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...