Monday, July 30, 2012

Dark Knight Rises REVIEW

This review will be very un-spoily!!!! The spoily part (barely spoily at all) comes a bit lower in this post, but I'll give you fair warning :)

This gets a 4.69 out of 5 stars. Here is why.

That .2 star I took off because this movie was SOO FREAKING DARK. (Evil kind of dark.) It was filled with murder, theives, pain, destruction... oh gosh, you name it. It was almost depressing. The problems kept piling on, and on, and on, and on, and it got so depressing because you couldn't find a way out.

The other .1 I took off was because this movie was 3 hours long, and in the middle, it felt like it. This was because more and more and MORE problems kept coming in, and, by the Law of Diminishing Returns, it just got depressing after a while. It grew a bit tiring.

Also, in the beginning, I didn't like Bane's voice. It grew on me later, but it was a bit... funny at first, hehe. So that's a .01.

Now the good parts.

THIS WAS EPIC. The ending was so heartbreaking, and the biggest thing I LOVE:

The world building. Hands down, the best. At the risk of spoilers, let's just say Gotham changes, and you get SUCH an insight of how all the people react and how different groups form, it is amazing. It's like a social criticism in itself. It is awesome.

Another awesome part was the air-tight plot! (In most parts.) I found only one slightly disbelievable thing in there, and that, I guess, can be waved off. And this was a HUGE accomplishment, given the scope and greatness of what the director had to accomplish. I do not envy him having to come up with something like that!
And I LOVED the movie because of the crazy action and the technological stuff. It was freaking awesome.

And, I llooovveed the movie because of Anne Hathaway. Enough said. She was fantastic.

Here is the slightly spoilery part, but not really at all. I guess if you are a die-hard fan, don't read this, but if you want to know more about the movie, read on :) I don't unveil crazy scenes.

I think you know (off of my bookshelf thingy in the toolbar to the right) that I love Tale of Two Cities. It is one of my most favorite books of all time. And, this movie was almost a retelling of that great book. I LOVED this movie because of this. Oh gosh... some scenes were done SO perfectly, and it was... ugh. Like.. UGH! I want to say but I can't at risk of spoilers! But the... setting designers, let's say, did an amazing job on the court room. Also, there was a page from the book read out in the movie, and that page, in my opinion, is the most beautifully written page of all literature. I was freaking out in excitement when I heard it.

All around, this is an action-packed thrill ride, which might drag on at some parts, but is DEFINITELY worth seeing. It is epic. Truly. The ending scenes are amazingly done. Enough said :)

Have you watched it? How did you like it? Are you going to watch it?

Friday, July 27, 2012

From a TEEN'S Perspective: Creating Believable Characters in YA

I am SUPER excited about this post, because many of us are YA writers, and we struggle with creating awesome protagonists. Here is a post from a TEEN WRITER HERSELF!

To see what this blog post is about, just GOOGLE images for "teens." Ugh. I'm not even going to post some of them here, because, literally, the first few are filled with smoking, sex, pregnancies, and partying. OK, moving onto the post.

Writing has been a calling for me since I was nine years old. Because of that, I’ve always been seen as a bit of an oddball among my peers. More than that, though, it’s the books I read that draw the attention of my classmates (who hate reading). I’ve been reading books from the Young Adult genre since I started writing.

The Young Adult genre is one that has grown and prospered, and I have matured right along with it. Its popularity, even today, is growing at an incredible rate. I see adults everywhere reading and writing YA books.

Because of this, YA has downfalls. Some writers have already forgotten what being a young adult means. I don’t know who came up with the precognition that young adults whine about not having clothes that match, and that they gush over slumber parties, gossip, or adventures at the mall. This doesn’t happen.
Another issue arises with drugs and alcohol. Depending on the book, I find this is done appropriately most of the time. Adults are aware that it’s grown more popular among teens. But, every now and then, novels focus either too much or too little on it. One novel I have read is meant to focus on the loss of a friend, but a lot of the focus lies within the alcohol and cigarettes that numb the grief. I enjoyed said book, but sometimes, those aspects turned me off. Books need to balance these issues.

