Friday, February 27, 2015

Love List #5

This week's LOVE LIST is all about the videos.

Last Saturday I saw The Duff. I read the book a few years ago so I don't remember it well enough to say if the movie stuck to the book or not, but I really liked the movie. The scene with her and the mannequins dragged on a bit (like okay, she's a weirdo, we get the point), and it did get a bit HERE'S THE MORAL OF THE MOVIE at the end, but it was still hilarious and I loved it. Oh, and the mean girl was straight up mean girl without another layer, and I doubt it's like that in the book (is it?), and this was also kinda annoying. But otherwise, super funny. (I'm not selling this movie very well, am I? Just watch the trailer.)
I read in a mag that the scene with his twitching pecs was totally improvised!

Another love this week: Big Hero 6. I saw this movie with the kids when it first came out in theatres and loved it then just as much as I love it now. One of my fave animated films.
One of my favorite parts- the Baymax fist bump

My last love of the week isn't a movie, and I already mentioned it in my What's Up Wednesday post, but this deserves another mention. Richard Armitage reading Love Poems. LOVE POEMS PEOPLE. Audible definitely picked the perfect voice for this.
22 minutes of love poem bliss

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Love Poems and SpongeBob

I read THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall which I loved. It was like a YA Dan Brown but with less interrobangs (hallelujah), a little less history (which I actually missed), and more swoons (I love swoons). It ended on a cliffhanger and I really want the next book. Now I'm reading HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas. I'm having a hard time with this book. I'm almost 200 pages in and just not feeling it. Like at all. This is where fantasy loses me- an entire book about TRAINING. Ergh. Not that the whole book is about that, but the MC has left the setting and the people of the last two books behind and I'm missing that. The subplots the author has brought in just aren't grabbing me. :(

It was not a great writing week for me. I got in 1k and that's it. Blah. But I got my pitch ready for PitchMadness, and rewrote my query and re-entered the trenches on Monday. All that took up a lot of time, not to mention my kids had seven school days off so of course I was busy with them.

This is always a hard one to answer when I haven't been very productive! But I found something recently that has INSPIRATION written all over it. Turns out, Richard Armitage, AKA: the deep-voiced sometime-Dwarf, narrated some classic love poems and they're FREE on audible. One of the poems is one I used at the beginning of my MS JAR OF HEARTS (which needs more revisions). I don't have the audible app, but you can find some of the poems on YouTube.
There are three poems in this sample (someone has added the North and South soundtrack to the background), and the first one I use in JAR OF HEARTS.

My youngest turned six two weekends ago. We celebrated with just the fam on her actual birthday, then last Saturday we had her party where she brought two friends to a movie and then dinner and cupcakes at her favorite place- McDonald's. The movie she wanted to see was the new Spongebob, and it was PAINFUL. I don't even mind Spongebob all that much, my kids used to watch the show all the time. But this movie... BLAH. The kids liked it though, so there's that.
I also had to make a trip to the passport office. Because I'm Canadian, to be paid by a US publisher, I have to get my passport certified and fill out some IRS forms. Lots of fun. Anyone speak Accountant? Because I sure don't.
Anyway, what's up with you?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Manuscripts In A Love Nutshell

Here are each of the manuscripts I've written, summed up in one lovey (or non-lovey) sentence:

DAZE AND KNIGHTS: We want each other but circumstances are keeping us apart.

DAZE sequel: I want you, but you don't remember me.

SWAY: We used to want each other, now I want you but you don't want me.

EPONINE: I want you, but you're my best friend and don't look at me that way.

JAR OF HEARTS: I don't want any of you because I think the three of you might be psychos. (But I might make an exception for one of you.)

UNTITLED CURRENT WIP: You want me but I don't want you.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Love List #4

Top of my LOVE LIST this week: Season Five of Downton Abbey. I finished it in the middle of the week and the last episode (the Christmas special) made me CRY wet, sobby tears. At least it wasn't the same kind of ugly tears as when Sybil died. I really liked this season though- I felt the drama was a little less over the top, yet still very entertaining.
I especially love this quote from the last episode, but I won't say who said it, or to whom:
"But that's the point... I do want to be stuck with you."

