Sunday, December 27, 2009

From the ports of Delaware to the Redwood Forests

I'm worried about this summer.

I want it to be great, and since last summer, though fun, was not exactly great, I want to fix it. After all, this is my last summer of freedom. Pure, jobless, painless freedom.

And of course I have some ideas on what I'd like to do with it.

There are two options thus far; California or Delaware.

In California, I'd work in the Redwood forests at a travel lodge, in the thickets of nature. I'd be doing minor housecleaning and/or working at the gift store. I think I can handle it, but I'm not sure.

The good? I'd get to roam the forests and live on site for cheap. Nature, head on, not to mention a lot of research for my third book... muahahaha

The bad? I'd live on site. They said, and I quote, "lodging is one step up from camping." I think I can handle that. Of course, food storage rules would be strictly enforced, due to the LARGE BLACK BEAR POPULATION. Um, gulp?

The Ugly. Mice, spiders, and tics. Now, mice, I've never really had a problem with. Spiders, well, I need to get over that someday. But tics are another matter entirely. I've heard mixed reviews, from them burrowing completely inside somebody, to "they're just like mosquitos." Since I've never experienced a tic myself, I've of course imagined the worst case scenario, and that scares the shit out of me.

In Delaware, I would be in a volunteer/training program on a tall sail ship. A friend/acquaintance (alright, she's an acquaintance that I wish I'd known better) went through this program, and now sails the high seas FOR PAY whenever she pleases. I've been giving a lot of thought to a nomadic lifestyle, and this would definitely be a help. It sounds unconventional, adventurous, crazy.

The good? I'd be on a ship. Hello? Pirates of the Caribbean! I'd be with a bunch of crazy awesome people that I've never met, learning how to sail while on the high seas in the midst of summer.

The bad? I'm still not sure. There's the fact that I would know no one. Like, absolutely no one. I was brave enough to do it on the trip to Israel, but that blew up in my face. The 10% of me that is fiercely introverted took over my body, and as a result I made no friends, and had an awful time (ok it was still fun, but I would have had a better time had I just opened up). I don't know if I have to pay for lodging and board, and I'd be making no money.

The Ugly. Let's face it. I'm lazy at times, and this job is straight up hard labor. Not housekeeping, not sales; hard fucking labor. If I take either one of these jobs, I can't leave. I'm stuck, possibly miserable, for the entirety of my summer. My Last Summer. Did I mention I wouldn't know anyone? That scares the crap out of me.

I feel now is the appropriate time to tell myself these wondrous words of advice I learned from a new favorite movie of mine: Nut up or shut up.

I mean, really Kira. You wanted this. You wanted an adventure, to test your limits, the boundaries of what you can do, what you want out of the world. You aren't seriously going to run from the first test of truth with your tail between your legs?

Oh god, I'm talking to myself.


I just. I dunno. Sometimes it's smart to be scared. Aristotle said that. Or maybe Plato. One of 'em.

What do I DOOOOO??? What if I choose the wrong choice? What if I screw myself over completely? Or what if I don't follow through on either of them and spend my LAST summer in Wisconsin or Texas, rotting away without a license, at the mercy of my friends and parents like the sixteen year old I never wanted to be?


Dear God,

Please choose for me, and make the right choice. Kthxbye.

-Kira (your loyal supporter, even if you didn't know it)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

And a happy new year.

Yeah, whatever.

I'm actually looking forwards to the new year. Going out! It'll be the first one not spent in front of the television with family.

Not that I'm anti family. I'm just anti sitting in the front room celebrating the fact that I'm still alive. I mean, shouldn't you do something special to celebrate the fact that you're still alive?

That's what I think, at least.

I think that new years are the same thing as birthdays, except more generalized. So go out and live it up this new year's eve. I know I will be.

As for updates. I'm at home, doing nothing but playing WoW and editing. Hanging out with friends occasionally, but mostly not. I'm almost done editing, but I won't go anymore into that. If you want to know more, check out this blog, and leave a comment so I know I'm not writing for open air.

I can't wait for summer, because I'm the kinda girl who can't sit in one place for too long before losing it a little. I need a road trip. Now.

Finished up season 2 of Desperate Housewives. Spoiler: They're still desperate. I never know why I continue to watch, but something must have me hooked or I'd have stopped already. I'm more like Bree than I'd like to admit. You won't understand that unless you know me AND the show.

Alright, I think that about wraps up my life right now, other than I'm sinking into the "Dark Country" genre of music. Just because that's where my writing usually takes me. Well, that and West Virginia. Yeah. I know. What's a yankee doing trying to imagine life in the deep south?

Your guess is as good as mine. Well, other than the fact that werewolves can't run around in Wisconsin. They'd get shot like three minutes into the full moon. By hunters wearing cheese hats and orange vests.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Still alive

I'm still with the werewolves too, if you're wondering.

The truth is I'm kind of lazy with just about everything but writing (and sometimes even that too), so this and my other blog has suffered my neglect.


So, updates, I suppose.

My new love in music is the indie band, Iron and Wine, who are down low, chill, and emotionally intense (sans cheesiness). I'm enamored. Completely and totally.

I've finished up fall quarter of Junior year, and the next time I experience it, it will be my last. Crrazy right? I dunno how I feel finishing college, even if it does mean more free time and less stress. I feel like even though life gets harder and age can often mean wisdom, humans get increasingly dumb as they age. Not in all respects, but a lot of them. Needless to say, I'm worried. Oh. I got two A's and a C+ this quarter. I'm not too happy about that C+.

ALL of my series are on some sort of cruel and unusual hiatus, just in time for my three week stretch of nothingness. Great coordination, TV. Perfect.

I'm STILL working on my book. Yes, it's going. Like the energizer bunny. Except, maybe picture the bunny with a hammer, hitting me on the head repeatedly. It's still going. I've got this strange love hate relationship with it, an odd mixture of pain and pleasure, the hope for salvation paired inevitably with the fear of failure. I sense that this is the kind of thing lovers go through, except more talking.

