26.12.11

Best of 2011: 5 Great Albums To Write To


The year is almost over, guys. That being said - I thought it would be great to say goodbye to 2011 by posting five songs from the five great albums that I listen to when writing.


1.) Little Hell by City and Colour

Dallas Green is a Canadian singer who I absolutely ADORE. If you haven't heard of him before today, you should definitely check listen to a couple of the songs on the album. His voice is so beautiful and refreshing and...it's filled with equal amounts of hope, sadness, and truth. Beautiful.

I've got a sickness pounding in my head
I'm at the mercy of the ghosts





2.) Lover Boy by Brett Dennen

Some people compare this guy to Bob Dylan. I don't listen to much Bob Dylan, but despite Brett Dennen's boyish looks, he has a mature sounding voice with deep, powerful lyrics to match.

Like a southbound train
Here's a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing




3.) All at Once by The Airborne Toxic Event

If you're looking to write a story about angst and rebellion, then you need to listen to this album seriously. There's something electrifying about it. It's like the match that started the fire, you know?

Stuck here with these people
Wide awake, the crush of bodies in one space
I feel your heart breath on my tongue
I wonder where you've gone




4.) Ceremonials by Florence + the Machine

I can't explain how much I LOVE Florence + the Machine. Really, I think it's safe to say that EVERY writer (who has great taste in music) listens to Florence. The lyrics are breathtakingly, hauntingly beautiful and each song tells a story.

And the only solution was to stand and fight,
And my body was loosing all the sattelites,
But you came over me like some holy life,
And I know the whole story,
You're the only light




5.) Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay & 21 by Adele

I couldn't possibly choose what album I wanted to be the fifth greatest album to write to in 2011, I decided to post both songs from two AMAZING albums from a band that I love with all my heart and a singer who takes my breath away.

When she was just a girl,
She expected the world,
But it flew away from her reach,
So she ran away in her sleep





Under haunted skies I see you
Where love is lost, your ghost is found
I've lived a hundred storms to leave you
As hard as you try, no I will never be knocked down




Thanks for reading! I might do more of these Best of 2011 posts if I can think of another topic to cover. What music/albums in 2o11 did you like that you wrote to? Tell me in the comments! <3
20.12.11

i couldn't resist....


So these might be extremely corny but I couldn't help myself.












So...yeah. These were corny but I hope they at least put a smile on your face? I mean it's RYAN GOSLING? Or maybe he's not your cup of tea. In that case...I'm sorry but really? How can you not like him? He's so...dreamy.


If you are confused about the whole 'Hey Girl' thing...I invite you to check this out. It's one of my favorite Tumblr blogs and it puts a smile on my face. But yeah...hopefully next time I have something better to blog about.


Until then, thanks for reading! <3
6.12.11

Teaser Tuesday

I know I haven't been posting...a lot. Sorry guys! Life has been super busy. Senior year has been hectic and I'm waiting to hear back from a few colleges that I applied to so...yeah. Since it's Teaser Tuesday, I decided to post a short story I just wrote. It sucks and it's really sappy but it's the first thing (besides essays for school and college) that I have written in a long LONG time.

I hope it doesn't suck too bad. :)

______


Time was always moving. He never stood still. In all the years I’ve known him – I don’t think he ever stopped to “smell the roses”. Even his kisses were frantic, rushed. Part of me just wanted him to hold me for longer than a second, to press his lips against mine for more than a minute or two. I doubted that would ever happen. Time was always in a hurry and now that I think about it – he had every right to be.
The doctors said that he only had a few more weeks to live. Maybe even less than that. Either way, every second of his short life was important to him. He wanted to see and do everything before he died.

***
“You should just let me drive,” Time muttered, sighing.
“We’ll get there,” I said, biting my lip. It took all I had not to start crying. The tears were there, waiting for their chance to fall, but I refused to give them that chance. Time didn’t need to be mourned while he was still alive. I was going to miss seeing him, his naturally unkempt hair, the connect-the-dot freckles that were scattered across his face, the bottle-glass blue of his eyes. Everything. He was once just the boy next door, the boy who used to eat dirt and chase girls with worms. Now he was so much more than that. He still lived next door but he wasn’t just a boy. He was my boy. I loved him.
I never got a chance to tell him that though. I didn’t know how. I just assumed that love was understood, like you could just look at someone and they would know how you felt. But I couldn’t rely on my eyes to say everything that I wanted Time to know before he died. He might misinterpret what they were trying to say.
I never wanted to be one of those girls. You know the ones that say they can’t live without their boyfriends; the ones who spend every second, minute, hour of the day thinking about them. But I can’t help it. I can’t help but to think about when he’ll die and if someone will be there, holding his hand. I reach over and link our hands together. To my surprise, he doesn’t pull away.
“Time…” I breathed.
“I know,” he said. “I know.”