I own a couple of YA books from an author who’s thirty-one. The characters are cookie-cutter characters. It made the book extremely predictable, irritating at points, and at some points I nearly put it down. We had the cliché, angst-ridden protagonist; the seemingly-bad-boy-but-soft-at-heart love interest, the actual-bad-boy love triangle completion, the badass-doesn’t-take-crap girl, and the meek, quiet bookworm. Deaths were no surprise, revelations were no surprise.... The book was wearisome in general.

Writers who are around 18-28 tend to write the best YA, in my humble opinion. This is just from my point of view; I’m not stating a 100% (God forbid!) or saying something I think all people should think.

YA is given much more creative covers than other genres, the font face has the most variety I’ve ever seen, and the promotions for any book are extravagant. A teenager’s attention span for something new will last about seven seconds, so you’d better grab their attention quick. As I stated in a recent blog post, I decide whether I’m going to buy a book from the cover, the blurb, and the font face. That’s how long you have to grab my interest.

YA is a current ruler of literature. It’s a genre everyone seeks to contribute to because everyone loves it so much. It is the benevolent, crowning ruler of reading heaven. It’s fun to write for and fun to read if done correctly. Some writers confuse fun with easy, though. If someone chooses to write for the Young Adult genre, that’s what must be remembered. Fun is not easy, and not all heroine protagonists have to be angsty, lonely, and flat-chested. (:


Kendra Conine is a 16-year-old urban fantasy writer living in Illinois with a love for Japanese-styled music and her cats. She writes about people with elemental powers and can be followed on her blog and Twitter.

She is a teenage writer, and one of the most mature and helpful people I have ever met :) She is extremely caring and you can tell in all her posts, so you won't regret following her!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Quirks of Being a Writer

Here is a post I know you guys will love and relate too -- all about being a writer, and the many fun things that come from it :) A HILARIOUS post!! And filled with the amazing people at my favorite writerly website, Agent Query Connect :)

So, one day when I was about 13, I was in my room thinking of a scene for a story that never got written. In the scene, a nerdy girl was cornered by a group of bullies. I took the scene out to the hall so I could press myself against the wall and gasped out for the imaginary bullies to let me go. And then: "DEBORAH!" My mom called upstairs to ask what I was doing because she heard me panting.

Mort. if. ied.

Needless to say, I never acted out scenes while people were home ever again.

Let's face it, writers are crazy. Many are introverted and can be out of touch with reality. We have rituals, ways to push, we read out loud a scene from our heads onto the paper, digital or real. If we need to know if something sounds right, we read it aloud. Some of us have to blast music. Some of us need total silence. Some prefer a desk, while others can write outside. These are (I think) the normal writer quirks.

Some writers' quirks are weird. I'm a method writer (is that a real term?). I have to act out some of my scenes. I love to act and mimic voices, so whether I am doing a small girl's voice or a man twice my size, there are mannerisms and voices I need to project so that I can feel my characters. If a motion is visually hard for me to see? I do it. I once threw a hard-cover dictionary across the room to see if it can be thrown quickly enough to break bones (I didn't throw it AT anyone, just needed to see if it could attain a good velocity.)

Wondering if it was just me or if I need to be committed, I asked my AQC family if anyone had a quirk they, like me, weren't ashamed to post, and there is a reason we are a family. There are others.

"I do have this thing where I can't write with blue ink. I just... can't lol. It bugs me. I prefer black ink, but I'll write in red, green, purple, pretty much any other color besides blue."
"I talk out loud. Work through the scene. Makes me look like a nut job in the car though . . . . "

"I have conversations with my characters.... Wow, that sounds slightly insane, right? I don't know. My characters talk to me and I talk back. It really helps actually."

"My other quirk? I wear a talisman of sorts when I write. It's a double sided heart pendant. One side is all white diamonds, the other is all black...If I write about the villains, I flip it to the dark side, if I write about the better characters, it's on the clear diamonds."

"I re-read my work aloud to make sure it sounds right. And I tend to visualize every scene I write, as if I'm living it."

H. Bruce
"I tend to trap musical themes in my head that animate certain scenes. Some scenes have no soundtrack, and in some cases the music upstairs is too loud and has to be cranked down a few notches."
There have to be more like us.

Are you a writer with a weird quirk that helps you write? Post it in the comments below if you are proud of the odd things you do.

