Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Of course Road Trip Wednesday is going to go all Halloween. So they're asking:
Halloween! What's your favorite scary book or movie?

This is a tough one because I don't like scary movies. Or books. Or anything scary at all. Yep, I'm a fraidy-cat. My overactive imagination takes even the least amounts of freaky and turns it into, what was that noise? Is someone pounding on my door? I can hear footsteps. I'm going to get slashed and murdered in my bed with a gigantic knife and there will be blood everywhere.

My imagination actually gets worse from there but I can't even write it down. When I was a teen, both Scream and Sleeping With the Enemy freaked the crap out of me. I don't think I've ever actually seen a horror movie (Scream would be the only one). And books? The scariest it gets is... nope, I can't think of one. I don't mind a little bit of freak-out, like Maureen Johnson's In The Name of the Star about a serial killer. And of course I love tension in my books. But as for horror? No way, no how, not happening.

So how's that for a non-answer?

What's your fave scary book or movie?

Actually, no, don't answer that. Because I'm not going to read/watch it anyway and I frankly don't even want to hear about it. Wait. Is something scratching at my window?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Raven Boys

It's Teaser Tuesday time again, hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading. You can see the complete rules of the meme on her blog, but you basically open randomly to a page in your current read and choose a line or two- no spoilers!

Confession: I rarely pick a teaser at random. Usually, I use a line or small paragraph that I especially love or that conveys the tone of the book or the voice.

Right now I'm reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I am loving this book so far which isn't much of a surprise since I've loved everything she's written that I've read so far. She has so many great lines in this book that it should be easy to pick one. Of course, when I need to find a line I love, I can't. Go figure. So you'll have to settle for this:

"Death." Gansey read the bottom of the card. He didn't sound surprised or alarmed. He just read the word like he would read eggs or Cincinnati.

"Great job, Maura," Calla said. Her arms were crossed firmly over her chest. "You going to interpret that for the kid?" (page 151)

What are you reading this week?

Friday, October 26, 2012


I am loving Taylor Swift's new album RED like crazy. I admire her so much. She's not the best singer in the world, but her song-writing skills are amazing. Some people have blasted her for singing about her exes, but I think it makes the songs that much more interesting. Her songs are very honest, and I like that.

I also love that my three daughters (aged 3,5, and 8) beg to listen to her. Yes, my 3-year-old does too. We all belt out We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together in the car. I've only listened through the CD a couple of times, but Stay Stay Stay, Red, and 22 are already favorites. This CD is definitely worth a listen if you haven't had a chance yet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost in Film Translation

Here's this week's Road Trip Wednesday prompt:

It isn't surprising that this month's Bookmobile selection, Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, has sold film rights; the darkly magical world of the Shadow Fold begs for an on-screen translation! But that got us wondering. We'd like to know, in your opinion, what is it that makes some books seem ideal for a film translation?

(An aside: I haven't read Shadow and Bone yet, I'm still waiting for it from the library.)

So, honestly? Any book. And I could really stop there.

The thing is, when I love a book, I automatically think, this would make a great movie, I wonder who'd play the leads?

In most cases of course, the book is way better than the movie. I've heard they optioned Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. I'd see that movie in a heartbeat, and yet anyone who's read it knows that a movie just won't hold a candle to this book. It's just not possible. A movie will lose all that's really great and special about the book.

When I was thinking about this question yesterday, my first thought was that contemporary books probably make the best movies. Earlier this month I read The Bachelorette Party which really SHOULD be a movie. In fact, I'm surprised it isn't yet. Same with Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married (which I did hear was made into a TV mini-series with Gerard Butler as Gus! I'd like to see that sometime).

But then I realized, contemporary doesn't always make a great movie. Take Speak for example. The movie was good but it doesn't compare to the book because we couldn't really get inside the main character's head. She doesn't speak, so with the movie it's impossible to really get it. I've heard Thirteen Reasons Why could also be a movie, and again, I doubt a movie version will have the same impact as the book.

I think the books most ideal for film translation are plot-driven and fast-paced. Books where we see the character development more through their actions than what's going on in their head. Of course, when I tried to think of an example, I couldn't really. (Because movies rarely are as good.)