***
I don’t recognize him anymore.
His lips still feel the same. His eyes are still the same color and shape but there’s something missing. Life. Time is still living and breathing, walking and talking but there is no life in the way that he lives, breathes, walks and talks. Everything about him just seems so: dead. His voice is hollow. His eyes are empty. His steps are slow and calculating. His breath is labored.
“Jamie…” he started.
“Why don’t you kiss me anymore?”
“I’m dying.”
“I know that, Time. But I…”
“I think we should start seeing other people.” He turned his head a little. The wind blew a few strands of hair into his eyes. I wanted to see his eyes.
“I don’t understand.”
When he looked at me again, his eyes were red and cloudy with a chance of rain. It was raining. One by one, teardrops began to trickle down his face. “What is there to understand, Jamie? I won’t be here in a few days. Hell, I might even die tomorrow or in a few minutes. The point is…you don’t need to see me like this. You don’t have to watch me die.”
I shook my head, not believing the words that were coming out of his mouth, even though I felt them in my soul. “I want to watch you live, Time. Don’t you get that?”
For once, in what seemed like forever, Time stood still. “You deserve to be with someone who can live long enough to love you.”
Even though I knew he would try to push me away, I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close, savoring the smell of his clothes, the smell of him.
“I know,” he whispered. “I know.”

Thanks for reading! <3
14.11.11

i love monday

Not really.

Monday is the worst day of the week.

But since I hardly blog anymore, I thought I'd create a meme to get me posting again. So...here is the first post in "I Love..." Monday. I'm going to post things that I currently love and it would be great if you guys did it too. If you do decide to join me in posting things you love on Monday, just leave the link to your post in the comments.



First off...I must say that I'm really impressed with what I have seen so far. None of the actors fit what I pictured the characters to look like in my head, but that being said I think this is an AMAZING cast of actors/actresses and that the Hunger Games movie is going to be EPIC. Plus, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna = LOVE.



The entire 2006 version of Jane Eyre is on YouTube. This is my favorite JE adaptation yet. I haven't seen the most recent one but Toby Stephens is my Mr. Rochester and he's so...*sigh* If you aren't convinced of his sexiness, please watch the scene I posted above.



THIS is one of the many pictures that inspired the story I've been wanting to write for a long time now. I'm super excited about it and I like being able to write about crop circles and UFOs and creepy stalkerish men. If you want to find out more about BELIEVE...check out my website.



Last on my I Love list is Katy Perry's video for The One That Got Away. I love love LOVE this music video. It's very creative and powerful and it reminds me so much of my wip THINGS LEFT UNSAID. Plus, that guy is really hot...*ahem*

So, that's it for me today. What are you loving on this fine Monday? I really would LOVE to know!
6.11.11

NaNoWriMo Day 6

I changed my NaNo project.

Why?

Well...I just can't seem to write OUT OF SIGHT. I love the concept and I hope to work on it after November is over...but for now I want to work on something that I have outlined (sorta), something that's a little more in my element (contemporary FTW!)

The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to get 50k words in thirty days. In my case it's going to be twenty-four days, but I have two days of school off so I hope to get caught up.

My new NaNo project is not really a new idea. I've been sitting on it for a while now and I've been scared to write it because it's written from both a male's POV and a girl's. I know enough about both characters to distinguish their voices, but I don't know if I have the male voice down...since I'm not a guy.