An avid Final Fantasy player, Debra McKellan is a receptionist by day for the local Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. She writes speculative fiction, mainly fantasy, and sometimes dabbles in poetry and songwriting. She blogs at The Writer Ambitious and tweets.

Debra is VERY nice and is an incredibly fun person, as you can see from the plethora of feedback on this post that she got from the AWESOME website, Agent Query Connect. So follow her blog and twitter! She's great.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Rules of Social Networking

All right, I don't know why this white boxy thing is happening. I'm sorry guys :( Moving on to the awesome post....
Kela McClelland is the guest blogger today, and needless to say, we call her the queen of social media over at AQC (and also the queen of critiques). She LOVES social media (as you can see below).

From the growing need for writers to take part in their own networking, leaning how to use social media websites is a MUST. So why not learn it from an expert? :)


Thanks, SC, for the opportunity to take over your blog for a day. :D

This is my first guest post, which is slightly ironic considering I’m about to talk to y’all about social media. :p  I’m Kela McClelland, a paranormal romance writer and a mom of two. I blog over at Teardrops On My Book, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+.

Anyway, on with the post...

As writers we need as many people as possible to know us, that’s how we get the sales, right? So, the best way (In my opinion, and from things I've witnessed) is to use social media outlets.

Don’t, use your Twitter (or any other site) just to push your books, PLEASE don’t. I hate when my Twitter feed is full of: Hey, buy my book! So don’t do that. You can tweet about your work sometimes, sure…Just don’t make it a constant occurrence. Twitter is great for keeping up with agents/publishers, friends, other writers, and things that you like. Tweet about what you’re doing, how your writing is going, and shout out other folks. It’ll do so much more for you than if you were constantly telling people to buy your book.

Fan pages or even regular author/writer pages are good for keeping people updated with your writerly things too. But like Twitter, don’t use it for promotion only, please.

YES! I love blogging. I’ve met SO MANY AWESOME people. I’ve found great writers, blogs that hand out great advice for writers who are/aren’t published, GREAT books, and awesome people who follow my blog too. What does that mean? I’m building something for myself that will come in handy when I publish. I have followers who come to my blog and read what I have to say. They’re awesome people who actually care about what I’m saying. So, they’ll be awesome people who will (hopefully) buy my book w/o me having to constantly push it.

This is a great site to connect with READERS, which is a big part of an author’s fanbase, right? Of course. It also helps you find great books to read and keep up with books to read/or those you’ve already read.

I’m new to Pinterest, but I’ve discovered many people pin great books. So, that’s another way to get out there in the social networking world. Plus, you can find great ‘pins’ in general.

One more that I’m new to, and don’t use much yet, is Google+. It’s also another good place to interact with both writers and readers, and people in general.

(Agent Query Connect is great for learning and mingling with other writers, btw.)

Get out there. Join some sites, meet people and let them know who you are. Without being known, people won’t know to look for your book. They may stumble upon it, yes, but you want people to KNOW it’s there. You want them to look for it and spread the word. So, jump into the social media scene and make yourself known. Find some AWESOME people and be AWESOME right back.

Happy Social Networking. :)

What social networking sites do YOU love the most? Which ones do you use? Feel free to post links in the comments below :)


Kela McClelland blogs at Teardrops On My Book, is on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+. She is a paranormal romance writer, and an AWESOME writer at that (I've seen her work). Her blog is FILLED with amazing writerly advice and interviews with other writers. Make sure you do check it out :) You will NOT regret it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Start of the AMAZING Guest Blogger Marathon!

SO, I'm going to be somewhere for July 21st - August 4th. Somewhere with no phones or internet, which means no blogging, not Tweeting, and NO AQC or 2am Chats! I'm going to try taking a notebook there to write but there will people all around me the whole two weeks. I might have to write in the bathroom or something D:

Needless to say, I am freaking out. I am scared to death to see what how dusty my Twitter and blog will be at the end of the two weeks! AND, I will be suffering withdrawl from not writing for so long. I seriously don't know how I'm going to be able to handle it. And no AQC either!!


I made a post a while ago calling for Guest Bloggers, and some amazing people replied :) Needless to say, this is curing my anxiety for a bit :) But, I'm freaking out because I don't know if the schedule setting on Blogger will work or not. I think it will... it better.


