Friday, January 27, 2012

Five for Friday

1. I'm almost at 20,000 words for Cursed! My goal is 60,000. I think I can get there by...well...we'll see.

2. I got to take a 'fun' trip to the hospital on Wednesay. Actually, it was kind of scary. I've been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, way more than normal, and went in to get checked out. Everything turned out to okay, but i was told to take it easy.  Ha! Not likely with three kids under the age of six. Thankfully my wonderful mother-in-law booked a ticket and will be here on Sunday to help make things a bit easier for me. I have less than twelve weeks to go. I think i can make it.

3. There's a wondeful giveaway of (a signed copy) Brodi Ashton's Everneath over at I Loved This Book.  She's a new blogger and would love to add some followers to her list. And Everneath made it onto my anticipation list for 2012.

4. I'm not sure how 'here' I'll be next week with family in town. I want to focus more on writing and getting the first draft of Cursed done before the baby gets here, so I might be a little absent here and there. Then again, maybe I'll have something I just have to share with you guys and I'll jump on more than ever. Just a heads up.

5. Anyone have some awesome music to share with me? I'm looking for some more inspiration and I'm a little out of the loop in the music scene, so I'd love any suggestions.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Critique Me! (This time for real)

My query is officially up at Lindsay Currie's blog. Please feel free to go and rip it apart so that I can build it back up into something better.

I wish I had more to share with you this Wednesday, but I had a REALLY long night and my brain is currently on auto-pilot. I'll be back on Friday! P.S. Thanks to anyone who's willing to critique me, I appreciate all the help I can get.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Writing Before It Melts Away

Did I mention that it snowed here last week? Like for realz snowed? I think it was about five inches or more. It was fun. My hubby took a half day at work so he could play with the kids in said snow. Wet, white cold fluffies don't make it around here often. But when they do we take full advantage of the situation. We made a snowman. And he was HUGE. However, by the time 5 o'clock rolled around it was warming up and raining. Slowly the Snowman began to tilt to the side just a bit, the 'neck' holding his heavy head in place breaking. The torso followed suit, and pretty soon there was nothing but the base. And that too didn't last very long. I'm so glad we took the time to take kids out in the snow before it was some sad distant memory of 'remember when?'

How is this like writing? Sometimes we get these ideas that make us jump up and down, giddy with excitement because of just how awesome they are. We then sit down and start jotting down plot, scenes, character information. It's that wave of freshness that leaves us energized. Then, after some time, that jazzed feeling starts to fizzle. Just a bit at first, sort of like that snowman's neck starting to slip to the side. We begin to doubt the story, ourselves, EVERYTHING. Why did I want to write this? We question. I am so NOT good enough to give life to this story, we say to ourselves. My life is in ruins! we yell to the universe. (The last one's a bit drastic, but I think we've all been there). And pretty soon there's nothing left in the writing but a big, slushy, wet mess of nonsense.

How do we overcome this crippling situation? We get over it. Yeah, I know. But HOW to get over it, is the real question. And there's no easy answer. I've started and stopped I don't even know how many stories. Then came this point. I'm not sure when it hit, but when it did it made me free. I WANTED to finish that story that'd lost the spark. Why? Because I needed to prove to myself that I could finish something. Anything, really. Even though that story won't be seeing the light of day any time soon, it gave me a sense of accomplishment. I know that it's almost necessary to give up on a project from time to time in this writing gig, but don't do it because of doubt. Do it because you gave it everything and there's nothing left in you to give. Be proud of what you put in, even if nothing comes of it. And then, when the time comes, use it for scrap parts. (I've been known to do that from time to time.) But make sure at the end of the darkened tunnel of lost inspiration that you're satisfied with what you did. Even if it's half done, be happy that you gave it your all.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Sparkling Reviews is doing an AWESOME giveaway. You can win  a Macbook air and Apple TV. GO CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five for Friday

1. For the first time today I'm able to sit for longer than five minutes. Things have been hectic. The kindergartner had early release today. And parents know that two hours is not long enough to get things done. It didn't help that he slept in this morning, and then decided to have a meltdown because he couldn't watch his morning cartoon. All I can say is I'm ready for a break.

