Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I'm taking the next couple of weeks off from blogging so I can spend time with my family, enjoy Christmas time, and read read read.

So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and see you in the new year!

How about this blast from the past? You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: All The Reading

What I'm Reading
I finished All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill which was so so great and should really be made into a movie. Such a great paced novel. I did have an issue with the very end (how did [redacted] happen? how did [redacted] not [redacted]?) but oh well. I'll make the hubs read it and then I'll have someone to commiserate with. I've just barely started Teardrop by Lauren Kate. Also, I got an email from the library telling me Allegiant is ready for pick-up. AHHHHH!!!! While this is halfway a scream of excitement, it's also a scream of panic. I need to finish Teardrop then another book I've got out from the library, then I want to reread Divergent and Insurgent before I even get to Allegiant. Guess I better get reading.

What I'm Writing
Nothing! It's my month off! I finished On Writing by Stephen King. A lot of what he had to say I'd heard before, but he did have some interesting views on writing. I'm glad I read it. I've read a whole one paragraph of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Guess I better get on that too.

What Else I've Been Up To

Two words: THE HOBBIT: The Desolation of Smaug (guess that was more than two words). So psyched I got to see it on the weekend and it didn't disappoint. The ending was GRMPHDSGF but I knew it would be because there's still another movie coming. I REALLY loved it. A lot. Then again, I think I'd love anything Peter Jackson creates inside Middle Earth.

What Inspires Me Right Now
I know I've done these two questions backwards, but The Hobbit has inspired me this week. The whole world Tolkien created and then brought to life by Peter Jackson is amazing. I want to step inside, put on some elf ears, and just get lost in the world. Of course I'd probably get butchered by an Orc about two seconds in, but that's beside the point. I hope one day I can create worlds that people want to get lost in like that.

What are you up to this week? Head over to Jaime's blog to link up.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Best Book of Two Months

I usually do a Best Book of the Month post, often linking up with YA Highway. I haven't the last two months because I was busy with NaNo. So now, I'm going to try and choose the best book out of everything I read in October and November. Good luck with that. Here's what I read:


Twelve books, and I'm supposed to pick???
Surprisingly (to me, anyway), my top pick(s) would be Just One Day and Just One Year. They are both amazing contemp books. I don't know what it is about Gayle Forman's books, but I devour them. You'd think contemporary wouldn't be that page-turning, but her books always are.
I have to give a huge shout-out to United We Spy by Ally Carter. It was a great end to a great series. She's a fave author of mine and I can't wait to read through the entire series again one day.
My last mention has to go to The Dream Thieves. Another awesome series. I can't can't can't wait until the third book. Not only because I want to know how the trilogy ends, but because I'm going to reread books one and two and I'm excited to do that!
What have you read lately? Any new books that I should be putting on my TBR pile?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Reading and Rubbish

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly bloghop. Head over to Jaime's blog to link up!

What I'm Reading
I finished The Archived by Victoria Schwab and even though it took me a bit to get into it, it turned into a great book! And such an interesting concept. Now I'm reading All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill and even though my reading has been slow of late, this book has had me from chapter one.

What I'm Writing
Nothing this month. I'm almost done reading On Writing by Stephen King (I may even be done by the time this post gets published) and then next up is Self-editing for Fiction Writers. I also read the December and January issues of Writer's Digest. The January 2014 issue especially had some great articles.

What Inspires Me Right Now
All this reading on craft is making me miss writing! I'm hoping that something, or better yet lots of somethings, stick in my brain when I start revising Eponine. (I'm thinking now I should have been taking notes because I have the worst memory ever.)