The theme of all the posts is:

Unveiling the unique sides of the writing world :)

Here is the AWESOME line-up for the Guest Blogger Marathon!

  • EDIT: Monday, July 23rd: "The Rules of Social Networking" from the expert in all things social media, Kela McClelland 
  • EDIT: Wednesday, July 25th: "The Quirks of Being a Writer" from the quirky Debra McKellan, which includes real stories from real writers :)
  • Friday, July 27th: "From a TEEN'S Perspective: Believable (non-sex/drugs) Characters in YA" by the great speed-typing teen writer, Kendra Conine.
  • Monday, July 30th: You get to hear back from good-old me :)
  • Wednesday, August 1st: "Taming the Dog that is Self-Publishing" from the fantastic EB Black. Literally, it will be about a dog. I like my puns :) Are you feeling suspenseful yet?
  • and Friday, August 3rd: "4 Ways to Tell if your Blog Looks Hideous. Also, FREE Blog Banner Give-Away!" from the awesomely generous (seriously) and talented Kelley York!

LOOK AT THAT AMAZING LINE-UP! Be sure to check in here on those dates and see these amazing posts :)

Wish me luck on my vacation! :D And how much do you guys LOVE that line-up?

Bye guys :) See you in two weeks! EEP!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Here it is, the Hangers portion of the blog hop :)

All you do is post the last line of the chapters in your novel. That is it :) Then you go and click the above link and spread the love to others!

Here are mine :)


It is set in an underwater world.

Ch 1: It was all so obvious. She would run away.
Ch 2: "Oh, thank coral."
Ch 6: “Do make sure the Buhare isn’t discovered. If he’s caught, I am not going to take the blame for it.” And with that, Rhea turned and disappeared down the hallway.
Ch 9: “We’re under attack,” Capit said. “Let’s go.”
Ch 14: The split was unnecessary; they would meet the very next morning, and every school day afterwards for the next two years.
Ch 16: “Your –your lab. It’s… it’s been bombed.”
Ch 18: Her voice went breathless as she said, “Mother.”
Ch 23: And when Alphi finally said good-bye to Rhea and went to bed, she slept with a bright smile on her face.
Ch 25: Ealite stepped into the room, fury lining her eyes as she stared at the sister she was never meant to see.

And that is all I am giving you :) Thanks guys! This was TONS of fun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Birthday Contest WINNERS!

Ok, first off, the winners. More bloggy info is below, so don't skip over it :)

The winners are:

1. Kendra Conine
2. Stephanie Adele
3. Kela McClelland
4. Caterina Torres

Yay! Thanks guys! Email me ( what prizes you would like :)

Ok, secondly, a HUGE thank you.

Thanks so much for all the amazing comments and stories in the comments of the post! I loved each and every one of them, and I know I'll be going back to the post to just reread them once in a while. I love personal stories :) You guys are AMAZING. The reason I didn't reply to your comments like I usually do is because I'm a technology failure. I so stupidly thought that if I comment, it would interfere with the Rafflecopter contest thingy and put ME in the drawing. But, that only happens if you enter. Who knew.

ANYWAY, thank you so much guys! Your compassion and support are truly unrivaled.

Yesterday was a fun day, and my legs are aching because I ran a lot. Why? My sister threw me a surprise (but I already knew) paint ball birthday party! It was TONS of fun. I only got hit five times out of seven games! (Which is pretty good for me. My cousins went after me so I got out. The two times I didn't was when we were on the same team :) ) I actually got two people out as well!! And these were like the legit paintballers, who come dressed up like a tree and stuff, so it was pretty awesome. One of those hits might have been my sister's -- we were shooting at the same time. But it was fun :) Personal rant over.

WIP progress report

I am writing it in longhand and I am LOVING the voice! Also, I love feeling the pages I've written :) I'm getting about 5-8 pages a day, so around 1,250-2,000 words a day. I'm enjoying it a ton :) Thanks for all your help and support!

How are your WIPs and MSs going?

Monday, July 16, 2012


WOO!!! A bloghop! Here it is, the deets:

  • On July 16th, post the first sentence from each chapter.
  • On July 18th, post the last sentence from each chapter.