I hope to finish editing the damn thing by the end of break, just in time to put myself through query hell as classes start. I'm a masochist, by the way.

Also, the weather here has reached "cold as a witch's tit," as quoted from my mother, which is great. I'm really happy that winter is here so I can enjoy it, and I'm extra happy that I'm not with my grandma and dad down in Puerto Rico, where it will probably be 75 degrees on Christmas day. GOD that would suck. No, I prefer polar bear weather.


Sorry about the pessimism, guys. It's late, and my internet connection is shaky, at best.

I'll end with this: I've started book two, I got some awesome headphones, and I've learned a lot since my last post.

Much love,


Monday, November 2, 2009


Because it's been a month of me not posting.

Seriously, I apologize, though in my defense, I've almost moved entirely to this blog, which is less personal and more writing-centric.

I also don't make up as many words.

So, since this blog is personal, I guess I'll get you all up to speed on my life:

1) Classes are going well. I love them all. Even the environmental one, because it makes me laugh often, and I'm randomly doing well in it. Surprised? So am I.

2) Friends. I'm learning a lot more about people lately, and this quarter seems to keep illuminating things I don't know about the world. Not that I don't usually figure out that I'm generally clueless, but extra that this quarter.

3) That point leads me to this one: I'm learning what I need to improve in myself. My writing, my singing, my people skillz, myself in general... It's been tough seeing certain bad properties push themselves to the surface. I just kind of want to rock it. But I have to put in a lot more work before that happens...

(I realize some of this will only make sense to me. Sorry.)

4) I love French music. Today I've been absolutely obsessed with the Amelie Soundtrack.

5) I played WoW for a month. If you don't know what that is, please don't ask. If you do, you probably play it too. Don't hate.

6) I'm not doing national novel writing month. I'm a college student. Let's get real here. Maybe once I graduate. Maybe.

7) Halloween was craaaazy. Not sure how I feel about that yet. Mmk.

8) But french music! Seriously! Check it out!!!

9) I finished Dan Brown's most recent novel, The lost Symbol. I was not impressed, Dan. Not one bit.

10) I need to do laundry. Not that important in the way of life, but I really loathe that particular chore. For serious.

11) Still editing the first book, about to embark on the second. See more on that subject here.

12) Life is good, basically.

That's all I've got. Really. No emo bantering, no religious quandaries, no writing updates.

Just subscribe to my other blog. I write there more often.

I promise!

Friday, October 2, 2009

WOW It's been a while

So, I haven't posted in eons, but I have been posting in my other blog on Livejournal, so you should probably go and follow that.

Basically the latest news on me and my book is this:

It's October. I love October. And cider. So I'm having a blast this month.

Two people have finished my book.

I have a ton of editing to do.

My writing teacher offered to read the first chapter of my book. (SQEE)

It's raining.

I'm finally telling people what I really did this summer: I wrote a book.

I'll be printing my manuscript in its entirety next Friday. Two copies of it.


Well, that's about it for now. Again, follow my other blog, because it's quickly becoming the prominent one.

Peace out! Enjoy October!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

AAHH School!

Alright, so I got back to campus on Monday night, and since then, life has been a pleasant blur. I have work tonight, and the rest of the week, including the majority of Saturday :(

But the good news is that people have begun to finish the book. Everyone has read chapter ten, and I have my first writing date this year! I'm heading to Kafein this Sunday, at which time I'll hopefully begin to really buckle down on the editing. Once Miles reads through the end, and then Brittny, I'll have to go back and rework the whole book, sprucing it up where it needs action, cutting out occasional overshares and infodumps, and adding in necessary character traits/interactions.

It's gonna be a bitch. But I'll survive.

So if you haven't noticed, posting has become somewhat sparse. I've set it up so each blog gets a post once a week. So I'll try to update this one every Tuesday, and my livejournal one every Friday (which is my designated book day). Sound good?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Giving Up

Prior to writing a book... well... VERY prior to writing a book, I was a music major. Most, if not all of my readers know this. They also know that it was a hard decision that hit me in the worst way.

Because I'd love to be great at everything I love, but often that is not the case. The truth is I didn't have the passion, the dedication, or the skill to be a full time musician. And if you're my mom and you're thinking "but you're amazing, and you had all of that," or if you're my grandma and you're nodding your head, there's one thing that I did have; patience.

Ok, all of you are about to call bullshit, but it's so true. Not to toot my own horn here, but I did finish a book. And now editing it, I'm reminded of the good ol' days when I holed myself into practice rooms that slightly (ok more than slightly) resembled jail cells and played the same song over, and over, and over, and over, and over until it was on repeat in my head every. single. day.

The songs I tried to learn would play as I sat in music theory, when I tried to eat dinner, when I perused facebook, even while I dreamed. I couldn't get it out of my head even with the musical stylings of Linkin Park, even though I tried (sorry freshman roomie).

To play a song when you've been listening to it for the past several weeks straight, well, that takes patience.

To edit a book when you've been listening to the same characters bitch about the same things for over a year straight, well, that takes immense patience (not going to lie, I almost put alcohol instead of patience, but that wouldn't be true. It would just sound more appropriate).

I'm having problems keeping it fresh while trying to scrap together whatever good parts there are in this monstrosity, because really, how many times can you write about a girl's shocking fear before the whole process gets shockingly boring?

But I still love it. I still love the story, and my characters, and even though I cringe when I read over some of the earlier chapters (I think my writing has improved tenfold since I started this book), I still hold on to the hope that someday, somewhere, people I've never met will read my book and genuinely enjoy it.

Every author's dream. Right there.

Off to do some more editing...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Starbucks is God

Alright, maybe Starbucks isn't God, but for me, it's damn close. For some reason that isn't altogether unknown to me, coffee shops are catalysts for productivity, creating writing where there once was blank space.

Magic, I promise.

I dragged my sorry self to Starbucks yesterday, and finished the Epilogue, as well as edited the final two chapters of my book enough that I feel alright having my awesome readers look over them.