2. Had another great writing week. Got 2,500 words down, and some editing as well. Woohoo! I'm trying to work as much as possible before the baby arrives.

3. I feel more and more like an eighty year old woman. My bones hurt, I'm tired all the time, next thing you know I'll be yelling at the neighbor kids to get off my yard while chasing them with a cane, and starting to take in stray cats. I'm also fighting the pregnancy waddle. HARD.

4. I finished the Clockwork Prince, and it was glorious. And the ending was killer,which is not unusual with Cassandra Clare. Now I have MONTHS to go before the conclusion! Gah!

5. I'm planning on some serious sleeping in this weekend. I wasn't kidding when I said I'm tired ALL the time. I hope you all can rest up as well. I'll be back next week, reenergized (hopefully), and ready to get back to the grind.  Until then, have a slendiferous weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In Anticipation Pt.2

BTW, my query will be up NEXT Wedneday on Lindsay's blog. I'll remind you guys to check it out when the time comes around. Thanks for the interest you've all shown. Can't wait to get some feedback.

I did a post a couple weeks back on the books I'm most anticipating this year. What I realized afterwards was that they're all sequels. So, in this post, I'll be sharing with you the debuts I want to read.

1. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: A book about a girl trying to survive in a wasteland while trying to avoid cannibals and falling for the guy who might be all wrong for her? Yeah, I'm in. I heard so many wonderful things about this over the last few months, and it's finally out. I'll be devouring this little gem very soon.

2. Everneath by Brodi Ashton: I love Greek Mythology. The story of Persephone is one of my faves. This story is based on that myth. Nikki was lured away by a guy we can only assume is Hades, the greek god of the underworld. Now she has the opportunity to return and say good-bye to her loved ones. Only thing, she loves her BF very much, and Cole, the guy playing the part of the villan/sexy god, makes it very difficult to do so.

3. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: Once again, lots of good buzz. The whole reincarnation thing fascinates me. My extended family practices the Hindu religion, and this is a very big part of their belief system. I, myself, don't believe in it. But it's a neat idea. Being able to be born over again, to get right. But this story is about a girl who's 'new' to a world where reincarnation is very much a real thing. And she's seen as a threat of some kind. Add a bit of romance and I'm ready to read.

4.Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I've mentioned before my love for fairytale retellings. Cinder is a obviously a new take on the Cinderella story. And in this one, she's a cyborg. Holy, how cool and original is that? I like a little bit of sci-fi with my romance.

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass: I stumbled on this book over at amazon. The premise sounds very interesting. But I'm afraid it's one of those that could go either way, with love or hate. America is the MC and she's selected, along with 30 some odd girls, to go compete for the Prince's heart. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. But America is already in love with someone else, a someone else she can't be with. And she has no desire to go and win over the Prince. Until she meets him, that is.

This is only a small taste of what I want to read. There are SO MANY more books I can't wait to pick up. Feel free to share with me some more that you all are looking forward to. Maybe I'll add them to my already sky high list.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Critique Me!

Hey guys! My query is up over at Lindsay Currie's blog. Please go over there and rip it to shreds...but with kindness ;). Follow the link above to give me some feedback!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Write Kind of Improvement

I opened up a word doc this past weekend. It was a story I started when I first began this writing thing. It made me cringe. Then I perked up a little, because I realized my writing HAS gotten better. Sometimes I think I'm not making any sort of improvement when it comes to that facet of my life. But there was actual, undeniable proof right in front of my eyes. It made me happy.
As writers we want to get better at our jobs. Writing is not cut and dry. We always have room to improve. I have a great desire to do just that, to find ways of tweaking my writing that'll make it more meaningful and beautiful. I want to write prose with the ability to bring tears to a reader's eyes. I want to write exchanges between my characters that make a reader laugh out loud. I may not be there yet, but I'm getting there. And I love that my writing is getting stronger, that I'm learning. That this isn't all a waste. There's a reason why when you ask authors for advice on writing numbers one and two are 'go write', and 'go read'. It has back-up people. Take it from me.