That's it! And you can do as many, or as few, as you like.

Here are mine :)

Vis Decor is set underwater, just to clarify :)
  1. WIP-- Ch 1. I am a man who has lost his daughter.
  2. Vis Decor-- Ch 1. Under the planet's ocean, the sandy sea bed sparkled from the rays of two suns.
  3. Vis Decor-- Ch 2. It was dark, a pre-dawn ocean flowing over Alphi’s skin.
  4. Vis Decor-- Ch 5. One Pure man treated Alphi like a queen, bowing down and making room as she swam.
  5. Vis Decor-- Ch 8. Blood splattered the side of the Grey, but he was still alive.
  6. Vis Decor-- Ch 15. A little less than two years had passed since Alphi met Feroa at the school.
  7. Vis Decor-- Ch 22. Rhea snuck into Alphi’s room in the night, and hiding behind a sound proofing spell, they sat on the bed together.
  8. Vis Decor-- Ch 26. It was as if the sea had been forced into Alphi’s body, as if a knife ran through her lungs.
Anndd, I'm done :) Thanks!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me XD (And a Birthday Contest!)

By the way, check out my interview with the AMAZING Kela McClelland :)

Today is my birthday :) EEP! Yay :) I even published this post at 7:12 AM (Central time). (This is an Emergency Thursday Post, by the way.)

A depressing confession to make:

A few moths ago after I just finished the first draft of my MS, I had come to the decision that I would have a literary agent by this day. It was my resolution. Obviously, revisions came into play, and for seven months, I revised and edited. So I changed my resolution. I changed it to: My MS would be in the hands of a few agents who requested the material. I would have requests at least.

But this didn't happen at all. I clung to one last hope but it disappeared, and now, that MS, the one I love, is sitting and resting for a few months, so I can get a fresh eye one it.

Obviously, my resolutions failed. Utterly. In all intents and purposes, I did not accomplish anything that I set out to do over the last seven months. I was a hopeless case, and I was a failure.

But the thing about being a writer is this: It is all about the journey. These past seven months have been amongst the most rewarding months of my life, where I met amazing people on Agent Query Connect and where I achieved so much in my writing. In the past seven months, I met so many great people in Twitter, on QueryTracker, on contests, even on blogs (especially on blogs). Writers are the most amazing people I have ever met. Their compassion and support when things get so dark, so dreary, and so hard, mean the world to me.

My MS is so strong right now, stronger than it ever could have been if I did not meet the amazing people that I did in the last seven months. This time period has been amazing. I would not trade the experiences, the hardships, and above all, the people, for all the agents in the world (I can't believe I just said that). Becoming a writer, even an unpublished one, has been the best thing in my life. I don't think I failed in the resolution I had made for my birthday. I am a writer now. And I feel like one too.

So, after all that sentimentality, I racked my brains for a fun contest to do on my birthday, and here it is :)

A contest! Here it is:

1. In the comments below (using the Rafflecopter), post something such as:

a) A special, funny, memorable, etc. moment about any birthday you had.
b) A great memory of any birthday you or anyone had.
c) (The fun one) A reason you gave your book's character the birthday he/she has.

For me, I gave Alphi the birthday of the Spring Equinox, because that is the day of change from the dreary, pain and death of winter to the hope of spring. (I gave her love interest the Autumn Equinox for the opposite reason but with summer, hehe.)

The prizes:

You must be a follower of this blog to enter.

The Rafflecopter will pick five people to win, randomly! And the prizes are (specify which you would like in the comments below, along with the birthday thingy above):

1. A query critique to put on this blog.
2. A first 250 word critique (to put on this blog).
3. A birthday memory you would love to write and share (to put on this blog).
4. Any birthday thoughts you have, relating to writing or just life (put on this blog).
5. A shout out?
6. A intercomputer hug?

If you think up any other prizes, tell me in the comments and I'm sure we'll work it out :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Can I just say how much I LOVE the Rafflecopter website? This is my first time using it, and it was the easiest thing in the world. I'm not kidding. And I suck at technology. That website is the first and only business that I ever voluntarily sent a praise email to.)

Thanks guys! You are seriously, the best :)

In Which I Have an Affair with Another MS

Sigh. Yes.