Overall, it was a very productive day, and it gave me an idea. I have no class on Fridays this quarter, so why not take advantage of them instead of becoming a thirsty Thursday fan? I could head to Kafein every Friday after lunch, and come back for dinner, or better yet have dinner somewhere in Evanston. I know it may not work out, but I'd like to try it, to devote a solid amount of my week to this book, because I really want it to work out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

24 Hours

I went a little crazy yesterday; I'm surprised I didn't tell strangers that I finished a book... I know, that SOUNDS egotistic, but... hmm...

Ok, I can't think of an analogy, BUT I can assure you that I'm not .... THAT... egotistic. I'm just really really REALLY excited.


Now I'm trying to gather my wits and reconnect with reality. I have to do mondo editing, I have another two to four books in the series planned (vaguely, at best) and I'm about to plunge into the least fun part of the writing business; querying.

From the blogs I've been reading, and all you have to do is click on my profile to see how many writing blogs I follow, I've gathered that querying is hell. It requires persistence and patience. I was persistent and patient enough to write a book, but those two qualities have been sorely lacking in every other part of my life. I dunno if I'm patient enough to get past the twenty or so rejection letters (average number of rejections received before requests... by my own guesstimation...), especially considering how hard I was hit when I didn't get into the creative writing program here. Especially how personally I take things.

I started looking at the second book (yeah, the three or so pages I have of it...), and I'm really nervous, because I haven't had to plan out a book since last summer. It was hard, by the way. Just making up events out of thin air. Fun, but hard.

Ok, that all sounded like a conceited rant, didn't it? Sorry. I'm just, a really awkward combination of terrified, excited, accomplished and full of self doubt all at the same time. It really doesn't make for a coherent blog post...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The end of the beginning and the beginning of a... nother beginning?

93,987 words.

That is how long the first draft of my manuscript is.

Yes, you read that right. It's six in the morning, and I've just finished the first draft of my book!

What I'm feeling now is... indescribable. I know tons of people finish books, and thousands go unpublished, and there's a chance that mine will never see the light of day, but... Just knowing that I've finished something so monumentally huge is... insane.

I have faith in myself again, faith that the things I dropped in the past weren't because I'm a lazy person. I can finish huge projects, I can show commitment and passion about something in my life, and work my ass off until it's done.

I feel like I can do anything now, that if I put my mind to it, jump in head first with as much passion and enthusiasm as I can muster, I can do it.

Does that sound cheesy?

Oh well.


Aw crap. Now I have to edit it. And find an agent! And then get it published. And then go do book signings.

Someday :D

Check out the rest of my journey here:

I'll still be posting on here, but I decided that this blog is a little too personal. I want to be a professional writer, so the above link is my professional blog, or at least as professional as I'm capable of being :)

Adieu! Until we meet again!

Now, to edit!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wait what?

What is this nonsense about me writing a book?

Oh. Right.

That bs AKA thirty pages of crap sitting on my desktop. That's the ending? Uh... ha... 



Tee hee.

*Backs away slowly*


UPDATE: I am NOT done with the book!!!!! STILL HAVE MORE TO DO!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Road trips and thunder and ghosts, oh my!

Yesterday was the best day of my summer thus far, and I'll tell you why. 

I hung out with some amazing people, ate some amazing chedder pretzels, and went on an amazing road trip!

Tamara, Chris, Ben and I left St. Francis at around nine at night, and drove up to Plainfield, WI, armed with three iPods, two bags of chips, four cases of energy drinks, a flash light, and two cameras. Along with Eric and Tiffany (two new friends), we braved the lightning, thunder, rain, and (almost) hail to get up to the house of one, Ed Gein. 

Yes, he's a serial killer. A dead serial killer.

Yes, I know it's weird to go to the town where a serial killer was born. 

Let me explain!

Basically we drove up there, drove past his house (or the remains of it at least. It burned down in the seventies), the local cemetery, and a hardware store where he committed his last murder. 

The trip was partially due to the article we read in Chris' Haunted Wisconsin book, partially due to a morbid curiosity of the unknown violence that lurks in the world of suburbia, and partially for the pure joy of driving. 

I had the most fun driving there and back, through twisting roads and abandoned highways as the moon sat up in the sky, shrouded by clouds as rain poured down on the van. We listened to some great music and had some memorable conversations, and overall, it was the best time I'd had all summer! 

Best part: I sat in the back, so I turned around and stared out the window as the road melted into the night. I don't know how else to describe it...

AND it counts as book research. At least for the prologue. I plan on writing about Kerrie and Rachel's drive across the country, and if that creepy awesome terrifying road trip didn't inform me what it's like, nothing will. 

I have to do another road trip! 

Friday, August 7, 2009


I'll level with you guys. Usually my research is limited to web MD and wikipedia, but the other day I had to ask a professional. 

This wouldn't have happened normally, I assure you, but my friend was reckless and needed a few band aids, so we stopped by the fire department where one of our friendly firemen/paramedics fished a band (or three) from the ambulance. 

While he did said harrowing task, I proceeded to interrogate him on certain medical procedures on certain medical injuries. 

Yes, I know. I'm being vague. I don't want to ruin it for those reading my book, though I'm sure that everyone can deduct that someone at some time gets hurt. But I hope my readers already knew that something like that would happen to at least one character... 

But who knows? I could pull a Tolkein and kill off everyone save for my six main characters, or I could pull a Rowling and save everyone except for my six main characters. 

Ok, exaggeration, but you get the gist of it; I'm unpredictable! Just cause I'm a sucker for happy endings don't mean I won't go all Hamlet on your asses :D 

With lasers :) 

Ok, definitely not with lasers. You can all safely rule that out. 

Now that I'm positive that I'm ranting, I'm going to do the honorable thing and end this blog post. 


I might stop writing on this blog- once I finish the book I'm going LiveJournal. I already have an account, and I like the way I can manage comments/layouts/settings on it better. So I'll post a link once I'm ready to switch. 

