Waiting on a... Tuesday?

You know how book bloggers do Waiting on a Wednesday?

Yeah, well, today isn't Wednesday, but I ironically can't wait until Wednesday to do a Waiting on Wednesday post, so here we go.


Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Summary [from Goodreads]: Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Mock Blurb: "A badass heroine, a swoonworthy romance, and kick-butt action all intertwine to weave an incredibly fast-paced tale that drew me in and dared me to defy it by putting it down. If you you like stories about people taking control of their lives and risking everything to defy their fate, then DEFIANCE is the book for you." -Awesome Unpublished Author (AKA Me.)

My Thoughts: Does this book not sound badass? As soon as I heard of this book, I knew I had to read it. No, I haven't read it yet, though I've made a mock blurb--and you will see why below.

First of all, the cover. The cover! Swoon. A lot of covers in YA these days look very stock, but this cover is absolutely gorgeous and unique. I love the contrast of Rachel's red hair to the stark darkness around her. I love the way she's posed--crouched, with her cape sweeping around her, looking into the distance almost wistfully. It's just a beautiful, beautiful cover and it would have drew me in right away. I really just love everything about the cover. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to the cover of DEFIANCE, I think we can agree that it is amazing.

Now, don't get me wrong--the book, too, sounds absolutely amazing. I love the title--DEFIANCE--and the way that it conveys, in one succinct word, what the book is about, which is defying one's fate. The main character, Rachel Adams, sounds badass--and kickass. I love strong female characters and heroines that can stand up for themselves. Characters need to be strong both within and without, and Rachel seems like she's going to be a strong female character. After all, she takes control of her own fate and decides to defy it by escaping a city under a tyrannical rule to find her father. That doesn't take just physical strength, but also strength of character.

One thing that snagged my interest and suggested her inner strength (to go with her physical strength) is the fact that she declares her love to this boy, Logan, who breaks her heart and hands it back to her two years prior to the story. Then, he becomes her Protector, and he escapes the city with her. She has to be a strong character if she can put up with the boy who broke her heart--and perhaps find her way back to him, since it seems like he's going to be the love interest. I can't wait to see how their romance will develop (and can I just express my gratitude for a lack of a love triangle? At least, not a suggested one. What a relief! I'd rather know two characters are going to get together and root for them all the way than to be disappointed by the heroine inevitably choosing the wrong person.)

Anyway, I think I've rambled enough about how amazing this book looks, and I can't wait for it to release. In the meantime, if you can't wait to win this book, then I suggest you visit C.J. Redwine's blog for the chance to win one of two copes of DEFIANCE! That was the purpose of the blurb--part of the giveaway is to write a blurb for DEFIANCE. Click here for the giveaway, and good luck!

don't give up

(no subject)

You guys! YOU GUYS!

I just finished writing my first novel, ever! No, but... EVER! From start to finish. Just shy of 90,000 words, I finally wrote THE END of a novel I've been working on for almost two years now: THE CURSE OF RED, a traditional fantasy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

This is... monumental. Monumental in ways you don't understand. I've tried and tried to write novels so many times, and failed just as many; draft after draft stalled midway, usually around 30,000 words or 40,000 words. There was always an insurmountable problem, and I abandoned the novel without looking back. (Okay, that's a lie--I've looked back many times on failed novels.) But THE CURSE OF RED, a fantasy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, wouldn't let me, no matter how many times I tried to abandon it. Maybe it was because I've never wished so hard to finish a novel as I did that one: a month after the inception of the idea, I visited Paris for the first time, and wished and wished and wished at every touristy location (bridges etc.) where you were supposed to wish for things. I wished I would finish that novel. And my wish came true.