The thing is, I have been WAY to close to my MS for the last two years. My passion for Alphi (my MC) and Vis Decor (the world) is still there, but I think it's time to take a break.

I'm going to set it aside for a few months and write something new (which I am very excited about :) ) and at the end of the months, or when I finish my WIP, I'll take it from the drawer and read it again. Of course, I bet I'll do some editing and stuff over the break (I can't stay away) but I am SOOO relieved right now! My editing will be fun editing, a work of bliss, not a work of frustration. I have begun my WIP and it's so relieving, even thoug I've only wrote 700 words so far!

My MS, VIS DECOR: ALPHI (or PURE SEA, GREY WAVES) has given me AMAZING joy, and really hard times as well. I love it to death, but I need to set it aside. I'm becoming blind to its faults, to a point where it has become dangerous with every revision I do. I'm still going to send it through a critiquing place, but just so I have something good to come back to. At the end, after one last run, one last revision, I'm letting it sit :)  Alphi, my main character, deserves a break. She might be getting sick of me as well :) But I feel this will be good for both my sanity, and Alphi's sanity. I'll come back to this world, but everyone says, letting your MS sit is a great thing :)

I think this is so helpful to everyone who has been working on their MS for a long time but are too scared to take a break. I was scared. Scared to DEATH.What if someone published a book similar to mine? But the idea for my new WIP has been taunting me for such a long time, and I was too scared to write it; too scared to put my MS aside. But I'm going to come back to it, and, above all, I'm going to do something I love: Writing. I'll fall in love with writing once again, something that may have been lost (or stifled) in the constant editing of VIS DECOR: ALPHI. I still love, LOVE that MS. I do. But it needs a break. A few months to rest till I dive back in.

Thanks a TON to all of my amazing writer friends, those who directly (and indirectly) helped me, by allowing me to be part of this great community. You guys are the best thing that has ever happened to my writing, and I cannot thank you enough for helping me through all this. All of you are the best :) I can't thank you enough for your support, encouragement, and compassion. Thank you, all of you, for being there for me. A rest is the best thing I could have done for this; actually, in one day (night) of writing my WIP, I kind of feel like I want to go back into Alphi's world.... EEP! This taking a break thing really works :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Award!! :D And 7 Facts about (Anonymous) Me

YAYY!!!! WOO :))) I got my first ever awesome Blog award, from the even more awesome Kela McClelland!


1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. List the rules.
3. List seven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate ten people for the award. And notify them that you've given them an award.
Soooo..... I guess I have to list 7 (which is JK Rowling's favorite number in her series) facts about myself. Hehehe, this will be fun. Since I'm anonymous, and all.

1. I read the Twilight books. All four of them. And I'm a guy. MY SISTER TOLD ME TO READ THEM! Ughh!!!! I feel like I shouldn't put this up, but, well, I guess I should... sigh. Now time for me to crawl in a hole. Wait... 6 more to go.
2. I LOVE The Catcher in the Rye. Harry Potter is my favorite series of all time, and CitR is my favorite single book. I know tonsss of people don't like that book, and I agree with their critiques, to an extent.
3. A Tale of Two Cities is a close, close second to CitR above. I LOVE that book. The last few pages, in my opinion, are the most beautiful written pages of all time. And it is brilliantly plotted -- second to Harry Potter.
4. I own a typewriter. Even though I had a laptop before, I bought a typewriter. Because I thought it'd be cool.
5. My nightstand is always overfilled with books.  And yes, those are Reader's Digest and Archie comics.

5.5. I love blue. Woah. I just realized this makes sense, because I write about an underwater world. Huh.

6. I have a corner in my house dedicated to Harry Potter. Yes. I know. It's kind of sad.
7. I wrote the first few pages of my MS with a quill, in a journal I personally coffee stained. I also stained a few papers so it'd feel all Hogwartsy and parchmenty. It's pretty cool, I'm not going to lie.