Thanks for reading this incredibly long/mostly pointless post!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Endings and Coraline (best movie EVER)

I'm working on the ending of my book, listening to the amazing Coraline soundtrack. Basically my last two posts were me in a whiny panic. 

I'll try not to be like that again :( 

Right now I'm a little ecstatic because I've figured out what's going to happen to Rachel and friends. 

For the most part. 

It's wonderful because as I write, the story changes. It feels really awesome :D 

Stayed up really late last night writing a major scene, and I'll try to continue to be a writing machine. 

My birthday's in 9 days! I'm so excited to not be a teen anymore. 

Funny note: when I asked people what I should do during my last days as a teen, one friend suggested getting pregnant, so I can have a teenage pregnancy. 

Not gonna try to do that one... 

But it would be cool if I could have the right to say that I finished an entire book as a teenager :D We're going to aim for that goal. 

Not the teenage pregnancy, lol. 

Well, I'm off to finish a book. 

Three chapters in nine days? 

I can SO do that. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Anxious writer-in-progress

Up to chapter 12, I've been very good, if not perfect, with following my outline. I respected what I'd planned out for the book, and it served me well. Of course there were a few minor exceptions, but hey, that's writing, right?

Anyways, I revved up the computer after a few weeks, and lo and behold, nothing happened. No words came out, and suddenly a fear gripped me that the ending of the book will not do it justice. 

Justice, you say?

Well, I worked since May of 2008 (a LOT longer if you want to talk about the idea of it) on this book, and I don't want to blow it with "and then they fought." It's just so... predictable, in that cliche, slightly nauseating way. 

So I took a little poetic liberty and fudged with the ending a tad, making the last three chapters more logical considering the unanticipated twists and turns the book made. 

But, I just feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff, holding my breath and hoping that if I jump, there'll be a deep refreshing lake at the bottom. The thing is I keep envisioning jagged rocks instead of the lake.

Was that a bad analogy? 

I know it's supposed to be MY job to finish, but I just want to talk to someone about it, someone who takes me seriously and won't blanch at the thought of werewolves and vampires. I don't even know what I want. 

Yes I do. 

I want this book to be great.

I want people to like it, and publish it, and read it, and obsess a little. 

I want the ending to seamlessly write itself. Then I can take credit for it. OR I'd like the ending to suddenly feel right, because I know it's supposed to. It's not supposed to make my stomach churn or cause me to question even finishing the book. 

I want to do well

And I'm not sure if any of that is going to happen. 

Oh crap. 

I'm gonna go bang my head against a wall. 

Comment if you love me. 

Saturday, July 25, 2009


This writer is sad

For a few reasons. One, I'm tired and my waffles were not as yummy as usual. 

But mostly it's because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm not sure how to get to it. Ok, so the analogy is flawed. It's a tunnel, I should be able to get to the end, but just like, maybe a light in a labyrinth? Yes. (?) 

The thing is, I haven't gotten feedback for my book in over three chapters. The last time I went that long without someone telling me what they thought was the first three chapters, last summer. Had I continued writing chapter nine without rewriting chapter eight (happened after people had qualms with the first draft of it), the book would have been very different. So I'm a little stressed. 


Freaking out completely. 

I'm just really sad because none of my readers are reading. Fay has no computer for the next week or two, Jilly is in Alaska, and Miles and Britt are.... ? Not sure bout those last two.

They're... unresponsive

This is a plea. If any of the aforementioned people are reading this, know that I'm lost. My life would suck without you, and the book will suck terribly without you. 

Key here: feedback

If I don't get some soon, I'm going to write a point-by-point summary and kill off everyone with lasers and sharks (thanks to Joe Zissman for that suggestion). 

Be warned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

80,694 Words

Pretty excited about my word count right now.

But I feel like that's going to turn around really quickly. I know readers are ok with a lotta book, but as a prospective author, not an established one, I'm worried that Agents/Publishers will not look at my manuscript because at this rate, it'll go over 100,000 words. 


118,975 words are in Twilight, and that's a long as hell book. 

I hope I can condense it when I begin to edit...

Speaking of cutting things short, I apologize for the long as hell posts lately. I'll try to keep them shorter. I guess I just tend to rant a lot, so, you know, sorry. 

Hope everyone's having a good summer!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Still working on the book, not so diligently I guess. I've been kind of busy the past few days, actually having a social life and going to see HP6 (which I'm sure if you even glanced at the title of the last post, you already knew) BUT I needed to update cause I'm really excited. 

Basically, I began researching Agents and such today after a particularly nasty case of writers block, and, well, I have a list of like 80 agents. 

Oh yeah, you heard me.
It's so cool. That's just HALF of the ones in the writers market book I checked out of the local library. And sure, it's a few years old, but I have faith in it (and if not, I have the internet to make sure people are legit). 

So until I'm done with the book, Agent searching is officially cut off. Otherwise I'll have the emails and addresses of about 300 agents in December with three chapters of a book left. Fail. 

Well, that's all I got for now. 

Wish me luck on writing. OH. Also, due to my recent perusal of Mandy Hubbard's blog (author of Prada and Prejudice) I'm going to include a short excerpt from my book. Hope you like!

Isaac’s office was a stark contrast to the rest of the gallery. Where white walls stood covered with a mixture of modern and classical art, naked, dark blue walls were faintly illuminated by bright white floor lamps lined with silver. As a result, artificial light drenched every crevice, save for a large portrait that hung behind Isaac’s large black desk.

            There were bold splotches of colors all over the canvass, brush strokes that created a vivid picture I somehow couldn’t discern. I squinted, trying to figure out what was going on in the scene; someone was pulling a lever, someone else was wearing a mask… My stomach lurched when the sickening details finally came together; a man tortured a woman, forcing her to wear a mask that made pools of blood drip to the floor. The man pulling the lever wore a silver cross around his neck.

            “The inquisition?” I asked, feeling my face grimace.

