the fun out of it. However, upon completing this book my jaw literally dropped and I said "holy crap" really loud, causing my boyfriend to give me a weird look. This ending goes down as one of my favorite endings of any book of all time. (Next to Divergent and Insurgent, which both pleasantly surprised me!)

Definitely give it a read if you get a chance!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

RTW 185:Superhuman Skills

This week's Road Trip Wednesday, which you should know about and if you don't can find out about HERE, is "If you were reborn faster, stronger, and quicker healing, what's the first thing you'd do?"

Let me start off by saying, if I were reborn with all those attributes, I'd hope to look like this.

Basically your worst nightmare. (Picture owned by epSos .de)
Beyond terrifying children with the way I look, I'd like to use my newfound life for good. I know you'll probably roll your eyes because every other person out there will say this too, but come on, who would be willing to admit (at least in front of people) that they'd use their powers for bad!?

So, I almost skipped this week because I didn't know what to say, but then I realized, I had to answer. One of my favorite movies of all time was The Incredibles. I loved it growing up and still do to this day. I have finally admitted to myself that I unfortunetly will never wake up being able to control things with my mind, or create force fields, etc. However, with these powers, I could be my own brand of super hero! 

I could be Kevin: Man of Steel (I saw Man of Steel in a special premiere the night before and LOVED it!). I would come up with a much more awesome name of course, but I'd be an incredible! Who could pass up on that? Some of my blogger friends on YA have picked other things like spy and I say BAH! (That might be fine for you, but come on, YOU COULD BE AN INCREDIBLE!) 

Although, Spy Kids was one of my favorite movies growing up too, but I am too old to be a spy kid and I feel like adult spies die way too often. I'm to the point of rambling.

So I cut myself off.

Incredible. I'd be an incredible. =D

Saturday, June 15, 2013


picture by nathangibbs
So, I'm sorry if I've talked about this before, but it's weighing on my mind. I thought about coming up with a clever title for this, but there's not clever about rejection is there? It's just... well, rejection. No clever titles. No glitter to mask it. Just rejection.

It sucks. Let's get that out of the way right away. There's no happy party "Yay I got a rejection!" You do that when you get a yes.

And probably a whole lot of this.
But they're not the end of the world. They really aren't. I've had enough of them to know that they won't brutally murder you like you think. They won't make you go into a deep depression and cry until your eyes fall out. Yes, you'll be sad. You might even get angry and want to tell of the people that rejected you (BAD ADVICE! This will completely cut you off from future submissions to that source).

I got some great advice from a teacher once. She is the head of the MFA program at Southern Illinois  University, Allison Joseph. I took her intro to poetry class as an Undergrad (which I still am) and she really is a great woman. She's a genius and knows what she's talking about. One day we talked about rejections. She told us that when she first got rejections, she gave herself to be sad/angry/whatever else she wanted to feel. As time progressed and she got more rejections, she told us that she gave herself a week, then a day, and then an hour.

The idea here, if you didn't pick up, is that you don't dwell on them. You give yourself a little bit of time to be sad/angry/whatever then you move on. Just because one magazine didn't like your poem/short story/etc doesn't mean a different magazine won't. It doesn't mean it's bad, or that you should scrap it. It means you write. You continue to try new magazines, new poems, new short stories, and you move on. Don't let anyone stop you from writing. You write no matter what others say because in the long run, you aren't writing for others; you're writing for you. You're writing because you love it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Minecraft and Living in Your Own World!

Hello all! As you can see above I do enjoy playing some Minecraft. In fact, I've been doing it quite a bit while reading at the same time. It's a skill I've learned that not many can posses ;). One thing that I find really fun about Minecraft is that I can create things that I'm writing in my story. Buildings, areas, etc. I read on absolutewrite that apparently a lot of people build their characters and what not on Sims, which I ALSO love, but I have yet to try that! It's really fun to be able to walk through a place that I've only made in my head. Seeing it also comes in handy when writing. It's just a really fun way to help my writing, and be a distraction when I need it! I think it'd be really awesome to do it in Second Life, but I don't have that either.

Anyway, I've been editing my WIP progress lately and it's turning out a lot better than I expected! I've added on about twelve pages and I'm not even half way through. The best part is that this is just my first read through so that I can change it from past to present. In case I didn't say specify in my my old post about past or present, I'm going with present. The story just reads so much better now that I've made the decision and I'm really happy with how it's turning out.