But it wasn't wishing that made it happen. It was dedication, and love, and time and effort poured into it; countless hours poring over it, thinking about it, typing my little heart out. Though, for me, the most important part of the first draft process is standing in the kitchen making myself tea, or coffee. My best ideas always come to me when I'm in the kitchen, preparing a cup of something to accompany writing (this always, always, always happens), and my ideas come to me and then I have to go and scribble them down. And that's how it happens--though this novel, with its 2k, 4k, 6k days was a rarity. I'm glad I did it, glad I never gave up on it, even if I was ready to, so many times.

More on this later. It's 3 AM and time for bed.

PS, LJ, you're looking a little quiet lately. Seriously, where has my flist gone? I know I was around a lot more, like, two years ago... but... ah, man. Maybe everyone's moved away from LJ. Maybe it's time to move to Blogger or Wordpress or something. *shrugs*
  • Current Music
    Not Enough : Our Lady Peace : Gravity

(no subject)

Hi guys!

Long time, no see, eh? I just got SO caught up in school this semester it's absolutely ree-dic-u-lous. It's actually been the hardest three months of my life, not even joking. Every single week there was an essay or a test or both. All day, every day, there was something to read, something to write, something to worry and angst and freak out over Skype about, and when I did get the rare time to myself to do what I wanted I was either falling asleep standing up or scrolling through infinite pages of Tumblr while letting my brain melt in a puddle of goo after having let it absorb so much. To this end, no writing, unless it was academic, got done. I fell totally out of touch with the writing world and my creative side, which gave way under the stress of my academic side. It kind of, um, completely and wholly sucked me in and didn't let me go. Academia has sharp, barbed claws. Heh. At least I'm learning to write a damn good academic paper, if I do say so myself--while I've almost completely lost touch with how to write fiction I can write a zinger of a history paper without a problem. Except mucho anxiety, of course.

Anyway. I'm done with that heart-mind-and-body-wrenching experience that's an honors Liberal Arts education (with math and logic included! GAH!!!) and my parents have allowed me to come home and hibernate in my childhood home for as long as I please. And I have never been more pleased to be back home. This six weeks of winter break is going to be so restful and give me time to do what I want--which is read, write, and play video games all day long. And perhaps leave the cave long enough to see some family and friends.

But I'm blogging to come to y'all with some exciting new releases in the new year. Well, they're super exciting for me because I haven't done any reading for pleasure in forever an a half! And man, can I just say that 2011 has been really freaking dry in terms of new releases? Everything appealing (books and otherwise) seems to be coming out in 2012! No lie. 2011 has been such a dry spell; I feel like all the books I want to read are coming out in 20212. Luckily, with 2012 less than a month away, I'm gonna be inundated with fantastic books to read in the coming year! Man, am I gonna have to fork over a lot of cash to Chapters this year. Am I going to have to make cuts in my academic book spending to accomodate my just-for-fun book spending? ;)

Let's just start with the most anticipated book on my 2012 releases must-buy booklist.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Look at that beautiful cover (!!!) Ugh, and just imagine what's inside!

I am a total and unapologetic Kristin Cashore fangirl, and guys, I have been waiting on this book for years. YEARS. Remember that review of GRACELING that I posted a long, long time ago in which I described in detail why I disliked it? Well... a year later, on a whim, I was at Chapters and bought myself a paperback copy. Call me crazy. I just wanted a fantasy read because fantasy is my favorite genre, and I grabbed a copy of GRACELING. My sister looked at me like I was crazy, but I told her I needed some summer reading and couldn't forgo the fantasy.

That was two and a half years ago, and I've read the book every six months since. Heh. I love, love, LOVE GRACELING now with all my heart and would heartily recommend it to absolutely friggin everyone I know. And their mother. It's that good, trust me: the writing, the characters, the romance (especially but ESPECIALLY the mutual respect and love and non-stalkeriness of their relationship! And the way it grows makes my heart MELT!), the plot and mystery and intrigue and everything. It pulls me in every time. Sure, it has its flaws, but what book doesn't? Cashore's storytelling is like no other and her characters make me care from start to finish. It's one of my favorite books, and now that I think of it, it's just like my other favorite book in the entire world, SLOPPY FIRSTS by Megan McCafferty. Didn't like it when I first read it. Reread it a year later, and haven't gone a year since without rereading it.

