Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

So, what am I reading this Wednesday?
First up: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. I read this book after seeing a glowing review for the second book Wings of the Wicked. I'm normally not one for paranormal, ,but this book was really spiked my interest. The romance is so sweet and I love the back-story and flashbacks. I can't wait for my library to get a copy of the next book.

Then I read The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott. This
book came out in 2008 and I've looked at it a few times, but I just now got around to reading it. When I cheeked it out, I was thinking it was a re-telling of Swan Lake, but it's actually the story of the girl who has to make flower clothes for her siblings who are trapped in the bodies of swans. I'd read this fairy tale in a book of tales, but I'd never read a longer version of it. I was pleasantlysurprised.

And yesterday I finished two books. The first was The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima. This is the second book in the Seven Realms series and so far there are three books books with the fourth expected in October. I've always loved mid-evil fantasy and this series is a great addition to that genre.

The other book I finished yesterday was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I try to read books that hit New York Times Childrens Bestsellers and with this book, I'm sure glad I did. Before I go any further, I have to say, I don't cry when I read books. The last time a book made me cry was Half Brother, by Kenneth Oppel when I read it back in 2010. That being said, The Fault in Our Stars made me cry. A lot. This book opens in a young adult cancer support group and it is beautiful from start to finish.

So, what have you been reading? What's the best or worst book you've read in the past week? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a great week!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mind the Writer Mondays: Guest Post--Hannah

Happy Monday! This Monday, we'll be having a special guest post by my teen writing friend, Hannah.

Hello Inklined readers, Hannah here.

I've been in Sarah F.'s critique group (also called Inklined) for more then a year now, and I'm super excited to talk to ya'll today.

I have been writing since I could write, and before I made up stories all the time.

Since it's Mind the Writer Monday, I guess I have to talk about my writing.

Currently, I'm writing three novel(ish)s.

*The first one I started at the end of the summer. It's based on this little nursery rhyme;

Sing a song of six pence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty black birds baked in a pie.

(there's more to the rhyme, but it's much to long to put into a post.)

I just saw the rhyme and thought, 'huh, I could stretch this and turn it into a story'.

I'm stuck at chapter five at the moment in that one.

*The second is called The Clock Dweller (I was gonna title it The Clock Princess, but when I heard that there was already a book called The Clock Prince, I had to change)

I'm still kinda plotting this one, but I'm getting excited about it.

*And the third is a historical fiction novel based on the Black Plague that was in Europe during the 1300s.

It's a book following the lives of three girls in three different countries in Europe, and how they fight the plague.

The book is simply titled Plague. It's still kind of a working title, though.

My writing dreams are that, 1. I get published at a young age 2. I'd be the youngest person to get on the New York Times bestseller's list.

I don't know how possible it is to achieve these dreams, but I still hope...

Thank you so much, Sarah, for letting me post today.

If you guys want to read more about me, or get in touch with me you can either...

Check out my personal blog at notesfromateacup.blogspot.com

Or check out my book review blog at candyapple-reviews.blogspot.com

Thank you again for having me,

Have a happy Inklined day!

Hannah

Thanks so much for being here Hannah!

I hope you all have a wonderful writing week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesdays


So, what have I been reading in the past week? You've come to the right place to find out. Are you ready? Well here we go.
After by Amy Efaw was a heart-wrenching read about the mother of a dumpster baby. I'd never heard about these types of babies before, but I've always had an interest and a heart for unwanted children. This book really forces the reader to identify with the mother of these kids. It's something I'd never really thought about before. I would highly suggest this book to all girls and woman. Although this book does have some mature content and I wouldn't say it's appropriated for girls below the ages of fourteen.

I also re-read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. This book can be intimidating in size, but it really is worth the time. The characters are very real and if I hadn't know it was a translation, I would never h
ave guessed. This book really inspires you to write. It's characters love books and range from a book collector to a book binder to an author. The villains in this book are soAdd Imageme of the best villains I've ever meet. If you haven't had a chance to read Inkheart yet, you should cheek it out.

The next book up is Unwind by Neal Shusterman. This book deals with a world after the second American Civil War which was fought between pro-life and pro-choice. At the end of the war, both sides agreed upon this: A child may not be aborted. However, if the parent no longer wants the child between the age of thirteen and eighteen, that child's body can be recycled for it's body parts through a process called unwinding. This book really challenged you to think and I would encourage highschoolers and older to read it.

As you can see, I haven't read many books this week, but that just means I got a lot of writing done. See you in a few days!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mind the Writer Mondays

Happy Monday! Unlike Garfield, I don't mind Mondays too much.
I'm also happy to tell you that next Monday I think we'll be having a guest post from a fellow pre-published teen writer. Cheek back next week to see it!

As for my writing this past week, it's been alright. Last week I decided I need to re-write the first six (at least) chapters of my WIP (work in progress.) I'm happy to say I have re-written those chapters. I am not happy that my word count shrunk a lot as I did this.
My next writing step is to re-write a rather long and important scene. One that I've already re-written four times. For some reason, I just can't get this scene right. The scene involves two characters who are best friends meeting two characters who are spies and traitors. It contains a lot of talking and is a very big moment in the story.
In this scene, the FMC (Female Main Character) decides to leave her home town and set off on an adventure to find her mother. It's a scene the whole beginning of the book is leading up to and it refuses to work. *Sigh*

So my goal for this week is to finish that scene and polish the two chapters that follow it.