Here's a scene I just wrote this morning:


Her skin is intoxicating. I haven’t even had anything to drink tonight and already I am drunk. Off of her. The way she smells, the way she bites her lip when she thinks I’m not looking, the way she smells – warm and sweet like hot cocoa. My fingers ache to pull her close, to dance with her like all the other boys and girls bumping and grinding around us. Yeah, bumping and grinding. That’s what they’re doing. Their bodies have become one on the dance floor. No air stands between them. I want it to be like that with Sadie, but I don’t think she wants it to be like that.
I don’t even think she wants to be at this party.
“You want some punch?” she asks, her honey-brown eyes ensnaring mines in their intensity.
“Um…yeah, sure.”
Without saying another word she turns around and disappears into the crowd. I watch her walk, not to check her out or anything but because the way she moves – shoulders slumped forward, her steps measured – makes her look like she’s out of her element and maybe she is. Rich girls don’t come to parties like this. They don’t hang around with people like this, people like me.
Someone taps me on the shoulder. “Elliot?” Lily’s voice fills my head and suddenly it’s not Sadie’s face that’s clouding my vision, it’s my best friend – the one that I kissed on the roof of my apartment last week, the one who doesn’t answer my calls, the one who looks the other way when we pass each other in the hallway at school, the one who kissed me back.
“Hey,” I say, as she positions herself in front of me her beer sloshing around in her red plastic cup. “What are you doing here?”
It was a stupid question, I know. But what else am I supposed to say to a girl whose lips I now know the blueprint of?



I'll post up a blurb of what STEALING SADIE is about on my NaNo profile. I'm Endless Dawn if you want to add me. Good luck everyone! : )

19.10.11

My NaNo project...



In a world where no one can hide - Nia Thorne is invisible.

CONCEAL is a software that makes it impossible for anyone to track or see you. It was created by Nia's scientist father for the Underground - an international group of rebels who are hell-bent on dismantling the government. Luke Thorne had been a member of the Underground for years which is why Nia was a bit confused when he came home and told her that: a.) he quit his job and b.) they needed to go into hiding.

Nia has been hiding for a year now.

She doesn't know where her father is and because he has CONCEAL installed in his brain - she can't track him. Now seventeen, Nia must fend for herself. With invisibility on her side, she can rob grocery stores and malls whenever she pleases, sleep in luxury hotels and dine at five-star restaurants. Sometimes she goes to sit in classrooms and other times she sneaks into movie theaters, anything to keep her from thinking about her father.

And then she meets Julian.

He can see her.

He's the first person she's spoken to in a year.

He tells her that he can help her.

She believes him.
10.10.11

Should taboo relationships have happy endings?

Someone on AW wanted to know if it was okay for a taboo relationship to have a happy ending in a YA book. I have been contemplating my answer for a while now and I have finally come up with an answer:

My current wip Things Left Unsaid features a relationship that might not sit well with some people. It's between my main character who is seventeen and a twenty three year old painter. The story isn't about their relationship and...just so you know...they aren't going to run off into the sunset together and live happily ever after?

Why?

Well, because I just don't think it's the right thing for them.

That's the thing you have to keep in mind when you're working on a project that features a romance that doesn't conform to today's society. If it's important to your characters and to your story for the relationship to have a happy ending, then by all means...let them have their happy ending. If not...then feel free to torture your darlings.

I will say that I do not cringe at stories where there is a significant age difference between the two characters. Let's face it...Edward is old enough to be Bella's great-grandpa. If that doesn't freak you out then teenagers being with someone four or six or even ten years older shouldn't bother you either.

I'm not saying that I condone relationships between minors and adults in real life but I am saying that it should be written about. Not for the sake of shock value or anything like that but because...it's realistic.

People fall in love (or like) everyday despite age difference.

Getting back to my wip.

I have asked myself many times why I couldn't just make Sam (the twenty three year old) my main character's age. Why couldn't he be a boy who sits behind her in class or the boy next door? The answer I ended up with was this: it just wouldn't work for the story if Sam was same age as Claire.

Claire needs someone who understands what she's going through. Her sister committed suicide and she was the one who found her body and because of that...everyone is treating her differently. Then she meets Sam, someone who does understand what it's like to lose a sibling to suicide, someone who doesn't judge her and someone who could possibly be a shoulder to lean on...despite the fact that he's almost six years older than her.

I know some people might not like the age difference in my story even after knowing all of this but...at the end of the day if you're going to write a 'taboo' relationship then...by all means go do it.

That being said...make sure you're writing one for all the right reasons, and not the wrong. If you just want to write one for shock-value, then maybe you shouldn't write the story at all.

The whole purpose of my story is to explore how different people deal with grief and death and dying and...Sam is a character who is more than just his age. He brings so much to the story because he has lived just a little bit longer than Claire and...he has his own emotional baggage and I would hate to destroy that by making him sixteen or seventeen or even eighteen.