Anyway, now that I've ranted adequately (overly) about GRACELING, more on BITTERBLUE! Bitterblue is loosely a sequel to GRACELING, though it focuses on a different character. Quick summary pulled from Goodreads:

Bitterblue is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. This third book will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the eighteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book.

Well... that's certainly not the best description. I don't know much about what the book's going to be about, since Cashore's blog has been quiet and the Goodreads summary a little lacking. All I can surmise is that Bitterblue, as the new and young queen of Monsea, will have to navigate the politics of her court and of Monsea and of the Seven Kingdoms. There'll be much political intrigue, fantasy questing and exploration, and romance, I'm sure. These are only things I'm guessing at, of course, but I'm already sold on this book, so maybe I don't need to know. Heck, not knowing what it's about and diving in without preconceived notions might even be better! At this point, I would buy anything that Kristin Cashore would write.

BITTERBLUE is due out for release in America and Canada for May 1st, 2012. Are you as excited as I am? (That's a rhetorical question--feel free to disregard my overexcited zealousness.)

(PS--I was going to make this a post on other book releases I'm looking forward to, but since BITTERBLUE decided to steal the show, I'll just make that another post for another day.)

  • Current Music
    Story About a Girl : Our Lady Peace : Gravity

Deep in the Revision Trenches

And I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it.

The novel I'm revising is A CURSE OF RED, a traditional fantasy retelling of Red Riding Hood with werewolves and sorcery. I've been working on this novel for about a year and a half now, on and off--ever since that first burst of inspiration on February 15th, 2010. I legit remember the exact date, and probably always will. I gave up on that novel, but then decided to salvage it this past September, and on my Christmas break, I typed up about 80,000 words to add on to the 10,000, making it complete at 90k. But I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it--if I even like it anymore, and isn't that sad?

I can't even decide if I like my novel enough to revise it. Ha. I have so much to add and so much to cut and so much to modify. I suppose I'm having such a hard time of it because it's the first novel I've ever completed, and the first time I've ever really revised anything.

The most recent change I want to make is taking it from third-person, past-tense to first-person, present-tense, which I originally intended to do but backed out of for some stupid reason, thinking third-person was safer. Quick writing tip: NEVER do what is safest. Anyway, I think it would would make things more immediate and ramp up the emotion, because after I sent one of my first chapters to my CP, she said it was beautiful in writing style but lacking voice in emotion.

And you know what? She was right. Absolutely, completely, amazingly, right. While that made me depressed and sulky (especially because I've been reading the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, which is amazing, and I feel like my story doesn't even begin to compare--not that it should, I'm just irrational like that.) Thank God for you, Angela, and your insightful comments. Now, I'm going to try my hand at converting this story to first person present-tense, because I do love present-tense. There's this breathless quality to it that I really like.

Wish me luck.

(Can you tell I'm excited for autumn from my icon? I'm sick and tired of summer and, at this point, would like nothing more than to go back to school. Funny, that, but what can I say. I miss the world of academia!)

(no subject)

Hi, guys! So... it looks like I haven't updated in a year and a half, huh? Oops! I was going to abandon this journal, but today I decided, how about not. This journal is me, my history, and how can I abandon that?

I think the main reasons I stopped blogging were a) my journal felt too jumbled and b) doubt. Concerning a), I thought my entries were just all over the place and not very well organised. I wanted my journal organised. One of those cutesy journals whose entries all start with alliteration, because let me tell you, I am OBSESSSED with alliteration. I wanted that Music Monday, WIP Wednesday, Friday Five and a white picket fence. But alas, my mind doesn't work like that. It's all over the place, it lacks organisation and sometimes coherence, but you know? I like that about me.