My WIP playlist is very tiny right now, but this week I did find one song that goes perfectly. It's HERO/HEROINE by Boys Like Girls, an old favorite of mine.
What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Kingsman and Goodreads

I read ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter. I liked it, but it was probably my least favorite book by her. Her MCs are always a great mix of strong yet vulnerable girls, which I love, and this MC was interesting because she was unreliable. However, I felt like she had no clear goal for like the first 100 pages. I wanted her to be doing something. I liked it enough that I'll read the next book if there is one. Then I read ATLANTIA by Ally Condie. Also an author I like, and the book was good. I liked the premise and I breezed through the book, but I can't say that I loved it, though I don't know why. Up next- THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall.

Got around 6k written this week on my WIP. This thing makes me want to tear my hair out but I'm keeping at it. I have a feeling it's going to be way too short on final word count but I'm trying not to worry about that. I'd really like to get the first draft done before I get edits back on SWAY.

Focusing on one project at a time. I've heard that lots of people jump back and forth between projects- writing a bit on one here, a bit on one there, revising something else, etc. I'm much better when I focus on one thing at a time. That doesn't mean I don't think about some of my other projects at times, but I don't let myself get distracted by them.

Me and the hubs celebrated V-Day by seeing Kingsman: The Secret Service. It was a strange yet entertaining movie. Also, I finally joined Goodreads, which pretty much sucked away an entire afternoon of my life just adding books I'd read in the last couple of years, and I barely scratched the surface of my reading list. O.o

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love List #3

It's been an interesting week. My mind has been full of AgentMatch (not one request so clearly my pitch isn't working), websites (I want to create my own soon but it's hard to know what's the best way), Fifty Shades of Grey (haven't read it, won't see the movie, but the reviews and articles about it have been interesting), and of course my own WIP writing (is it good? does it suck? I need more voice, etc etc etc).

I did read a really great book though. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. It completely captivated me from start to finish.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I can't wait to read the next book!
I also watched the first episode of Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (Cumberman? Freebatch?) I loved it and would've already watched the rest if I didn't have so many books to read! Soon, Freebatch, soon.
What did you love this week? And if you want to make a love list of your own, let me know and I'll check it out. Let's spread the love!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: The Winter Blah's

I read Emma, a retelling by Alexander McCall Smith. Wish I could talk about this book with someone because I have lots to say about it, which I won't do here. The one positive I will say is that I loved the dry, understated humor throughout. Then I read The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I was so into this book that if there was anything wrong with it, I definitely didn't notice. Awesome awesome book! Next up, All Fall Down by Ally Carter.

I got in around 5k this week. I should hit 40k today, yahoo! I also finished beta-ing a YA contemp.

Beta reading. I don't think I'm the best critiquer out there, but I find I learn as much reading for someone else as I do when others read for me. It pays to give back!

Not much. I swear, everyone I know is going on holidays sometime soon but we are going NOWHERE and won't be this entire year. Boo. The cold weather makes this even more depressing. I've started posting Love Lists on Fridays because I want to celebrate the positive and the things I go crazy for. Hopefully this will help lift the winter blah's too.
What's up with you?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Love List #2

LOVE #1: This past week I read 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen, which I loved (duh). It was one of those books that was just very true, very real, like I was back in high school all over again. And the voice was awesome. One of my favorite lines:

"Rock-star sweat is like pixie dust- it makes magical things happen."

LOVE #2: Call the Midwife. I've finished the first three seasons and now I'm IMPATIENTLY waiting for season four to appear on my cable. This show is so good- love the characters and the setting and the clothes, and of course, I get super teary eyed over the births.

LOVE #3: Hozier's Take Me to Church. Although the lyrics don't really go along with my MS EPONINE, there's something about the darkness of the song that makes me think of the book every time I hear it.

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Notebooks and No Confidence

I read The Eight Guardian by Meredith McCardle which was action packed and fun, although I wish there was a little more in the past- I tend to like my time-travel that way. Then I read 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen and it was so good- loved the voice and it took me right back to high school. Up next, Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, a retelling of Jane Austen's Emma.

I got about 5k done this week which isn't as good as last week, but I'm still happy with my progress. This WIP has been a total rollercoaster. I just don't have the confidence in it like normal. But I keep plucking away. (Goal: keep writing, don't quit.) I'm also in the middle of beta-ing a contemp YA and I'm about halfway through that.
This is kinda how I feel about my WIP right now

I don't know if this will work for me, but I bought a few notebooks because right now my computer desk is a ginormous mess. I have loose pages of notes for different MS's here and there, plus a couple of notebooks full of random notes for everything I've written. I want to organize my notes by MS, but I haven't got around to doing it yet. We'll see how that works out.

My eight-year-old got baptized on Saturday, so we had company over all weekend. It was busy but everything turned out well. Aaaand, that's about it.