Though Sam and Claire do not end up together in my book...it doesn't mean that their aren't happy endings in real life or that there shouldn't be ones in books. Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr (one of my favorite books) is a story that involves a teenage girl who falls in love with a man nearly twice her age. I say involves because the story is not about a teenage girl who falls in love with a man nearly twice twice her age, just as my story isn't about a girl who falls in like (I won't say it's love) with a man who is six years older than her.

I don't want to make this a really long post so let me just end by saying if you want to write a young adult book that involves a taboo relationship then by all means write one. Just just make sure you're not writing it just for shock-value and know that your story doesn't have to center around the relationship.

I know a lot of people will disagree with me but I'm really curious about what you guys think.

Are taboo relationships okay in YA books? Should they have happy endings?
9.10.11

Sunday Seven


I know I haven't been good on updating my blog but...I'm going to try to post more often.

1. In case you didn't know...I'm a senior! I never thought my senior year would come, but it's here and even though it's still the beginning of the school year...I am ready to graduate. Sure...I'm a little scared about going out into the "real world" but I'm ready for an adventure. Plus, I already know what I'm going to major and minor in. Creative Writing for my major and Sociology for my minor. I'm so excited!

2. I took my SATs last week. They were easier than I thought they were going to be. There were a few questions that made me go...meh. But I think I did fairly well. The writing section was a piece of cake though...so I hope I get a good score.

3. I'm at a new school this year since my old high school closed. It's hard being in a new school with people I don't know. Some of the kids I went to middle school with go there but we haven't seen each other in three years so it's kind of hard to connect. It would help if I wasn't so shy. I'm more of a listener than a talker. I don't know why especially since my mom is REALLY outgoing. She's the kind of person who can start up a conversation with a complete stranger but I get nervous around people easily...*sighs* Part of me thinks that I'm having a hard time adjusting to my new school because I miss my old one. It was a horrible school but...I knew everyone there. I had nice teachers and even though it wasn't the best school...it was MY school, you know?

4. I made yet another Tumblr: http://ravenamo.tumblr.com/

5. So...I recently started watching Firefly. It was on tv a couple of weeks ago and I watched it and immediately fell in love with it. Firefly is so amazing and...I just don't understand why it had to end so soon. If you have never watched Firefly, I suggest you do so now. Just so you don't have any excuses as to why you're not watching it, you can watch the pilot episode (and a few others) on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_5nOoAzhA&feature=colike


6. Here's some of the music I've been listening to lately:








7. I started reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It's a really funny...really inspiring...very heartwrenching read. There are times when I want to laugh and times when I want to breathe in the words. Junior is a wonderful character and if you haven't read this book, please go do so now.


Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

31.8.11

RTW: Across the Universe (in three days)

Road Trip Wednesday is blog carnival hosted by the lovely ladies over at YA HIGHWAY.

So I really love science fiction.

I don't read a lot of it but...I love futuristic gadgets and cute bow-tie wearing aliens with amazing blue boxes.

That being said give me anything that has to do with the future and serve it to me w/ a side of romance and I'm sold.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis is an AMAZING book. It has something for everybody. Mystery, a little romance, and two strong main characters that tell a story set hundreds of years later on a ship that will both amaze and scare you.

I don't want to give anything away but GO READ THIS BOOK NOW.

Though I finished this book last month I still can't get it out of my head and I am waiting *impatiently* for the sequel.

Seriously.

Across the Universe will take you on an adventure in three days. That's how long to read this book and it's pretty lengthy.

It will also make you take a look at the world around you. A real, hard look.

But I'm going to stop talking now so you can hurry up and get this book.

What are you waiting for?


23.8.11

here's another small teaser from my wip

I didn't want to completely erase him out of my life especially since I still had so much to learn about my sister. Denise used to talk about you so much. Though he was clearly speaking English, those words sounded so foreign to me. Not like French or Spanish, those languages were easier to understand than this.

Alex was speaking Pig Latin an old, forgotten and dead language that I just couldn't seem to understand.

Maybe I didn't hear him right.

It just didn't make any sense. Why would Denise talk about me to him?

She didn't even know me.

- from THINGS LEFT UNSAID

15.8.11

first drafts don't equal the end of the world

It's taken me YEARS to realize that but it's true.

It doesn't.

Early Sunday morning there was a really bad storm that woke me up and so I put on some music and started reading over my wip which I had temporarily trunked at 35.8k words.

