I've made it to page 200 of my on-paper revisions!!! My goal is to finish by the end of April, AKA: TOMORROW. I've only got 64 pages left so I think I can do it. Then it's all about getting those hand-written notes back onto the computer.
So instead of waffling about on my blog, I'm going to get REVISING!!!
You know how I made that promise to myself to quit a book if I'm just not loving it?
Yeah, I didn't do that this week. Twice.
First, I read DANCING WITH BLACK by Laura Bingham. I picked up this book at my church bookstore (no, it's not a religious book) because the premise sounded somewhat similar to my latest WIP. If it hadn't been for the fact that I BOUGHT it, I probably would have quit it. The book wasn't terrible. It was just one of those books where the concept is great but the delivery not so much. ( NOTHING like my current WIP though, thank goodness.)
Then I read THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton. Every time I picked up the book and started reading I was like, I don't really want to read this I should just quit. And then I would find myself chapters later still reading and wondering what's hooking me. So there's definitely something there, which is why I didn't give it up. It's a very dialogue-light book, which is NOT one of my favorite things. And it took more than 100 pages to actually get to the character of Ava Lavender. (*frowny-face*). And yet, I finished. Not sure exactly how I feel about it though...
We pretty much got back to normal over here at the Stanford house. Had our follow-up lice appointment at the lice clinic yesterday and we're LICE FREE! YAY! Now if we can just keep it that way... I know I'm going to suffer from lice paranoia for the next little while.
So love #1: THE LICE CLINIC!!! (I know I used that one last week, but hey, the place is great.)
Love #2: VERONICA MARS. I'm almost done season one, and yes, I'm getting it- the hype and all. I'm hooked.
Love #3: Chocolate covered strawberries! Me and the hubs celebrated 14 years of marriage this week (whaaat?) and that's what he got me. We're also trying out a fancy Italian restaurant on the weekend because we're fancy kinda people. (Or so we like to pretend...)
I completely blew my Wednesday Writes post last week. Truth is, I've barely done anything for the month of April. I've restarted my revisions three times now.
This week has been better. Life has gotten mostly back to normal and I'm back to my regular schedule. This means I've made some good progress of my on-paper revisions. Hallelujah. As of yesterday, I was on Chapter 17. I'd like to do another five or so chapters today.
Thank goodness for progress! And thank goodness for the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp, and my team the Re-vengers! (We're all revising like superheroes.) They're keeping me on track.
The past week was crap for revising and exercising, but I did read a lot, so there's that.
Here's what I read:
All three books were 3 stars for me. I liked them all for different reasons and also had different issues with each. OF SCARS AND STARDUST had me intrigued through the whole book, not knowing what was happening and what was real/not real. The ending though, while it was realistic, was dissatisfying. I left the book feeling disappointed that I'd read it in the first place. :(
FAIREST, I read just because I love Marissa Meyer. I wasn't sure how much I would like this book, since it's based on Levana, but I was into it, and it was interesting learning Levana's backstory although it was hard to ever really like her. It made me excited for WINTER though!
Lastly, EMMALEE is by an author who is modernizing all of Jane Austen's books. I've read her PRIDE & POPULARITY, PERSUADED, and NORTHANGER ALIBI. I remember liking those books a lot more than I liked this one. The story was cute and it was an easy/fast read, but I noticed things in the writing that could've been tighter, and the dialogue felt completely unrealistic at times, like the author was trying to use the original Jane Austen too much.
So I guess I was in a bit of a nitpicky reading mood this past week- blame the lice.
This week... UGH. It's going to be really hard to find something I've loved this week because it has been a major TRIAL.
Monday, I'm at ballet with my two youngest daughters when I spot a bug in one of my girls' hair.
Happy birthday to me (Monday was my birthday).
After staying up until after 2 a.m. on Monday trying to pick nits out of three girls hair and freaking out and everything, I decided on Tuesday to let a professional handle it.