As I read Cassandra Clare's newest master piece, I noticed how her writing has also improved. She was the queen of similes, but seems to have toned it down a bit. Her descriptions are masterful, and make me want to cry with jealousy, and they're better than they used to be. To see the progression of someone that's already so well established in this business is something I admire. I love when authors aren't lazy, when you can read the blood, sweat, and tears they put into their writing in between the lines. It means they care, that they want us to love the story as much as they do.

My hope is that I'll continue to make progress, that i'll never be lazy with my words, or stop caring about them. If someday by the grace of God I do get published, I never want my readers to feel like I'm getting lax with my writing, or stories. I want to always have confidence in my ability to create a piece of work worth buying. And more than that, I want my readers to have that confidence in me.

In conclusion, keep writing. Don't stop. It'll get better. Maybe not easier, but you'll find your ability to get through a chapter without the sinking feeling of hopelessnes crushing you from the inside increasing. And, if nothing else, go read something you wrote a year earlier to make yourself feel better. I guarantee that if you've been writing consistently, you'll notice the improvement. Oh, and NEVER be lazy with your words.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Five for Friday

1. First off, Mission Impossible was pretty fun. But then again, I enjoy action movies, and believe me when I say there is A LOT of action involved. I prefer to watch movies like this in theaters versus home DVD because I feel like I get more bank for my buck. Romantic comedies aren't going to look any more amazing in theaters. But with action movies and animated movies, I feel that it's worthwhile watching them on the big screen. And with ticket prices skyrocketing, I want to make sure I get the best movie going experience.

2. Writing, writing, writing. I did a lot of it this week, around three thousand words worth. My goal for this year is to get at least 2,000 words a week, and thus far I have been successful. Cursed is shaping up to be something unexpected, like my other stories. It's always surprising to me the discoveries I make about my characters as I follow them along on their journeys.

3. I'm almost done with Clockwork Prince. The amount of time I'm taking reading is highly unusual for me, but since I have almost an entire YEAR before the next one comes out, I thought I'd take my sweet time. And I am. And it is going wonderfully.

4. My house is eerily silent since our home invasion ended. It's kind of sad. It still gets loud with my three little ones, but it's not the same chaotic yelling and running around that I got used when my sis was in town with her FIVE kids, along with my mom and brother. It was fun while it lasted, and I'm looking forward to doing it again. If only because we always take turns watching each other's kids so we can go out on dates with our significant others.

5. I'm at the point in my pregnancy where the baby is pressing up against my lungs, and there only so many positions that allow for me to breathe comfortably. I am SO ready for this to be over.

Have an ahmahzing weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Occulta, Occultorum

Occulta, Occultorum: things hidden or not generally known.

AKA Secrets

We all have them. Isn't that the saying? Whether they're the kind you stuff into your closet, or the ones you carefully tuck away into a drawer, they're a part of us. I'm not accusing anyone here of murder or anything, and I am not gong to confess one, either. What this got me thinking about was my characters, and their secrets. And I'm not talking the kind so big you need a storage unit sized closet, you know, the ones that drive a plot forward. I'm talking about those dirty little drawer secrets. Everyone has at least those. How well do you know your character? What are those small secrets they're keeping from the world. Maybe your guy/gal likes to pick their nose in the privacy of their own home, or maybe they like to blame others for their silent but deadlies (okay,I am in NO WAY saying that I do those two things by using them as examples). First off, ew, those things are gross. But people do gross things, things that make us human. Your character could be klepto, and you might not even realize it.