On a different note, I'm going to be applying to Grad school soon, EEK! I'm really nervous about this and my sister keeps telling me I need to work on my writing sample, which I know I do, but it's a really scary thought! I can't believe that it's coming so soon! My senior year of college is going to go by so fast I won't know what hit me. Before long, I'll know whether or not I'm in an MFA program and my entire life is going to change. I'm just a wee bit stressed here!

What's going on with your life out there? Inform me! Distract me! I like hearing from others! =]

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

RTW 183: Best Book of May

This one was really hard for me. Last week the RTW was what book really swept you off your feet. For it I talked about Recipes for Disaster by Tess Rafferty. The thing is, it really did sweep me off my feet, AND I read it in May. However, I didn't want to do the same book, or put the same link up, so I'm deciding to not give all my praise to one book and do another that I really liked that I also read in May!

I'm a little torn here. I've read plenty of good books in May, but it's hard to choose one to talk about. I think I'll go with a different approach and talk about one I won on Goodreads, SURPRISE THERE (sarcasm), that is a Middle Grade book. Hold up, before you roll your eyes and close your browser, read the rest of this post, hear me out!

I normally don't read middle grade novels because, well, they don't appeal to me. Don't go yelling at me, "It's because they're for middle grade aged readers!" Bologna! If Young Adult books were only read by YA aged readers, well, you can only imagine! But, I won the book The Dreamcatcher Adventures: Greedy Jack Wallace by Adam C. Veile and let me tell you, it really surprised me at how good it was! Veile even signed the book and sent me a personal message on goodreads to top it off!

Anyway, the book is about a boy who faces things most kids his age face, girls and bullies, then moves onto him dealing with things like foreclosure on his house. Veile has managed to intertwine subjects usually meant for adults into a kids book so that they can relate too. It's sad that in today's time kids that age actually have to deal with things such as this. Blake, the main character, even talks about what it would like to live on the streets!

The storyline was actually really compelling, and even managed to address things like death in a way that younger kids can understand while not being completely freaked out. The idea of the dreamcatcher that Veile uses is something really unique that I had never heard of. Blake is so realistic, you'd think the book was written by Blake himself. The suspense, yes there's suspense!, is so good I actually found myself not able to stop reading!

There's so much more that I could say about this book, and if you have any questions feels free to comment, but I would like to keep this post shorter than book length. I find myself actually interested in reading the second book when it comes out. (The first cleverly set up a storyline in passing conversation that could be stretched into a series.)

I highly recommend this to anyone that would like a quick read or even to those of you who have kids, you could read it to them if they're younger or have them read it. Definitely worth picking up!

Have any of you ever been surprised by liking a book in a genre or subject matter that you normally don't gravitate towards?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Editing and Scrivener

Hello all! How are you today? Grand I hope!

It stormed really bad here (Southern Illinois) last night and I know it stormed bad in a lot of other places too. So, I hope everyone out there stayed safe through the night!

On a lighter note, lately I've been editing my novel (and by lately I mean I've been doing it more adamantly after taking a break after Nano). This is only my first read through and I'm editing it from past to present tense, which is proving to be more difficult than I originally thought.

I've done about 20 thousand words and I have about 45 thousand words left to edit. And this is only my first read/editing! I haven't even added in the, at least two or three, scenes I want to add in. This editing process is no joke people! I'm sure most of you already know that though.

My question is, you people out there, do you use Word, Scrivener, etc. to edit your novel? Right now I'm using Word but I have only read good things about Scrivener, and to me it seems to be the most widely used by writers. I have also read it has an insanely long tutorial that most people skip. I am interested in buying Scrivener but I'm not sure if it's worth the money!

At least it has a cool logo!
Are there any other editing programs out there that are, in your opinion, worth looking into? I'm open minded and willing to look at new ones, just have to inform me!

Also, with getting closer to being half way done with my first edit, the idea of a query pops in my head. Yes, yes, I know that I still have a long time before I should even be worrying about it, but hey! A boy can dream! The idea of a query also freaks me out! Namely because I've read online that if an agent passes on a query, it's a general rule not to query them on the same project, even if the query is different. What if all the agents hate it!? I guess it'll just be time to move onto the next project, eh?

Anyway, what do you people out there use to edit? How do you go about writing a query and not being so stressed/scared?. Let me know your secrets!