The few cases where I enjoy a movie better than the book, are usually adaptations of classics. They cut out a lot of the long-winded description in the movie version and get straight to the point. *cough LOTR cough*

In conclusion... ha, just kidding. I've been long-winded and a bit rambly today (I probably should have stopped above). Browsing my shelves, what books would I love to see made into a movie? Juliet by Anne Fortier. The Gallagher Girls series or Heist Society books by Ally Carter. And Anna and the French Kiss, just because I love that book so much.

Speaking of books to movies, I'm super excited for this movie, coming out in February:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

Yep, I'm reading it. The Casual Vacancy. J.K. Rowling's new book. I imagine I'll have a whole post about it when I'm done, but right now all I'm gonna say is...

Dobby, I don't think we're in Hogwarts anymore.

Naturally I'm pulling my Teaser Tuesday (hosted by Miz B from Should Be Reading) from this book. So without further adieu...

She could still see Howard and Maureen behind the counter, the one immense, the other scrawny, and in her mind's eye they were looking down at her from a height as they told her that her friend was dead. With an almost welcome gush of fury and hatred she thought, They're glad. They think they'll win now. (page 40)

Have you read The Casual Vacancy? I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Once Upon A Time

How much do I love this show? Let me count the ways...

Okay, maybe I won't, but seriously, this is one of my favorite shows ever! Every week I'm anxious to see who they're going to spotlight, what new character they're going to introduce. I love the different takes they put on our favorite fairy tale characters. I love the how they intertwine the Storybrooke story and the Enchanted Forest story. I love the new direction they've taken it this season. I love love love the costumes.

So maybe I was starting to count the ways. This really is an awesome show and if you're not watching it, YOU MUST.

And if I was going to dress up for Halloween, I'd so want to be Mulan- I love her outfit and her crazy-long ponytail. Or maybe Snow White. Or even the Evil Queen. The costumes are awesome!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Today's Road Trip Wednesday hosted by YA Highway asks:

Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

No, I've never done NaNoWriMo. I first heard about it when I just barely started writing the first draft of Daze. My then 16-year-old niece was doing it. When I found out she wrote an entire book in a month... well, it lit a fire under my rear that's for sure. By the next February, I had finished my first manuscript.

I've sort of had the itch to do it this year, but the timing's off. I want to finish my Sway revisions and I've got an R&R for Daze. I'd really like to go back to my WIP and just get it finished. The idea is still floating around in the back of my head, begging to be written some more. But I've made a plan and I'm going to stick to it.

Oh, and do deadlines inspire me? Sure. I set them for myself. Of course, they're never as crazy as writing a novel in a month. Right now, I'd like to have my Sway revisions done by November 1st.  I don't know if I'm going to make that deadline but I'm sure as heck gonna try.

What about you? Doing NaNo this year? Do you set yourself crazy deadlines?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married

It's Teaser Tuesday time again, hosted by Miz B. at Should Be Reading. Today I'm actually not pulling my teaser from a YA book. Shocking, I know! I've been trying to read some Women's Fiction/Chick Lit since that's the genre I'm working on right now (Sway).

My teaser today is from Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married by Marian Keyes. I have a few minor issues with this book but overall it's been hilarious and page-turning. Thanks to Prerna for the recommendation!

Then he moved away from me and said more of those polite guest things like 'Can I do anything to help?' knowing that the answer would be an avalanche of 'Nos' and 'Not at alls' and slightly hysterical 'Everything's under controls!'. (page 317)

One of the things I like about this book is the fast dialogue so I'm going to share a teaser of that as well. (Note: I didn't cut out the dialogue tags, this is exactly how it's written. And it goes on, but I decided not to share it ALL.)

"Tell me about you getting married."
"Don't you want to talk about it?"
"That's what you always say about everything."
"That you don't want to talk about it."
"Well, I don't want to talk about it."
"Did Connie go berserk?"
"Totally. She accused me of being pregnant."
"Poor Connie."
"Poor Connie, my eye!" (page 127)

What are you reading this week? And I could use some more Women's Fiction or Chick Lit recommendations. Anyone?

Monday, October 15, 2012


A few weeks ago, YA Highway did a post about bookshelves. A few of their members posted pics of where they let their books go to rest. It was interesting to see how different everyone's spaces looked. It's like getting a glimpse into your personality. I loved this idea and thought I'd post a pic of my own bookshelf.


What my shelves say about me, I have no idea. Except that I'm a nerd who collects dragon figurines. These aren't my only shelves, I have some very messy ones in the basement with my old old books on them that I never read anymore. Sadly for them, they don't get a place of honor on these shelves. (That definitely says something about me.)