“Reminds me of home,” he said, smiling slightly as his fingers caressed the gold frame. For a moment it seemed as if he’d forgotten that I was in the room. Then the smile faded as he sat down and gestured for me to do the same. I watched him carefully as I lowered myself into a plush black chair.

            “Now, Rachel, I’d like to talk to you for a bit.”

            “I’d rather not.”

            “I’m afraid you don’t have a choice.”

            Much like I felt the last time I walked into the gallery, stupidity washed over me.

Why had I followed Isaac again?

“I’m not going to see Kerrie.” I didn’t bother phrasing it like a question.

“No,” he said, sneering as he opened a desk drawer. He made a show of rustling through papers as he started talking. “Now, did you know that the werewolves didn’t arrive in Morgantown until two hundred years after I’d claimed the land and established my coven?”

I shook my head.

He closed the drawer and tutted, ignoring me as he opened the one below it and continued to rummage. “When they first tried to claim this land we fought quite a few bloody battles.” He paused. “We moved fifty miles east and let them think that the land was theirs.”

As I fought the urge to run, I tried to remember Kerrie. I was here for her.

Isaac continued, “But at night we’d run to the forests where they hunted, and isolate them.” He smiled serenely at me as he found what he was looking for. “We picked them off one by one, using these.” He dropped a mid-sized axe on the desk, rust or something else on the sharp edge of it.

The smell of dried blood met my nose and I gagged, covering my face with my hand.

“Of course, after fifty years of doing this, we found a happy compromise. A treaty was formed.”

“Why would Matthew ever trust you?” I breathed.

“Because he’s a blundering fool who gives me far too much credit. And he doesn’t even know you’re here, does he?”

I stood. “I have to leave.”

“Do you understand my little history lesson?”

My green eyes met his blue ones and narrowed slightly. “The message was very clear.”

            “I don’t want you around Kerrie. Let it go. Stop trying to contact her. Or...”


            He caressed the handle of the ax, slowly raising his eyes to meet mine as he sneered. “Use your imagination.” 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Brace yourselves, it'll be a long post)

Just saw the movie. I guess I originally intended on explaining why it failed so much for me, but instead, I'd like to at least talk about its rare shining moments: 

Severus Snape: It's always a treat to see Alan Rickman masterfully act out my favorite Harry Potter character, but this movie is basically about him, so it was extra nice. He went through a lot of rough moments, and if only due to his seriousness, he was also the source of chaos and hilarity. I heart him with every fiber of my being. :D

Draco Malfoy: Again, as opposed to the other movies, Draco is a HUGE character, basically the driving plotline, you know, other than memories and stuff. Contrary to my own opinions of the extent of his talent, Tom Felton did an AMAZING job portraying the many layers of Draco's problems and personality. I really felt for the kid. 

Helena Bonham Carter: OK, so she was in the movie for ten minutes tops, but her little bits at the beginning and end of the movie were wonderfully creepy. What can I say? This chick knows how to be evil. She's everything I ever pictured Bellatrix Lestrange to be, only better. If only she had a bigger role...

That being said, the movie completely ruined many other aspects of the novel, not the least of which was the point. Though there are two major plots, the title of the book sort of gives away what should be the focus of the movie. Of course, in the long run, the other one is just as important, but SNAPE (AKA the half blood prince for those of you who haven't picked up the HP books, shame on you) is supposed to be delved into, so that his loyalty and the role he plays in the war is ready to be questioned in the epic last installment of the series. 

They did not do their jobs with this. Not that I blame Rickman. No. I could never blame him, but I could blame the director, the producers, and the screenwriters (fail to all of you). All the ways they fail: 
1) When Harry nearly kills Draco, Snape doesn't freak out. In the book he's supposed to realize that Harry has his old potions textbook right away, make him go get his textbooks, and THAT'S where Harry is supposed to hide it. Instead, Snape simply slides past Harry, calmly begins to heal Malfoy, and Harry BOLTS. No repercussions for almost killing a fellow student. His friends convince Harry to hide the book in the room of requirement (incidentally where the VERY IMPORTANT DIADEM ISN'T)  and Ginny kisses him there, after very seductively telling him to "close your eyes." 
2) Harry doesn't question Snape's loyalty enough. Sure, he mentions it to Lupin, Tonks, and Mr. Weasley (in the scene that NEVER HAPPENED IN THE BOOK. Yeah, they just made it up and sucked away valuable plot time) but he never goes directly to Dumbledore. This should have been a huge thing. 
3) In the end, after Dumbledore's death, (ok whole other rant but there was no huge fight in the castle) when Harry chases after Snape, and (this is supposed to be epic) calls him a coward, Snape simply turns around. Harry continues to throw spells, Snape continues to deflect them, until Harry tries to use Sectumsempra on him. THEN, knocking Harry to the ground with a casual flick of his wand, he apathetically says, "You dare use my own spells against me?" (Camera shot to Harry's sort-of surprised face) then Snape says "Yes. I am the half blood prince." Then he walks away. Let me repeat this. He WALKS AWAY. That's it. He's supposed to blow up, because Snape has been protecting Harry all these years, working as a double agent and risking his very life repeatedly all to atone for the responsibili... wait. I'll explain that in a minute. But Snape should have been pissed. Really pissed. He doesn't like being called a coward. 
4) They never mentioned that Snape was the person who relayed Trelawney's fateful vision to the Dark Lord himself. UM, PROBLEM. This is the driving force for Harry's misplaced anger and hatred toward Snape. It's what sets every fan's trust in the character spinning, grasping on straws, wondering if Snape is, in fact, evil. Of course, that particular mistake is the entire Reason Snape is a double agent, protecting Harry, risking his life to defy the darkest wizard of all time. Because he accidentally betrayed Lily (Harry's mom), the only person he's ever loved. How are they going to explain that in the seventh movie? It makes no sense, and it won't be easy to explain. Basically, by fucking up the background so thoroughly in this movie, they are in a pickle if they want to create halfway decent seventh (and eighth) movies. 