These were me at two a.m., making no headway at all on getting rid of nits
Lice clinic, people. Pricey, but worth it. Especially when she discovered lice in MY hair (ew ew ew) which I never would have found on my own (the hubs couldn't spot them either). As it is, I've spent the week doing laundry and vacuuming and more laundry and more vacuuming and more laundry. My days are completely messed up, the kids have been missing school, and I've gotten absolutely NO revising done. (Total bad timing for the Spring Writing Bootcamp.) On the other hand, I've learned a lot about lice. I always thought they were like, a "dirty" thing, but no, anyone can get them. In fact, they like clean hair, go figure.
So what do I love this week? . . . Erm . . . Definitely lice clinics. The four of us girls go back for a follow-up next week to make sure every last nit is gone, but it's been a huge stress off me not having to worry about finding every single nit and if I miss one and then it'll hatch and then all this will start all over again. (I'm still a little stressed about it, not gonna lie, but it's way less than if I was getting rid of them myself.) I CAN'T HANDLE IT.
First off, it's my birthday (I'm totally rapping that in my head right now), which is always a bummer cuz OLDER. Ugh.
Nothing like the Doctors to put me in a better mood.
In better news, I read TWO AMAZING books this week.
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.
The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement... if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.
As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.
Both of these books... soooo good. I devoured them. I ate them up. I want to read them again. 5 out of 5 stars for both. If you haven't, you must read them. Must read them right now.
This past week, me and the kids went to Cardston to spend Easter with my parents. It's always nice to go because the kids love to be with their grandparents. While we were there, I did this (although it was super frustrating. This puzzle was HARD):
I know my nerd is showing, but I love puzzles.
Another love this week, the movie Belle. Wow, this movie was so good. I got it from the library but I will buy it ASAP.
Last Friday, I saw the latest Fast and Furious movie. It was predictably cheesy and over-the-top (like every line the Rock said and the thing with the cast, not to mention all the stunts *scoffs*), but the tribute they did to Paul Walker in the end was really sweet and made me all teary, so it definitely deserves a mention.
This past week I read an AMAZING book and I DNF'd a book.
The amazing book was OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys.
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.
She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
This book pulled me in right from the beginning. The characters were interesting and well-rounded and the plot had me through the entire thing. What I loved best though was how well the author did atmosphere without having paragraphs and paragraphs of description. Definitely a must-read, especially if you like historical.
The other book I DNF'd... I won't say what it was. It's a book people love, but I just wasn't feeling it. The voice was super strong and the prose beautiful- both very different, which kept me reading at first, otherwise I would've quit in the first chapter. But by about page 80, I was starting to get sick of it all. I also knew pretty much how it would end, so after flipping through and reading different passages, I decided to quit. I hate quitting books. I worry that I'm missing out on something. Or that I'm just going through a book slump and maybe I should give the book a chance. But there are so many books I want to read, I need to start toughening up and putting books aside that I'm just not loving.
So I'm writing this on Thursday night and currently I have a headache, I'm tired, and plain ol' ready for bed. It's hard to find loves right now.
*tries to think*
Oh yeah, some are coming to me know.
First on this week's LOVE LIST, is the movie HOME. I took my kids to see it for my son's birthday and it was super cute. Plus, it's impossible not to love Sheldon's voice.
My hands are in the air like I just do not care!
Second on my LOVE LIST, the season finale of SLEEPY HOLLOW, which me and the hubs finally got around to watching. The second season was just okay, but I loved the finale. SPOILERS AHEAD: I'm happy that Henry is gone (because man I was getting sick of him), I always knew Katrina would bite the dust one day (poor, poor Ichabod), and the last episode in the past was awesome. My favorite so far. Of course, I have a thing for the past, so... Hopefully next season will knock it out like the last episode did.
So, moving on... (I swear, none of this post is an April Fool.)
I'm plugging away on revisions for JAR OF HEARTS, my YA mystery with a hint of fantasy. (I want to call this magical realism, but it's not literary, so I'm not sure what to call it.) I'm still jotting down notes on notecards for each chapter, and I'm about done that. After, I need to go back to the beginning and add some more atmosphere, and work on a few other details. Also, I really hope that I've helped and not hurt the pacing by moving scenes around so much.
I started out these revisions not knowing what to do or where to even begin.
But now, I'm feeling pretty good about this manuscript.