What do your bookshelves look like?

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Avengers

When it comes to comic-book movies, I'm like those people who see the movie but never read the book. I didn't read comic books growing up except for Archie. But I usually like comic-book movies. It has nothing to do with DC vs Marvel, or how well they stay true to the original story (because I have no clue). Either I like the movie or I don't. Usually, I want to see them when they come out. Sometimes they disappoint (cough, Green Lantern, cough) and sometimes they're so awesome that I'm surprised.

Like, The Avengers. I wanted to see it but I was afraid it wouldn't live up to all the hype.

But it did. Oh it did. I mean, is there someone in this universe who didn't love The Avengers? Really, I'd like to meet this person so I could slap the silly out of them. Avengers had everything. Great action, a few tender moments, the best one-liners- mostly delivered by Iron Man ("Better clench up, Legolas"), and the best Hulk-Smash scene ever. And let's not forget about all the eye-candy (how could we forget that???).

I don't think I need to say anymore. Except to profess my love for The Avengers. And to wonder why I've only seen it twice?! Excuse me while I go watch it again.

P.S. I read in an article that everyone has signed on to do the sequel except Jeremy Renner. What's the deal, Jer? We're counting on you. Please give us some more Hawkeye.

Warning: Spoilers. But um, really? If you haven't seen this movie yet, what have you been doing?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Looking Ahead (Please Don't Make Me)

Today's Road Trip Wednesday question kind of makes me want to groan. Here it is anyway...

What do you hope to be writing in one year? Three? Five?

Can I groan now?

This is me. Except female and without all the muscles. And clothed.

Here's the thing. I like to look ahead. In fact, sometimes I look ahead so much that I miss what's happening NOW. I often wonder where I will be at 'this time next year.' Will I have an agent? A book deal? Or will I be in exactly the same spot I am now (sigh). That's a depressing thought. I know agents and book deals don't usually happen quickly. (Trust me, I know this first hand.) I've started to tell myself NOT to look ahead. NOT to focus on when I'll have an agent or a book published. I tell myself to focus on the NOW: the writing, the revising, the craft- whatever it is I'm working on NOW. I tell myself not to worry about that end-goal dream.

Which is why I groan. Because I don't want to look ahead anymore.

All groaning aside, I can easily answer this question. In one year, three years, even five years, I'd like to be writing Jessica's story still. I have five possible book ideas (including the two I've already written) which would take me that long. Ideas, a story, and especially a character that I don't want to give up. That's the dream.

But I'm going to focus on the NOW. On the craft, not the dream. And then maybe, when the timing is right, the dream will happen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today I'm pulling my Teaser from a book I just started last night that I wanted to keep reading but it was getting late so I had to stop (sigh): Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

"Yeah, it's kind of a hobby. What's yours? Kicking puppies?"

"I'm not sure I should say in front of my sister," he replied, his expression turning wolfish.

"Ew." Dee made a face.

The images I got then were totally R-rated, and I could tell by his smug expression he knew it. (page 26)

Got any teasers to share?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Starting Where the Story Starts

Start where the story starts. We hear this all the time and it should be one of the easiest pieces of advice a writer gets.

So how come sometimes it's not?

I've had so many beginnings to my MS Daze and Knights that I've lost count- proof that I've been having a hard time finding where the story starts. For me, the story starts when my MC lands in medieval times. My first few drafts had three chapters of her at home first, which I cut down to two, then one, then cut out altogether in the vein of starting where the story starts and also to slash some word count. Then I had a beta say that she wants to see my MC at home so we can see what she's missing when she's travelled, what she could potentially be giving up. So I wrote a whole new first chapter of her at home. Now I've received the advice that just that one chapter isn't enough- it needs more.

This got me thinking... for me, those chapters at home are really just backstory. Or intro-story. Here's my MC, this is what her life is like, this is what she's like... then boom, it's all taken away. I've been struggling over what to add, what's necessary to the story without just being info or random happenings.  For me, if this isn't really where the story starts, what can I put in to make readers care about the character enough to want to take the journey with her?