Other things that were missing that I really really hated: 
1) The absence of the rest of the Weasleys. Still no Charlie. Or Bill. Which also means...
2) No relationship stuff between Bill and Fleur. Yet they still plan on having the wedding scene in the seventh movie???
3) No fight at the end of the movie- the death eaters just sort of walk out. Where are the people? 
4) No Trelawney. Stupid. 
5) No Tonks/Lupin love. 
6) No awkward wonderful Dursley scene where Dumbledore picks Harry up.
7) No Dumbledore funeral. (MAJOR PROBLEM)
8) No major Snape outbursts. I know. I already mentioned that, but really!
9) Ron... They wrote him out of the best friend role and replaced him with Hermione. Most of the time he just sat around smiling like a dumbass. 
10) Nonverbal magic. I know, I'm getting picky, but you never got to see Snape teach DADA (defense against the dark arts) 
11) ALL the other memories pertaining to the other Horcruxes. Come on, people. Harry would NEVER have found them if he didn't even get told what they were. Again, making the seventh movie harder to do correctly. Not that I ever thought they planned on doing it correctly...
12) The entire first chapter of the book... "The Other Minister" Granted, they showed a lot of the stuff described in the conversation, but I felt they should have mentioned Fudge was sacked... something they failed to do. Surprise.

Things they added into the movie that made me go "WTF?" 
1) Quidditch. Ok, so I like quidditch, but it was BARELY in the book. It took up precious background story time.
2) Christmas attack on the Burrow. It never happened. It didn't lead to anything in the movie. Basically it was unnecessary fluff. Fail.
3) Harry hitting on an older woman. Right in the beginning. Fail #2
4) Ok, this was actually a good WTF, but they showed Draco's progress with the plans that he was assigned.
5) The last line of the movie: "I never realized this, but this place is really beautiful." UM Harry, I hate to break it to you, but your last father figure in life was just murdered before your very eyes. WHY prey tell, are you making bland observations about the scenery?

Things they kept that made me happy:
1) The birds. Hermione gets all emotional and makes a bunch of charmed birds attack Ron, and it was awesome to see it. 
2) Someone call Ron "WON WON" in a lovey dovey voice. So awesome.
3) Memories. They didn't show all of them, but seeing Riddle grow up was eerie. 
4) Snape. Any scene with Snape. No, I'm not in love with him, just slightly obsessed. 
5) R.A.B. I'll leave that to the fans :D 
6) Felix Felecis...
7) Aragog, his funeral and the drunken search for Slughorn's memory. Yes. 
8) Fawkes' song. Almost cried. Didn't.
9) Slughorn. I mean, I knew they weren't going to cut him, but it was still amazing to see him, especially as an armchair, haha. 
10) Draco. His presence in the movie saved it. I promise. 

Actors that made me cry (not in a good way):
1) Rupert Grint: Not his fault, and good comic relief, but for GOD'S SAKE MAN, he's supposed to be more like Harry's best friend, less like a red-headed prop. 
2) Michael Gamdon: (Dumbledore) Um. This fellow hasn't even read the books. He doesn't exude calm, seem wise, or do anything remotely like his character. Just because he's a successful actor doesn't mean he gets to look down at this role. Fail, Gamdon. 
3) Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself): This boy needs to work on looking afraid, surprised, sad... basically he could rehearse every emotion in a mirror or something, because man, it just wasn't there. Nothing. 

I know, this post was very critical of a lot of professionals. They put a lot of work into this movie, but in my opinion it wasn't enough. Not that I didn't enjoy watching it, but the problem was there was this empty feeling once the credits started rolling... like the obsessed fan deep inside of me (ok, maybe not so deep) knew that the movie had fallen short. And I know, it's a movie, only BASED on the book, but they are butchering the plot. Part of the appeal of HP is that it's not a typical formulaic YA novel. The story is intricate, detailed, twisting every which way, so that it all falls beautifully together at the end. 

That'll be impossible to do with the movies, and I think it could have been. 

Here's to hoping the inevitable remakes will do a better job. Even without Alan Rickman. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Prada and Prejudice

 I've discovered this new book out (BRAND spanking new, hit the stores on June 11th) called Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard. I think the title sounds pretty cute, although I have to admit that the title is not what caught my attention. It was the newness of it... 

Let me explain. See, I was stalking one of my new favorite authors, Richelle Mead, on Razorbill. I wanted to know whether or not they took unsolicited submissions (otherwise I have to get an agent, which I'll probably have to do anyways). Sad part: they don't. Happy part: I discovered Prada and Prejudice. 

As you all can tell by simply clicking on my profile, I follow A LOT of blogs. Not only are they a fun, less guilty alternative to wasting endless amounts of time on facebook, but they are an invaluable resource to aspiring authors such as myself. 

So I clicked on Mandy Hubbard's blog, started reading about her book, and the recent process of having it unleashed on the shelves. A quote from her blog, if you will: 

"When I walked into the teen section, there were four or five teen girls in the aisle, picking up books and talking about which ones they liked. (One had all three of Melissa Marr's out and was talking about them.)  After I signed all five copies and put stickers on them, I put them back. And when I took out my camera to take a picture, one of them stared at me. I said, "Sorry, I probably look psychotic. I"m just excited because I wrote one of these." They asked which one, I told them, and then embarassedly left the aisle and went over to the romance section. 

While standing in the romance section I could hear them talk about my book. And one of them started reading the summary to the others, and it was SOOO hard not to slowly inch closer and closer to hear everything they said! But standing there listening to real teens read from my book was the highlight of the entire day for me. I held it together while in the store and then kinda-maybe-sorta burst into tears once in my truck. The cool part, though, is that one of the girls convinced her mom to buy the book."

I completely freaked after reading this, because in my imagination where I end up a published author, successful and happy, writing my days away, things like this would happen to me. I was gushing with happiness for her and excitement for what might happen in my own future. It was ridiculous. 