I know it's not good to read over your wip before you finish it, but by the time I read from beginning to end...I was crying.

Not because it's a sad book (it is) but because there were good parts among the extremely sucky parts. There were A LOT of sucky parts but the point I'm trying to make is FIRST DRAFTS ARE GONNA SUCK...and they're gonna suck hard.

But forget about sucking.

Just think about all the good things you have. Think about how happy you'll feel once you finish. Think about FINISHING.

First drafts are made to be fixed. There is nobody in the world who has written a solid first draft. And if you happen to know someone who has - direct me to that person please!

But, seriously, don't give up on your novel especially if you love it. And if you need to take a break from it, take a break. Work on something else for a few days, and then come back to your wip with new eyes.

You can do it.

I believe in you.

Happy writing guys! :D

12.8.11

Heartbreak: a poem


It's been a while since I've wrote poetry...so I'm a little rusty. But this is for The Merry Sisters of Fate contest where the winner gets three ARCs of books written by the three authors. In case you didn't know, the MSOF are authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff.

They post amazing original stories/flash fiction every week, and if you want to be entered into the contest all if you have to do is write something inspired by the painting "The Turret Stairs" by Frederic Burton.

HEARTBREAK

His hands are shackles
And I am their reluctant prisoner
In the shadows he waits to capture me

Susanna
He says my name like a prayer
Though many bow when they see me
His is the only worship that is true

We shouldn't do this
My lips are traitors
They betray the feelings that wage war in my heart, in my soul,
as he buries his lips in the crook of my arm

I have waited long enough, my queen
And so he has
Every night he comes for me
Every night he wairs

On the turret stairs
Where our hearts beats in synchronicity

Run away with me
His voice is filled with an urgency that makes me wish
That I could forsake the throne to follow him
Into the unknown
But I cannot

I have a duty to my kingdom
When one becomes a queen she must forget that she is a woman
She must ignore the passions that shatter her bones and flutter her heart
She must remember, always, who her first love is

You mean to your king?
I turn my face into the wall,
And blush as only sinners do

I love you enough to let you go
So show me the same courtesy,
And love me enough to let me stay
Those aren't the words that I want to say
Those aren't the words that I feel
But they are the words I must say
They are the words I must feel

He is my reluctant warden
He hesitates to let me go
He gives me one last kiss on the palm of my hand
And it is then the lights dim; signaling the end of the show

The audience erupts into cheers
And we take our bows

I wish it didn't have to end this way
His voice cracks; he is close to tears
I look at him
He looks at me
For only a moment
But a moment is all it takes

Me too
I whisper
As his heart breaks.

taking risk


So...I usually write contemporary.

I like contemporary.

If it's done right, it's magical.

But you know what else I like?

Shows like Doctor Who and The X-Files. Books with kick-ass heroines and high stakes. I am the girliest of girls but that doesn't mean I don't like "getting my hands dirty".

This is exactly what I'm doing with this new project.

Getting my hands dirty.

And you know what, guys?

I'M SCARED OUT OF MY MIND.

This idea is new territory.

It's a mix of dystopian + fantasy + steampunk and...I don't know how I came up with it since I normally write contemporary and I normally don't outline or plot or anything!

There's a lot of worldbuilding I have to do. A LOT of decisions to make.

Guys...when I first thought of Faye (my main character) and her world I honestly didn't think I could do it justice.

I was scared of what would happen if it sucks. I still am scared but...

I like being scared.

I like taking risk.

You never know unless you try right?

So how about you guys? Have you taken any risk with your writing? Or do you like to play it safe?

Happy Friday!

6.8.11

my keyboard is my wand


I have dreamed of sharing my stories with the world ever since I was a little girl.

I used to write stories about counterfeit pennies and evil meatballs and give them to my family members.

The meatball story was pretty cool because my mom helped me make a book cover using a spaghetti box.

Looking back I can't begin to tell you how much I loved writing stories and drawing pictures to go with them.

Writing is just so magical and I'm sure if you're a writer you don't need me to tell you that.

But I've been writing ever since I was five, wrote my first novel, which I keep hidden in a file that will never again see light, when I was nine.

It was about what most girls who dreamed of faraway lands and wore way too much pink would write about.

There were fairies and witches and demons and knights in shining armor. I even made up back stories for all of my characters and their homelands.

I drew pictures on my computer, pictures that are sadly long gone but I still remember them - I never forget any of my characters. They stay with me everywhere I go.