 My Nominations

I'm going to try nominating people who (I think) haven't been nominated before, or who haven't gotten this award :)

Krysten Hill (who has a webs, not blogspot website, and writes about dragons)
Utsav and Brighton (who share a blog)
Stephanie Adele (who writes about awesome archaeologists)
Debra McKellan (who writes great short stories)
E. B. Black (who has a guest post coming up that I am VERY excited about)
Kelley (who is also of YAtopia! If you don't know that website, then you should)
T. F. Walsh (who is an AWESOME artist)
Morgan Shamy (who has an awesome community on her blog, filled with comments)
and Daisy Carter (who still has to post Part Two of her "How I got My Agent")


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Book Thief... Yes? Or No?

Guess who bought The Book Thief last night? THIS GUY!

This is an Emergency Saturday Post, and a short one, because I got The Book Thief from Wal-Mart yesterday and I am REALLY excited to start it :) YAY! I had to share it with you guys.

There is a LOOTT of hype over this book, and you know what happens with all that hype... the book falls short. It just does, even if it is awesome, which is what this Amazon review said, kind of displaying my fears. I get scared about hype, and I try not to hype things for other people either, because I KNOW hype can ruin a great book. That's why I'm nervous as I start this book. Maybe it won't live up to my expectations.

To those of you who have read it:

Did you like this book, and should I read it? Or does it fall short of all the hype?

Thanks guys! Off to get started on it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

3 Methods to Getting that AWESOME Breakthrough


There was this HUGE problem at the end of my book that I felt would leave people feeling angry/surprised. So now, I just had a major breakthrough. I've been thinking about this for sooooo long, literally, about ways to fix this problem. I threw in a bunch of character motivation, added in a lot of stuff, and now, in two easy mini-scenes and in one fell swoop, it will be fixed :) This is the problem that had been annoying me for a long time, and now it is gone.

I had been just thinking and thinking and thinking about it, and today, I finally went down the right path. I finally actually seriously thought about a good literary device I could use to fix this problem, and I thought of a device I never considered, and I laughed. I raised my hands up from my desk and cheered.

This was great. It was amazing, actually, because it all depends on that one little moment where you finally know what you've been missing all along. Everything just clicks into place.

There are many methods of getting a breakthrough, and yes, you can (for lack of a better word) force yourself to get a breakthrough. There will be a more thorough investigation into this later on, with sources from this one creativity book, but here is the gist:


1. Keep thinking about it over and over and over. And then over again. If you keep working at it, and keep thinking about ways to fix it, you will get that breakthrough. This is what happened to me above.

2. Keep thinking about it TONS, and then just don't think about it anymore. Forget about it. And then, in a flash, the answer will come to you. This is what happens why you suddenly remember the name of the song that had been stuck in your head for a long time.

3. Don't think about anything at all. This generally applies to actual manuscript ideas and premises. That flash of, "I'd love to write about this!"

There it is :) A more thorough analysis of the methods will come later, but I just wanted to write this because I was excited about my breakthrough :)

The Secret to Getting a Breakthrough will come soon!

How do/did you get your amazing breakthroughs? Was it a flash of inspiration that made you all happy?

Oohh, biggy question:

How did it feel to find that idea you would LOVE to write?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Greatness of a Democratic Country

First of all, happy fourth of July everybody! Maybe I'll use fancy color for everything on this post. Never mind. It's too hard to read. Anyway, I hope you guys have an awesome time watching fireworks in this awesomely democratic country :)

For us writers, there can be nothing better than a democratic country. I mean, look at the actors in the movie, The Kite Runner, one of whom plead America to take him in because he was unsafe in his country due to his part in the movie.

Our country has its faults. In fact, I'd say that it has more than its share of faults. However, the thing I love about this country is that we, the citizens, have the power to aid those faults.

We writers have such a hard time even finding an AGENT to rep our books--imagine if the government had to inspect our books before publishing it. We live in a place where we can say what we want and express our ideas. If writers cannot express how they truly feel, we writers are in trouble. If we are stuck in a world of bigotry and close-mindedness, we are in trouble. There is little I feel more strongly against than a refusal to see every perspective of a subject. Bigotry sucks. Our country allows us to freely express our views, and the great thing is, we (technically) are free to express them.

I could not be more grateful to live in a democratic society. Even with all the faults the US has, I love the country for its people, for its diversity, and for its (technically) opposition to bigotry. We have freedoms. So many other places don't.

So I'd like to take today to celebrate 4th of July and thank our founding fathers for what they did to establish the principles of this country. It is a great place to live, especially for us writers. I could not be more thankful.