  When I think about my characters, the one secret that comes to mind belongs to Ava, my MC from Cursed. Now Ava has had everything she holds near and dear ripped apart from her. She's destitute, emotionally as well as wordly. But what Ava won't tell you or, anyone else for that matter, is that she loves collecting Barbies. Yeah, that's right, those frilly little dolls that in no way resemble an actual woman's body measurements. Now Ava has always been somewhat of a tomboy, so the idea of playing with these dolls embarrasses her, so she does it in secret. I've never had a Barbie obsession. Sure I played with them when I was younger, like most girls, but I didn't have some unexplicable need to find as many as I could and purchase them. But for some reason Ava can't get enough. I think it reminds her of a simpler time in her life, when things were much less complicated. And I don't blame her. But the fact that she keeps it a secret is kind of upsetting. As women, whether we enjoy those frills and pink, or if we prefer to spend our time out on a court or on a field of some kind, we shouldn't be embarrassed to enjoy something that's completely the opposite of us. Girly girls have a right to enjoy watching football or basketball, and athletic girls should be able to enjoy putting on make-up and go shopping. But that's not always the case.

  Whatever the secret may be, it's a trait that defines our character. It helps us to get a better picture of who they are, and explains some of the actions they take. I never set out for Ava to have this obsession, it sort of just happened. She created herself right before my eyes. And that's pretty cool. Discovering your characters completely is a part of writing, a fun part, too. What are some secrets your characters keep hidden in drawers? What surprised you about them?

BTW this post was brought to you thanks to rerun of BTVS (Buffy). The one with Ted (John Ritter) and his closet full of ex-wives. Man, I miss that show.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Five for Friday

1. Wow, the first FoF of 2012. This is so exciting? Are guys sure you're ready for all the awesomeness that's about to come your way? Because, you know, I am THAT interesting. Just let me know if it gets to be too much, I'll try to tone it down next time. 2. We have family coming for a visit this weekend! Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking "uh, Prerna, when don't you have family visiting?" It may seem like we have visitors bursting from the windows up in this joint, but I'm here to tell that this winter has been highly unusual with the amount of visitations that have occurred. Not that I'm complaining. It's the one sure way to get my butt into cleaning mode. What I'm really excited about is what comes with said visitors- a copy of the Clockwork Prince. Yup, my big sis ordered this a few weeks back and just finished it. And now she's bringing it with her for ME!!! I can't fully express to you just how freaking, out of this world, excited I am about this. The epicness of that reading day will be great. 3. I wrote quite a bit this week. Thus far, I'm not falling behind with my resolutions. Yay me! Then again, it's only what? The sixth? Yeah, let's see if this keeps up. 4. With family coming into town it means date night for me and the hubs. I'm pretty stoked. We just have to agree on a movie to watch...I'm thinking Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Imax 3D! I heard it's ah-mah-zing (bonus points if you know the tv show I'm referencing). 5. I'm hating this new version of blogger. It won't let me list things, or start new paragraphs. Do you guys know what I'm doing wrong? Because I am totally blogger illiterate right now, and it's driving me INSANE. Have a great weekend everyone. And if you've figured out this new version of blogger, let me know how to fix it.