I don't know why I took to writing the way I did. Almost everyone in my family can draw or paint, like my mom who is a better artist than she gives herself any credit for.

I can draw too but my passion has always been with words. I love the way letters look, the way they sound, how they form together to make words that mean so much more than what they look like on paper.

My mom started me off reading when I was four and I guess that's where all the madness began.

I started to hear voices in my head.

Voices that I heard more louder, clearer than my own. So even at a young age I knew what I was meant to do: write.

I watched the Lifetime movie based on J.K. Rowling's life last night and I cried.

I cried because all she wanted to do was do what she loved to do and people kept telling her it wasn't practical.

I don't like that word. I don't like what it means or how it sounds.

Life is short. It's too short to be practical, to not do what you want to  do just because it might not pay the rent.

I don't know what being an adult is yet, but I do know that I'm going to college next year. I'm majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in sociology. I will go to law school and I will always be a writer.

It's in my bones. In the air that I breathe. I couldn't stop writing even if I tried. Honestly - I think I would go mad if I didn't write.

There's just so much wrong with the world and I have the power to escape. I don't claim to be Harry Potter but my keyboard is my wand, my stories are my spells and incantations.

I want to see something I've written on a shelf one day but I can't let that make me forget why I write.

I have to stop thinking of everything I write as THE book or as a book period. These ideas, these voices in my head are mine, they are my heart and soul.

And that is why I write.

I write because I can't live without them.

3.8.11

RTW: What are the five senses again?


Haha, okay. I'm kidding. I know what they are but when it comes to writing I don't really pay much attention them.

Or if I do, I won't really know until after I give everything a quick read-through.

So...here we go.

I'm going to put my wip THINGS LEFT UNSAID (which is currently on hold) to the test.

If I utilized all five senses at one point in time, then I get an A. If I've only used four, I'll give myself a B and so on and so forth.

Sound

I could hear some guy or girl (you really couldn't tell) singing I don't like the government/they sell sugar coated lies at lemonade stands/ little boys little girls open up your hands in the background.

Touch

I heard him say "we need to get you out of these clothes before you catch a cold" but I just couldn't stop screaming and he didn't seem to mind because he stayed with me and helped me pull my arms out of my shirt, his rough calloused fingers setting my bare skin on fire.

Taste

"I'm fine," I breathed, though we both knew that I was far from fine. He pushed a bowl of oatmeal towards me - made just the way I liked it with a whole bunch of sugar and cinnamon - only with each spoonful I ate, I felt like I was eating ashes.

Sight

Danny was a tired wave as she sunk down onto my bed, her legs, her arms folding in on each other. Right before my eyes she collapsed.
I've never seen this side of her before.

Smell

Um...yeah.

So I'm going myself a C. My strongest areas are sight and touch and I'm fairly good with sounds.

It seems my like my main character hardly eats which I never really would have picked up if it weren't for today's Road Trip Wednesday prompt.

Also, smells aren't really my cup of tea. I don't really use that sense when I write, which is odd. I'll have to work on that.

Enough about me. How do you use the five senses in your writing? Put your own wips or your favorite book to the test, see what grade you get.

And don't forget to stop by YA HIGHWAY to leave a link to your post in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

2.8.11

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer






Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer hits stores everywhere 9.27.11. Pre-order your copy here. Download the widget here. Enter to win an Advanced Reader’s Copy here.
26.7.11

what kind of character would be?


I was reading over what I just wrote, when it dawned on me how different I am from my main character. Though a lot of what goes on in her life was inspired by personal experience, Claire is not like me.

She says what's on her mind, while I tend to keep things to myself.

She acts on impulse, while I have to think things through.

Also, she's not afraid to do crazy things. In one scene she jumps fully clothed into a fountain and I would.never EVER do anything like that.

The point is: writers are not their characters. Though we take bits and pieces of ourselves and put them into our novels, our characters have a life of their own.

And the way I see it, our characters are the people we would like to be but can't be.

So that got me thinking: what kind of character would I be?

Well, let's see.

The type of character I would be is:

* a girl who stays up all night
* a girl who drinks tea to calm her nerves
* a girl who daydreams about other worlds
* a girl who strongly believes that music isn't good unless it's loud
* a girl who is afraid of everything from thunderstorms to being alone
* a girl who likes good movies, and writing down random lines of poetry
* a girl who wants to escape from the confines of her small big town
* a girl who has a Johnny Depp poster in her room

The list can go on and on and on.