And b) doubt. Doubt, doubt, doubt. I'll always doubt myself. But this past year has taught me a hell of a lot about myself, and I've come back to this blog a changed person: eighteen years old, my first year of college complete, my first novel complete. Among other things that have changed about me. Doubt has been a constant, and it will always be constant. I just need to take it in stride.

So. I'm back. Hi! I hope y'all haven't forgotten about me, or anything, haha. And if I go on a comment spree, don't mind me, I've been away from LJ for far too long. :)

On maps and road trips, and atlases left behind

I know, I know. I've been AWOL for the past three months, blogging and commenting sparsely and randomly. But, now that term two is finally over and we're at the new start of a term and novel, I'm hoping to return to blogging on a semi-regular basis. t I hope I'm going to get a little more time in, anyway. And less procrastination. (I'm workin' on it.)

So... I believe a writing update is in order, considering the nature of this blog.

I've started to add to THE PERFECT MIRROR IMAGE in bits and pieces, as ideas have come to me. But I jumped the gun by saying I was going to stick it out with THE PERFECT MIRROR IMAGE for the next few months. Truth is, I don't really know what I want to do. I'm not going to say anything definitively until I know it. Right now, I need to organise myself... and....

You know what I think I need, really, right now?


Yes, that's right. Enough pantsing; it's obviously not working for me. Thereisaidit. Pantsing is fun, and all, like going on a roadtrip with no map, no destination in mind, no sights to see in particular, just the car and the people to take us somewhere, doesn't matter where.

The problem?

Meandering. It's fun, at first: you get to know your people, the ins and outs of the vehicle, you're having a good time on this road taking you somewhere. You see advertisements for sites, and you think, Wow, I want to go there! Of course, the end isn't in mind: you're thinking about seeing this or that on the way.

Sometimes you pass the exit for a site and think, Doesn't matter, and you forget about it. Your people can't decide where they want to go: they're all pulling in different directions, it seems. No one can agree on rock or pop or country or classic or the mixed tape. Then, inevitably, there's running out of fuel, because you forgot to stop at the gas station to fuel up, and the hotel get some rest.

Worse, though? Crashing into The Brick Wall, especially when it's invisible. You can't go forward: something's stopping you, but you don't know what, and besides, your car is totalled. You don't know where you want to go, only that you can't go forward. Even if you do, somehow, hitch a ride, where are you going to go? You don't know. So you stop at the nearest gas station and take a bus home. Then it's over.

That's how it's been going for my last few novels. And if it keeps up, I'm never going to get anything done. I would so like to before my seventeenth birthday, but that's not going to happen, considering I'm going to be gone for three weeks to France, Montreal and various other places in March and quite busy, which means little to no writing and all. And my birthday's in May. Ah, well. Still, my goal is to complete my first ever draft by December 31st, 2010. It's not too lofty--manageable, I'd say, with a road map. And writing every day. These two things I promised myself on New Year's, and I intend to keep my promise. Which means I need an outline.

Not an atlas--don't want to lug around a ten-pound tome around the country--but a foldable, light roadmap I can tuck into the back pocket of my jeans. I promise for my next novel I am going to make it happen.

And that's all for now. Oh! Before I forget, I'd just like to leave you with a little wisdom from my English teacher; I think she's a genius, really.

"Even though I have ideas--you know why I don't write? You have to make your characters suffer. You have to care enough about them to make them suffer, and to suffer with them throughout the rest of the story."

Pure gold, right there. I hope you find as much meaning in that as I do.
  • Current Music
    Dead Man's Party [Party 'Til You're Dead Remix] : Oingo Boingo : Classic Alt
  • Tags
don't give up

Sometimes, I want to punch Captain Obvious in the face

I’m sitting there, waiting for inspiration (bad, bad, baaad, I know); repeatedly checking my email, Facebook, flist, email again; walking into the next room to throw clothes in the dryer... pretty much dancing around what I really want to do, holding off because a) I am a procrastinator by nature and b) I’m not sure where to start up from where I left off.