What Else I've Been Up To
Last weekend was my husband's family Christmas weekend in Edmonton. We ate some great food and swam a lot in the hotel pool and played lots of games. The kids had a great time doing a gift exchange and acting out the Nativity.
Also, I've been trying not to despair over all the things that have broken down recently. First, it was our Wii. Then the dishwasher. Yesterday, the snow-blower. Today, my husband's truck and our washer. Add in the fact that Christmas is coming plus two birthdays- one a week before Christmas, the other a week after- and I'm dying just a little bit. I feel like Ron Weasley: "Why is everything I own rubbish?" I have to remind myself that it's just things, just money, and that everything will work out eventually. Even if that means going to my sister-in-laws house every week to do my laundry. :/

Monday, December 9, 2013


I finished my NaNo WIP before November was over and surprisingly, I've barely thought of it since. Been too busy with Christmas, etc. Anyway, my daughter was watching TV the other day and BAM! there was my main character, which of course brought the whole manuscript back to mind.

So here's my cast of main characters right now:
Bella Thorne looks so close to how I imagine my MC: red-haired, drama queen Trevi. And she's around the right age which is a bonus since I was thinking Isla Fisher originally. Besides, Bella Thorne can sing which is a major part of who Trevi is.
This manuscript is a YA mystery with a bit of magical realism. There are a few boys who cross paths with Trevi, and all of them become suspects of the strange things that have been happening to girls at the school. 

Suspect #1: Jaff
No, Zayn Malik wouldn't be my favorite One Directioner, if, you know, I actually had one. Which of course I don't. Because I'm in my thirties and that would be just... okay, fine, it's Louis. ANYWAY, Zayn was very inspirational for my character Jaff who is misunderstood and mysterious, friendless, very quiet, but surprises Trevi with his powerful voice.

Suspect #2: Carver
Martin Johnson from Boys Like Girls is obviously too old to be in high school. But when I wrote Carver, I couldn't think of anyone else. Cocky, hot in a sort of messy way, but a total jerkface (which I'm sure Martin Johnson actually isn't, but oh well). Trevi doesn't want to interact with this guy, but something happens leaving her with little choice in the matter. 

Suspect #3: Hudson
Asher Book. Originally, I thought of Justin Timberlake for the role of Hudson. But again, age. And I think Asher Book can pull off the baby face and charm. At first, Trevi is into Hudson, but when she finds out he's a player, she loses interest. But he's not easily dissuaded.
This manuscript needs a lot of work, but it's fun to make up a cast anyway. It brings me right back into the book and gets me excited to work on it, even though it's later on my to-do list.
Have you cast your latest manuscript?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Do You Want to Build A Snowman?

What I'm Reading
I'm going through a reading slump right now which happens to me every once in awhile. I read so much that sometimes I'm just not in the mood and need a break. I'm reading The Archived by Victoria Schwab but haven't gotten very far yet. I hope I get back in the mood for reading soon.

What I'm Writing
Nothing! I finished my NaNo WIP last Wednesday (61k!!!). Since I just wrote two manuscripts back-to-back, I'm taking December off. Sort of. I'm not writing or revising but I am using the time off to read some books on craft- something I've never done. (Before you vilify me, I do read Writer's Digest every month which totally counts.) But I thought I'd read some actual books, starting with the classic, On Writing by Stephen King. Next up is a book on revising which I'm totally going to need because I have a feeling that next year is going to be a revising year.

What Inspires Me Right Now
Um, nothing really. I mean, I'm not writing or revising so there's really nothing to get inspired for. Of course, it is December, which means CHRISTMAS: the most wonderful time of the year and always inspiring to me.

What Else I've Been Up To
I took the kids to see Frozen. It was a great movie with fun songs and I loved the MC. HOWEVER, it had some plot problems. Maybe a lot of kids movies do, but this is the first time I've ever noticed. I mean, this is a Disney movie! Disney shouldn't slack on stuff like this. But anyway, it was still a fun movie to watch and my kids have the soundtrack on repeat so I'm constantly singing at people, "Do you want to build a snowman?" (Which I really don't.)
Why oh why didn't they give Jonathan Groff more songs?!

And speaking of Frozen, there was a huge blizzard from Sunday night until Tuesday so me and the kids were stuck inside for two days in a row. The weather here is so crappy. Can I move now?
Photo: I don't think the kids can get out the back gate. Good thing it's a snow day.
This snowdrift is almost to the top of our fence.