But I guess what I'm trying to say is: if you have an idea for a dystopian or a fantasy or (insert genre here) kind of novel and you don't have any idea who your main character is: look deep inside yourself, find out what pieces of your soul you want give to your character(s) and give them life.

There's a character in all of us, you just have to be willing to look for them.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Also, what kind of character would you be? And do you ever incorporate personal experiences into your novel?

25.7.11

Teaser Monday


So I'm 64 words away from reaching 34k in my wip whose new title is THINGS LEFT UNSAID. Though there will be some plot changes in the next draft the story centers around a girl whose "perfect" sister commits suicide. There's more to the story, but once things get sorted I'll reveal more m'kay? : D

So before I post the teaser, here's the set up:

My main character Claire is seventeen and will be eighteen in a month, she works at her uncle Pierre's restaurant where she meets Sam, a twenty-two year old cook who seems to understand her and all that other good stuff.

I know some people grow weary when there is an age difference, but I don't think I can make Sam any younger without messing with the plot.

Okay, here you go....

I don't feel anything but the thump thump thump of his heart against my chest, the butterfly kisses he lands on my jaw, on my ear, and everywhere that isn't covered by my clothes.

"Sam..." I say his name like a prayer.

He answers it.

"Am I doing anything wrong?" he asked, and I don't know how to answer that seeing as though this is a script I've never read before.

Even though the lines are sketchy, I improvise. "No...it's not that. It's just...I'm..." The words still a virgin are lost on my lips but he understands and then he is pulling away but not completely. His hand is still on my stomach.

The heat of his skin seeps through my shirt.

Sam lies down beside me.

"Forgive me," he breathed. "I should have...I guess I got too carried away."

"No." I turn my head to look at him. He's looking back at me. The world standing is still. "You were perfect. I should have said something...earlier. Maybe next time we..." I stopped talking because there might not be a next time. Sam might not want there to be a next time.

So there you go! The scene before it has a lot more kissing but I'll tease the good stuff some other time. Keep in mind that this is a first draft, so it's little...meh but I hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading. :D

20.7.11

why shit needs to hit the fan

So...whilst eating my morning pie I started thinking about the kind of stories I write.

They're not always happy stories.

They're not always sad ones either.

But no matter what the tone of the project is, something has to go wrong.

I really can't stand stories where the main characters get everything they want without a price.

Sure there are a lot of people in the world who are lucky & live like kings and queens but even they have their own problems to solve, their own mistakes to make and so do our characters.

In order to make our characters more realistic - no matter the genre - we have to let them get bruised a little because life is one big journey and no one truly comes out unscathed.

So yeah...I make my characters go through some things but I always make sure they come out stronger for it in the end.

Hmm...I think I should eat pie more often...

Happy Wednesday everybody!

18.6.11

Saturday Snippet

Here's what I have so far of my new project:

I never tell anyone what my real name is.

The guy whose number I still have written on the inside of my favorite jeans thinks my name is Billy, even though I only told him that because the MJ song was playing and he said he wasn't going to leave me alone until he got a name. He didn't specify whose name he wanted, so I gave him the only one that came to mind at the moment. Now he's probably waiting by his phone for a girl named Billy Jean to call only I won't ever call him because I am definitely not his lover.

The doorman thinks my name is Grace (though he always calls me Gracie). Rita, the lady who sells flowers around the corner from my job calls me Lola even though I don't really look like a Lola.

I don't really look like any of the names I tell people. Only my mother insists that I look like a November, which is what my real name is unfortunately.

Now you can kinda understand my reasoning for lying whenever someone asks me what my name is. I mean, I was named after a freakin' month of the year. Not really, but most people would think that.
11.3.11

RTW: The girl I want to be...

Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival hosted by the lovely ladies over at YA HIGHWAY.

In honor of the release of Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, Wednesday's prompt was to finish this sentence:

I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO BE...

I would give anything to be THAT girl. You know, the one that turns heads, the who has a lot of friends and has a hot boyfriend.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, but high school is hell on steroids.

It eats girls like me alive.

I never was popular. I never was a toothpick, either. I was the girl who read entirely too much, and in elementary school I got bullied when I didn't hand over my spelling test.

It makes me sick just thinking about it but...things got better in middle school.

A little.