Happy 4th of July everybody! Why do you love this democracy so much?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

COVER ART REVEALED -- JK Rowling's Casual Vacancy!


Now, this is an emergency post because I usually don't post on Tuesdays anymore. BUT THIS IS HUGE NEWS! I've been waiting like CRAZY for this cover art to be revealed. I actually thought, as I checked today, that she'll do some sort of fun reveal like she usually does, maybe on July 31st (Harry's birthday). But no, she didn't. It just got revealed.

Just released:

The book is 512 pages long. I'm excited for that :) It's also going to be released September 27th, 2012.

Here is the synopsis of the book, in case you don't know:

When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?


Well, from the synopsis, we can see that the book is all about an election, so the cover art is frankly quite straight-forward. It is an election ballot, with one selection picked. Quite easy to comprehend.

And that is about it. Sigh. The font is pretty cool and fancy, but I feel this book is trying to be a classic or something. The cover's simplicity is reminiscent of classics, such as The Great Gatsby and Fahrenheit 451. I can imagine having posters of this cover in my room, just like many have posters of The Great Gatsby (which, many feel, is the greatest book cover of all time. I think it's awesome, but not "the best of all time").

I can't lie, I was expecting something more from JKR's cover. Something to analyze, something that might hint at more, which the Harry Potter cover were CHOCK full of. The simplicity HAD to be on purpose; it's JK Rowling. I mean, she could have had the best illustrator in the world do her book, even for free. It's JK Rowling. Her very name would have this.

The main thing now that I'm excited for is seeing some of JKR's black humor in this book, the publisher says the The Casual Vacancy will be "blackly comic, thought provoking, and constantly surprising." So I'm excited :)

I'm also excited that it has 512 pages! YES! Good big book for us to read :)

Do you like the cover?  Do you think the synopsis hints at maybe some thought-provoking literature? Are you excited to read it?

Even though this cover might not have been the best, I AM EXCITED!!! September 27th, HERE I COME!

Don't forget to subscribe! I'll return the favor :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Adele is PREGNANT!!!!!!!

This is news that shut down her website because EVERYONE went on it to see what was going on! It just got announced last Friday, and she is having a baby with her boyfriend.

I love this :))) Adele is my FAVORITE fun celebrity of all time (JK Rowling is my favorite celebrity that'd I'd love to talk to. She's amazing. Adele is more of a fun friend). Just watch her interview and you'll know why I love her so much. She names her wigs, and she's full of quotes such as:

"I make music for the ears, not for the eyes."

"I don't want to be like, 'Babe, I'm sorry, we got to break up. I got a new album to deliver."

"The guy this next song is about: not enough time has gone by since he was a f*****g prick to me."

And, one of my favorites when she was accepting her Grammy and she was crying: "Oh! Snot!"

She is the funniest celebrity I've seen.She doesn't give a crap for what people think of her ideas, her body image, her decisions... ANYTHING! Things that parents would shake their heads at, she'd just burst out laughing. (And her laughs are HILARIOUS. Check that link out. Trust me. You'll love it. Watttcchhhh it. Please.)

Thus, I am so excited at this baby she is having, and so glad that she has found someone she loves. She doesn't care about gimmicks, back-up dancers or any flashing lights. It is ALL her voice which brought her to such fame.  I LOVE ADELE.  She laid waste to the sight-oriented music industry with just two amazing albums.

I fall in love with books, but the MAIN reason I dive into them is when I love the author as well. This is why publicity is so important. I can't get enough of JK Rowling interviews. I watch every one on Youtube and they are so haunting, so true, and so real. Real. That is the theme. BE REAL.

That's what I am scared of, but what I know I must do: I can't 'tone down' my book  because I'm afraid to offend people. I already know my book will offend a lot of people, and that scares me so much. My book includes the toughest parts of my life, and I realized I have to be true; that might be the toughest thing I ever have to do. I fear opening up. I do.

Soon to come post: The Secret to Publicity. That post might be a two-parter, so subscribe so you know when it is coming. I'm excited for that one.

 Please, watch that Adele laughing video above. It's HYSTERICAL!

Which celebrities do you love the most? And why? What do you wish to do to connect with your present/future fans?