In Anticipation

First, I would like to apologize to any and all who read this post a couple of days back. It was atrocious. It was also a draft I had saved, but accidently posted. But thank you guys who did read that unfinished post for not saying anything, and for commenting away. This newly redone post is a bit different, since I deleted the last one. But it will have all of the same books, and a few more. Since it's officially 2012, I wanted to write about the books I'm most looking forward to reading this coming year. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins: If you haven't read the Hex Hall series yet, now is the time. I started it way back in 2010, when it was first published, and have had to suffer for the last year in anticipation for the final installment. If you have read the series, you understand why I've been waiting on pins and needles. Ms. Hawkins left off Demonglass with a doozy of a cliffhanger. I'm seriously about to lose it because I have to wait another couple of months before this one comes out. Endlessly by Kiersten White: The Paranormalcy series is a fun read. I love Evie's personality, her sarcasm, her ability to kick some butt, and her need to feel normal. And I love the relationship she has with Lend, a guy who is a gentleman in all counts. He's patient with Evie as she works through her many issues, and loves her for who she is. And it's nice to read a male love interest who isn't a complete jerk for the sake of being a complete jerk. I'm all for the broken boy, jerkness included, along with daddy/mommy issues who has a heart of gold, but Lend felt more real. I hope they get a happily ever after. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead: As a huge VA fan, I was pretty stoked to hear that Ms. Mead was going to do a spin-off series starring none other than Sydney the Alchemist. The whole alchemist mythology fascinates me, and I wanted to know more. Despite enjoying Bloodlines, the first intallment in this new series, I felt like it was missing something. And not Rose. I love Rose, and it a while to get used to Sydney, but I am now a firm Sydney lover. I wanted more romance. Which Ms. Mead has promised there will be more of in this new edition! Woot woot! That was what I missed in Bloodlines, those longing looks, touches that electrify, and some serious making out sessions. What can I say, I love me some romance in my stories. Insurgent by Veronica Roth: Holy crapoli! Divergent ended with some of the factions falling apart, if not all of them. And now I must know where all this is going to lead. Tris is a fascinating girl who found herself in Divergent, and then lost it all in the end. Except for Four. I wonder how these two are going to handle the situation they find themselves in as their former world falls apart, and a new one is possibly built up. The Savage Grace by Bree Despain: Another end to a series I love. The Dark Divine trilogy has kept me wanting more. Daniel and Grace are a couple I'm truly rooting for. And with the way things ended the last time around (another biggie cliffhanger)things look a little bleak. But here's hoping that they can pull it all together in the end. The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare: Um, hello. Did you read the Cassandra Clare part? Yeah, that pretty much says it all. She is the queen of cliffhanger endings that leave you chopping on your nails as you TRY to make it through an entire year for the next installment. And Jace and Clary have been through so much, I just want them to be happy already! Is that too much to ask for. Ms. Clare is very good at putting her characters through the ringer, and I'm a wee bit scared for what this book holds for the future of these beloved characters. Timepiece by Myra McEntire: Hourglass kind of wrapped things up too quickly for my liking, with a possible love triangle in the works, no less. I'm firmly on team Micheal, but there's just something about Kaleb that makes me want to know more. And Ms. McEntire recently revealed that Timepiece is told from his perspective, which makes me even more curious as what is going to happen next. Obviously Em is going to have her work cut out for her as she tries to choose between smoldering Micheal and flirtatious Kaleb. Poor girl. (Did you notice the subtle hint of sarcasm in that last statment?) So, I just noticed that all of said books are sequels or sequels to sequels. I apologize. And to make it up to you all, next week I'll do a post on the debuts I'm looking forward to most, whether by newbie authors or vets.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Way To Start 2012

I already did my resolutions post, so I won't go into that during this one. So, we rang in the New Year with one of our rooms in the basement flooding. Yeah, not so fun. Our family was having our annual New Year's Eve mattress the basement. Not in the room that flooded (thankfully), but it still sucked. So we started the 1st of January calling in a plumber, and spending a ridiculous amount of money having him do something that might not actually solve the problem. Now, I know this is not how anyone wants to start their new year, but I am being cautiously optimistic about 2012. I think that this is a sign that things can only get better from here on out. Maybe if we start our year off in such a crappy way, the rest will be AMAZING. That's what I'm taking from it, anyway. In other news, I can't wait to write. The husband goes back to work tomorrow, and my 5yo returns to school, so my normal routine will be put back in place...for a little while. I'm itching to put my fingers on my keyboard and letting my brain exercise its way back into something that resembles, well...a brain. The break was nice, but it reminded me why I love writing in the first place. And that there's no way I'll ever be able to quit. I am a full fledged writing addict. I'm also excited to work on my projects so at the end of 2012 I can cross off my resolution to finish two more manuscripts. Woot woot! And I will be making a trip to the library this week to pick up some goodies. I need to get as much reading in as I can before the new babe enters the world. I hope all of you had an awesome New Year's Eve with the people you love, avoiding any and all household catastrophes. Here's to the many more posts coming your way in 2012! Get excited, people.