The book itself. Yes. haha, sorry, in all of my excitement I forgot to mention that it's next on my list, despite not being in my usual genre (you know, magic, crazed adventure, betrayal, death and power and such). Prada and Prejudice is about a girl named Callie, who, upon buying and trying on her first pair of high heels (prada, no less. Surprise, right?) falls, hits her head, and wakes up in the year 1815. In England. 


So two people, Emily and Alex, mistake her for a long lost friend. She becomes friends with them both and eventually has to help Emily escape an arranged marriage, figure out her feelings for Alex, and find a way to get back home. 

I'm a sucker for time travel and England, so despite the fact that Mandy likes Taylor Swift (an artist who, despite my best efforts, I'm beginning to warm up to) this book is definitely on my to-read list. 

Woot for new authors! Good luck Mandy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Agents Drive me MAD!

I was looking at the beautiful application I have called iCal, and I realized that if I keep on schedule (unlikely), I'll be done with my book (book meaning very rough draft of book) in three weeks. 

Hold on. Let me repeat this. 


Just looking at it creeps me out in an awesome way. 

So of course, I can't sleep. I decided to do a bit of research on Agents and such, and DAMN. It's a tough world out there. I didn't realize fantasy was such an out there genre- half the agencies I'd bookmarked earlier actually are adamantly against vampires and werewolves, and for the life of me I can't figure out why. 

It's fun, it's crazy, AND reading fantasy books is like eating flintstones vitamins- so fun you don't realize it's good for you (and of course I think that reading is good for you, even if you sit around reading romance novels all day... you know what I'm talking about you naughty reader you... the kind of books where the guy ALWAYS looks like Fabio with his long, thin blonde hair and naked chest- big enough for the main heroine, first person narrator, I'd guess, to wrap her arms around). 

Anyways, I've been getting more and more frustrated. I DON'T want to subscribe to writer's market, because (and I know you're not going to believe this) I have no money left. Well. Almost none. Not enough for a membership. 

So I'm stuck stalking Book Expos and writing conferences, because I assume that agents that attend these things are legit. I need legit. I do NOT need to be ripped off (like what happened to Susie on Rugrats; All growed up when she wanted to be a singer and a lady ripped her off... so sad). 

Basically I feel like I'm doing a research paper, except triple checking my sources. Ugh. Not cool. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009



77,192 = number of words up through Ch. 11 (which I just finished now)

DIVIDE BY: 250 (average number of words per page in a published book)


308.7 (which is really just 309) Pages in Kira's book!!!!

+ four more chapters + having completed a novel



Facebook; I mean what I say and I say what I mean

Latest facebook status, to the t: haha, this is about the time when I abandon my chapter for a month and work on the next one out of procrastination (it's an odd method, but it works). What am I going to do when I'm working on the last chappie? 

It's really a vicious cycle.

I am SO perilously close to chapter 11 that it scares me- all of the sudden I started writing yesterday and I couldn't stop. Now I have 13 pages (word pages, not published pages), and I feel like there will be five more before it's done. Only five. That's how much I wrote last night. 

(That's how much your MOM wrote last night) ... I couldn't help it. 

And now I don't want to look at it. Chapter 11 and 12 are NOT my "ooh ooh I really want to write these scenes this is so much fun" chapters. Really. If I could (in good conscience), I'd get someone else to write them, so I could get to the juicy stuff in the ending chapters. That's really how I feel at this point. 

11 and 12 are the last transition chapters, and then comes THE FIGHT. 

Don't act all surprised, dear readers, I know you saw it coming. How else could a book like this end, other than a hardcore face-off with the bad guy? 

But fear not. I won't say who wins said hardcore face-off. Aren't you on the edge of your seat?

Anyways, I'm experiencing an odd feeling. Or rather, at this very moment, I'm experiencing TWO odd feelings.

1) My stomach is growling in an I've-been-up-all-night-and-didn't-realize-that-I-needed-to-eat kind of way, and let me tell you, it may be more subtle than the normal tummy growl, but it's also WAY more painful. Maybe it's the fatigue. WAIT NO. I just realized it's probably the MONSTER energy drink I had last night at like 10. Ok I get it now.

2) I feel ALMOST done and NOT EVEN CLOSE to done at the very same time. It sucks, and I have the jitters. Ok, DM analogy (for you Miles, even though you're probably not reading this) 
I think about chapters in two ways: Blocks and Pages. Logically speaking, I have about 15-20 pages per chapter, which leaves A LOT of writing to do before I can boast a fully completed rough draft. But thinking in BLOCKS, I only have say, four more to do. Much more doable, in my opinion. 

So I'm a tad bit confumbled, if you will. (yes I know that's not a word)

AND I'm a little bit creeped out by the amount of organ music in the new Shiny Toy Guns album, hehe. (It's worth it for Ghost town)

I hope I keep writing at this pace, because I am WAY behind in my schedule


My birthday present to myself is supposed to be a fully completed manuscript (rough draft, of course), and I don't want to disappoint myself, as I can become quite violent and am known for my short temper.

Away from the crazy lane, I'm on my last two books before I'm done with the reading kick (hopefully one of my book worm friends will fix that soon), and my mind is still spinning from the last two series I devoured (literally read two 400 page books in one night. Yeah). It's nice, I didn't realize how much I missed reading 24/7 till I started doing it again, and I'm actually angry at college for killing that particular habit. 

Last to read (and they sound good):
Dead Until Dawn (Sookie Stackhouse Series AKA True Blood first season)
Neverwhere (Neil Gaimin... he's trippy, so I'm pretty stoked)

What have YOU been reading/not reading? 

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Um, guess what?

Don't have time for a long post or anything, but I just made chapter ten my bitch :D 

Yes, I'm done with that chapter, and surprisingly, it's only about 19 pages. Short, huh? 

Other than that, I just wanna wish everyone a happy fourth of July, and I hope it's a fun day of cooking out and fireworks for all. 

Now, on to chapter 11...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You know what's funny?