I haven't found answers yet. I did find a great example of exactly what I'm struggling with though. Last week I read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, an awesome YA historical that takes place in the 1400s. The story is of a girl who escapes an arranged marriage and joins a convent of women who serve Death- they are assassins. The story starts just as she's about to get married. For me, the real story could start when she gets to the convent, or even when she gets her first assignment. The other stuff we could have learned through splashes of backstory here and there. But would we have cared about her as much? I'm not sure. Robin LaFevers does an excellent job with those first chapters. They are a setup of the story to come, but they're fast-paced and interesting. We understand the MC and the choices she makes later based on those first few chapters.

Starting where the story starts isn't always as cut-and-dry as we want it to be. That's why it's important to take another piece of advice we always hear: Read Read Read! It's the best way to learn.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Anne and Avonlea

My daughter recently got into Anne of Green Gables. Or maybe I forced her to get into it when I made her watch all three very long movies (Anne of Green Gables, the Sequel, and the Continuing Story). Ha, just kidding. I started watching it while on the treadmill and she got interested and SHE wanted to watch it all.

I'm so happy my eight-year-old is growing to love Anne like I do. One of my favorite childhood memories is watching Anne with my Mom and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. Now my daughter reads Road to Avonlea, and we've started watching Road to Avonlea episodes. It's been so refreshing watching a wholesome TV show.

So today, what do I love? Road to Avonlea.

And, completely unrelated, I need some book recs. First, I need some great women's fiction or chick lit recommendations. Anyone? The other I'm looking for is a medieval romance (nothing too bodice-ripping though). My character in Daze reads medieval romances and I figured I should read AT LEAST ONE so I know what they're like and what she'd learn from them. Anyone have any recommendations?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It Is SO Fall... Or Is It?

Today's Road Trip Wednesday asks:

October!! It is SO fall! How does your writing (place, time, inspiration, etc) change with the seasons?

First of all, is it really FALL? Because look at the view in my backyard right now: *sobs*

Crappy weather aside, let's get to the question.

So I could pretend to be a diligent little writer who never ever takes a break from writing, who's writing doesn't change with the seasons because I am so scheduled and so on all the time.


Actually, I am a very scheduled person. But this past summer I kind of let my whole schedule slide a bit. And I was okay with it. Summer meant an extra hour or two to sleep in. It meant spending lots of time outside. Summer was beach days and game days and spending lots of time with my kids doing what they wanted instead of what I wanted. This past summer meant no writing whatsoever.

My writing definitely picks up in the fall, slacker summer or not. Two of the three manuscripts I've written I wrote in the fall. (The third was a sequel and lower on my priority list, so I worked on it here and there, in between revisions and during querying and whenever inspiration hit.) As soon as school started this year, I got right back on schedule, carving out about 3 hours every afternoon for my writing/revisions.

Usually my writing slows down around Christmas time because, well heck it's Christmas and I'm too busy reading or watching Christmas movies in front of the fireplace and beside the Christmas tree. It picks up again with January resolutions and I usually stay pretty consistent until... summer hits again.

So there you have it: I'm a slacker during the holidays- how unoriginal. What about you? Does your writing change with the seasons?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly

Tuesdays are my least favorite day of the week. True story. At least it's Teaser day, which means I get to share what I'm reading and check out what other people are reading. I always love adding to my TBR list.

So here's my teaser for today from Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard:

The shrieks of terror drowned me out, but I shouted again- "Go back!"- and stepped toward the spirit. My strength grew with each inch I gained. (page 33)

I got this book from the library based on a recommendation without even knowing what it was about. When I read the inside flap and saw the word ZOMBIES, I cringed. But guess what? This book has had me from page one.

What are you reading this week?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Full Brains

This is one of those days where I stare blankly at blogger and think, what am I going to post about???

Sometimes I feel like I'm so busy that I don't have time to think. At least about extra stuff. I'm neck-deep in Sway revisions, I'm critiquing, and when I'm not doing those, my brain is busy working on revision ideas for Daze. And then of course there's mothering, cleaning, cooking, reading, trying to find time to catch up on my PVR'd TV shows, exercising, and finding the time to shower so I'm not a greasy disaster. And then we add in all the other stuff- groceries, shopping because the kids have grown out of their clothes again, driving the kids to their activities, teaching piano, church, etc.

Do you ever feel like your head is too full???

This is why I write. I write to help de-stress. To leak imagination from my brain to the computer keys, giving my head some room for the normal, every day stuff.

Unfortunately, revisions don't allow for that same pressure release. I think I've said this before, but if Dumbledore could lend me his Pensieve, I'd be really grateful.