I mean, there were still popular kids, and the worst of them were girls. They all thought they were better than girls like me, and at the time I thought they were... I mean, they were pretty and smart and good at sports. I, on the other hand, wasn't pretty and though I had a group of people that liked me, I still felt like I didn't belong.

A part of me felt like it was my fault that I didn't fit in and I still feel that way now, in high school.

It's hard.

It's really hard and sometimes I wonder if high school would be any better if I was pretty and popular.

I don't know. I just want to be...I would do ANYTHING to be the girl I see in the mirror every morning, only more confident and brave.

Maybe I don't turn heads and maybe I don't have a boyfriend, but I know that high school isn't forever.

The world is bigger and the people aren't as small- minded as most of the people I go to school with.

I don't want to be anybody else. I shouldn't have to be, but at the end of the day, I would give anything to be the girl who can love herself no matter what anyone else thinks.

I'll be that girl one day.



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5.3.11

Saturday Seven

I don't know if I'll be able to think of seven things that's going on in my life, but I'll give it a shot.

1. So...I'm on a mission. A very important one, if you ask me. I want to be healthy. I don't want to have high blood pressure or diabetes when I get older. That being said I had to make a few lifestyle changes. To make a long story short, I have lost 4.2 pounds. It's not a lot but it does feel great.

2. I started reading The Kite Runner for my AP English class and...wow. I love it! The writing, the voice, everything about the book is just...there are no words. I highly recommend it!

3. I'm taking the SATs next month, which means major studying needs to be done. I am taking the AP exam in May and so...if I disappear for another month or so, know that I'll be drowning in exams. Hopefully I'll make it out alive!

4. I'm going to D.C. in May for a day (wish I could stay longer but meh...) There's a Model UN convention going on, and I'm going with my Human Rights group. I'll tell you guys more about it soon.

5. On April 19, I'm going to be on tv. That is the day (hopefully) Pittsburgh will be declared a Human Rights city. If you're confused as to what that means, I'll do another post about it whenever I can.

6. My school is closing in June, at the end of the school year. It's been open for 100 years and though I can't say it's the best high school in the world, I wish it wasn't closing. Now I have to spend my summer looking for a school to go my senior year.

7. Um...I don't know what to put for seven. Let's see...I'll be seventeen in June. This both scares and excites me!

Enough about me, what's going on with you?
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27.2.11

Learning from my mistakes...

We learn from our mistakes. No matter how torn up we are over not being able to do anything with our first novels, we still can cherish the fact that our first novels taught us something that can make our next trip down the book-writing road a little less bumpy.

FAR FROM HERE is not my first novel. I wrote three before it, and that was when I was nine and imaginative and inexperienced. My third novel was a huge improvement, but I can honestly say that even though I trunked FFH I can still use it to write my next novel, which I'm excited about.

When I wrote FFH, it was a NaNoWriMo project. I didn't really have a steardy plot or outline, I just wrote. It seemed fun at the time, but I ended paying a HUGE price in the end.

With this new project, I'm going to plot, I'm going to outline. I'm not going to do my proper research, and though the first draft will be sucky, I'll be prepared this time when it comes to revisions.

My pantser days are over! I already have the synopsis written. Now I just need to outline, and buy a few more notebooks.

So far I don't have a title, but it is a ghost story. It was inspired by a line in the song Sleeping With Ghosts by Placebo.

It's a great song. I haven't really listened to Placebo in a while, so I was happy when I stumbled across this song.

The idea that soulmates never die sent the wheels in my head, turning.

I even have an idea how I want it to begin:

Birds falling from the sky is never a good sign.


I'll keep y'all updated on my progress.

Have a great day!
26.2.11

Saturday Update

So...hey guys!

How is everyone?

It's been a while.

I honestly don't intend on abandoning this blog. It's just that ever since my computer broke, updating this blog has been hard. (I'm using my phone to write this, btw.)

Well, anyways, I trunked FAR FROM HERE.

It has been my main wip for a while now, and I just haven't made any progress with it. One day, maybe all the pieces will fall into place and I'll work on it again, but for now it's time for me to move on.

It's time for a new set of characters, a new story, a new adventure.

The only problem is that I have so many ideas for my next project, some contemporary, some not. I could work on a project I already started before, but I don't know. The only thing I know is, I want to have fun writing whatever I decide to work on.

So, enough about me, what are y'all working on? Have you recently trunked a novel? If so, was it a hard decision to make?