So I lied to Miles when I said I'd have this chapter done by the weekend. It's Tuesday, and clearly not finished (though, as before, very close to it). 

I noticed something though. 

I wrote a lot of random scenes before I even started writing the book, before it was a fully formed project I needed to get it all out. When I began it as an actual project, I wrote a lot more scenes out of order, randomly, that stuck in my mind as vividly as a good scene in a movie. 

Reading them now, I'm glad I wrote them, but I have to edit so much of them. Obviously the plot has changed since I began, but it's more than that. I take my characters and their problems A LOT more seriously since I know what's happened before these scenes. The stakes are raised, and my main character has become much more mature since I first thought of her and her blonde escapades. 

I read a section just now and I was like "whoa, Rach, curb the sarcasm." I guess another thing is that teenage sarcasm gets real old after a certain number of pages, and if I can't put up with it, the person who can't bite back any sarcasm in a conversation, there's no way my characters would, especially in the tense situations I often put them through. 

Blah. Just wanted to say that. Sorry about the inundation of posts lately...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Updates Updates (Because sometimes, characters don't make it when we want them to)

I finished it. I finished the books of the series (there are apparently supposed to be six, but only three are published... guess how many I read?) and it was... awesome. I have two things to say in this post and I'll try really really hard to not overdue it... I foresee immediate failure. 

Before that though, I have to introduce the book series that I have oh so recently fallen for (if only because two of you may actually want to pick it up. You know who you are.). Alright, so it's by Richelle Mead, an author of four series (this is her first bestselling one). I've heard of the series before, but I'd never been able to pick up the first book. The first one is Vampire Acadamy, the second is Frostbite, and the third is Shadow Kiss. The cover of the book made me frown almost as much as the titles, but an author rarely has first say in covers, and as someone racking her brains for a title (s), I can understand a less than stellar one. 

Anyways, the book is told in first person past tense, through the eyes of one Rose Hathaway, 17-year old half vampire. What I liked was the invention of a world within ours (which so many vampire novels are good at) that functions the same, but differently. Rose is what they call a Dhampir, half vampire. Dhampirs protect the Morai (or full vampires) from various threats, almost like bodyguards. The various threats usually end up being Strogoi, evil vampires that have betrayed their race and their humanity (it's a lot more complicated than that, so just read the book if you're curious). Rose was in training though, at one of many vampire academies throughout the world (this one in Montana), to become a fully fledged guardian. But Rose and her best friend Lissa have run away to escape a threat that even their teachers can't comprehend, because Lissa isn't like other Morai...

Ok, that was my best summary of the first book without giving you the entirety of the back cover. Short story: it's good. Like, really good. I love Rose's smart-ass mouth (sorta like my heroine, but more abrasive, if possible) and the nice contrast between her and Lissa. The school actually sounds plausible, the characters are diverse and funny, and did I mention the love interest? 

I love her love interest. He's awesome, dark (byronic hero for all you English buffs out there), smart, strong, brave, and smoldering hot (we get to see him with hie shirt off... or... you know, like imagine him, because of the words... and... you get the picture), let alone how much he helps out Rose. 

Now, just in case some of you plan on reading this book, don't read the next paragraph. Skip it, because there WILL be spoilers. If you don't intend to read Vampire Academy (and sequels), read on freely. 

On to the actual first point of this post, I hate when people get killed off. I hate it that after I put in so much emotional investment and love into them, they suddenly get taken away and killed (or in Dimitri's case, after all the drama between him and Rose gets sorted out, finally, FINALLY they admit that they have to love each other, he gets turned into an evil Strogoi monster against his will and she ends up having to kill him!). I hate it, but I think it makes a book better, too. While it pangs my heart to read of my favorite sexy man's death (or a kickass heroine that falls in a fight), it makes me realize how invested in a figment of someone's imagination I am. 

Ok, that came out wrong. 

It just impresses me when people care so much about something not real. Case in point: Albus Dumbledore. I was depressed for two weeks after his death in the sixth book. And I'm not the only one who cried during the seventh book. And a book should emulate reality to a degree, and in reality, the good guys don't always hook up and have a bunch of kids while all the bad guys die. Sometimes, the bad guys win. Sometimes the good guy's (or girl's) lover falls to the whims of fate (or fire, or depression, or the creepy homicidal neighbor next door) and the book ends on a heart wrenching, unbearable note. 

But that's what makes it great. I'm not entirely sure why yet, but it's reassuring almost, to know that even in fiction where fairytale endings are possible, there is disappointment. Still, I don't know why. Any thoughts? Or do you all completely disagree with me?

Second point of unnecessarily long blog post:

Ok, you know when I mentioned the whole snooty English thing? I'm talking about the stigma of carrying a book like Vampire Academy around say, Northwestern campus, as opposed to brandishing Shakespeare and professing undying love to characters like Mr. Darcy. Don't get me wrong, Shakespeare molded history and Mr. Darcy should get his dues, but I've seen what some of the students at NU are like when faced with books like Twilight and Vampire Academy. It's like how a music major would treat, Justin Timberlake to the opera Madame Butterfly. 

Basically it's bullshit. 

I knew someone in the past who wrote music. They looked down on my musical tastes, saying that a lot of bands today are simple. Likewise, my dad once had a long discussion with me about how easy it was to write rock and pop music versus classical or jazz music. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate and respect the complexities that those genres embrace, but in my mind, it doesn't make them superior in any way. It makes them... different. 

On the first day of my second writing class, I overheard a conversation. Two guys were discussing another class of theirs. For an icebreaker, a girl in their class had said her favorite book was Twilight. 

The guy snickered. "I'll never take her book taste into consideration." 
Unable to keep quiet, I butt in. "You can't judge her just because she likes Twilight," I said in what I hoped was a friendly tone. 
"Uh, yeah I can."

Sigh. Again I must say, bullshit. People like what they like, and the elite can be jerks about it, but that doesn't stop anyone from reading it or listening to it. And I don't think they can be seen negatively for it.