And then Captain Obvious swoops in, cape and all, salutes me (the nerve), and says, Start... at the start of your novel!

Hmmmm. Wouldn’ta thought of that. Genius. I say, Captain Obvious, you must be a genius.

But I still want to punch your smug face in. Just kidding, sir! You are wise and knowledgeable in all things obvious and apparent, and you are quite good at pointing them out to me when I am not wearing my invisible, writerly goggles.

And I know this isn’t a real post. Someday I will resume normal blogging. Maybe. For now, I’ll stick to writing semi-random and semi-relevant posts and see where The Perfect Mirror Image goes. If it goes anywhere at all.

(no subject)

So, I haven't been around the blogosphere for a while. Apologies for comments not replied to, entries ignored, and all that jazz. I was busy living up the holiday season, and what a season it was! I had a wonderful Christmas, New Years, and all the days in between. A belated "happy holidays" is in order, I believe.

EDIT: This was a long, mostly fluff-filled entry, so I cut out most of it. Normal blogging will resume shortly, I hope. I'm off to comment/email/write. The latter of which I have been sorely neglecting these past few weeks/days, though at the moment I'm working on two things simultaneously. *sigh* We will see how that goes.

The Hunger Games and NaNoWriMo

Okay, so I just finished the Hunger Games...

And I am SO impressed. I've been reading a lot of underwhelming books lately (Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes and Kristin Cashore's Graceling chief among them), and I had my reservations for this one. I mean, I've heard a lot of praise for this book while others have criticised it. I decided I'd read it sometime soon, and I was happy to find it on display at the library this Tuesday. I'd looked for it, hadn't found it before.

Anyway, so I started it and finished it off in about three days. The Hunger Games was just riveting. It's one of those books that had me sitting there in awe, wishing I could write something so awesome. Needless to say, I was hooked me from the first page.

First of all, I loved the characters. Likable characters are so important--in fact, I hold them in higher importance than a good plot. And I liked all of them. Well, most of the time.

It's a plus that this was one of those rare books where I can cry and smile and laugh and just stop and stare at the book in complete shock (SPOLERS muttations! OMG! I just about died when she recognised Glimmer as the wolf muttation. It gave me shivers. SPOILERS END HERE.)

Characters aside, the plot was amazing. I mean, it's not completely original, but what hasn't been done before? It's how you spin it that matters. And boy, did she spin a tale. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

The only things that bothered me was the writing at times--short sentences, commas where there shouldn't be, places that needed commas but didn't have them. But I only noticed it here and there, so it didn't bother me much. And the ending was so... abrupt. I like closure. But, hey, I guess it really incites you to go and get the next book, doesn't it?

I need to read Catching Fire. I hope my library has it.

And, as for the Peeta versus Gale debate... my vote's on Gale. I like Peeta, and all (name aside), but I just like Gale more. I can connect with him a lot better than with Peeta, and his relationship just feels a whole lot more real than what she has with Peeta. (Am I the only one who laughed when I made the connection between Peeta and bread? Pita bread, that is....)

NaNoWriMo is... I really don't think I'm going to get to that finish line, but you never know what will happen. I haven't written much of anything this past week. The novel I'm working on, PS? It's going at its own pace. It's is a book I cannot rush. I know--the first draft isn't supposed to be novel quality. But this one? It refuses to be typed at breakneck speed. Instead, it's plodding along. But that's a good thing, I guess, when my main concern is getting it done, because I've never been able to finish a novel in my life.

And trying to race to the finish line doesn't help--it just makes the crash into a brick wall that much harder.

Here's to hoping I'll finish. In the mean time, I'm going to make tea, and after that, we'll see if I can get some words down. Amazingly this novel is being half written on paper, half electronically, so I'll have to type some of it out... but as per usual, it's going to be done last minute.
  • Current Music
    Biko : Bloc Party : Intimacy
  • Tags