What about your writing goals for this week? I'd love to hear them.
Happy Writing!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fridays with First Timers: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen


(Cue Rebecca Black music) It's Friday, Friday!!!!!
I just happen to love Fridays! And for this Friday, a book is being spotlighted that I hope you'll love.

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen came out on Valentines day this year.

So, about the author:
I am shamelessly addicted to staying up far too late (it feels like stealing time), diet coke (it burns so good), Scotland (stupid country stole my heart and won't give it back. Interpol has been ineffective for prosecution) and thieves (so I guess I'm not that mad at Scotland).
And about the book:
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Even though it's been out for two days, I haven't gotten my hands on a copy of this book, so if anyone wants to give me one, feel free. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Have a great and productive writing weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

11 Questions

Ok, so as I posted about on Sunday, I'm part of the blog building campaign over at Rach Writes . . .!
Jess, over at Write. Skate. Dream. Tagged me in a game of eleven questions.
Here are the ones she asked and here are my answers:

What's your favorite song?
My favorite has to be the very VERY old Jesus Freak by dc Talk

How old were you when you started writing?
I believe I wrote my first picture book at age six. It's a very little kid-ish book.

What's your favorite movie/book?
Movie: The Collin Firth version of Pride and Prejudiced. Book(s): The Bible of course and then The Queen's Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be? Why?
If fantastical creatures were allowed, I would want a demi-dragon (they're very little.) If I had to pick something real, I would want an eagle. 'Cause they look cool.

If you were the main character of a book, what genre would it be?
Hard one! Either fantasy of Christian Romance.

What is the coolest thing you've ever done?
I spent three weeks in China and I climbed a mountain that looks over the forbidden city. Pure awesomeness.

If you could be a character from any book, who would you be? Why?
These are just getting harder and harder. I think it would be awesome to be Thomas in the book Magnus. I've always wondered what it would be like to be a guy.

What genre do you write in?
Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopian

What's your favorite thing to do, other than write?
Read, play strategy games with my family, play soccer, act, direct other actors, and sing.

If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be?
Jesus, then Paul. If I couldn't pick someone from the Bible, I would pick either C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, or J.R.R. Tolken.

Is there anything else we should know about you?
I want to be published by a large publishing house before I graduate collage. I know this might be hard, but I'm going to try harder.

So now for the 11 Questions I'll be passing on, and who I'm passing them on to:
1. What is your weapon of choice?
2. What is the name of the first story that you wrote voluntarily?
3. What genre(s) do you write?
4. Besides reading and writing what are at least two of your favorite pastimes?
5. What is the coolest/strangest thing you've ever done?
6. What is the best piece of writing advice you've heard?
7. What are your five most used websites?
8. What is your favorite book/author/movie?
9. If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?
10. What are your hopes for your writing future?
11. Is there anything else we should know about you?

And here are the people I'm tagging:

Happy blogging, everyone!

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

In the past week or two, I have read:
78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might
Although this book was a bit discouraging to read, it also helped me a lot. The author (the founder of an independent publishing house) encourages the writer to give their writing a good hard look. Sometimes that's all it takes!

I also re-listened to The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan. Although I wish he had started on a new series after book six. The eight book is an enjoyable read. But this book, like the third Into the Icebound Land this book is not strictly about Will, the main character. It also deeply explores the relationship between Halt and Horace. Told in Mr. Flanagan's easy to read manor, I would highly recommend The Rangers Apprentice series to any and everyone between the ages of 11 and 99!

Cinder a debut novel by Marissa Meyer is a thoroughly good read. I read it in one night, after going to bed at nine, not planing on reading anything. Then I saw Cinder, sitting on my shelf. It kept me up until I read the words THE END! If you like re-told fairy tales, but also don't mind a good sci-fi or dystopian, this book is a great choice for you.

I didn't expect much from The Demon King by Cinda Willams Chima. After reading her debut series , The Heir Series, I had decided not to read this b00k. Then, one of my best friends came up to me, raving about it. So of course, I had to cheek it out. The book far surpassed my highest hopes for it. Which just goes to show you, don't write off other authors too soon. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the Seven Realms Series!

Uncommon Criminals by New York Times Bestselling author, Ally Carter wasn't as good as the first Heist book, Heist Society. In all fairness, I actually bought Heist Society, which is a testimony to how much I liked it. I mean, what's not to love? Smart, talented, teen girl thief, cute, caring, millionaire sidekick, inter-pol surveillance, and air ducts? Although this book wasn't as good as the first, it was still well worth the read.

And last, but certainly not least, a book I mentioned on Monday, Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. Although I've never read any of the authors fiction, this non-fiction book on re-writing has helped me enormously. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has finished their first draft.

Congrats Blogger! You have successfully used up the first hour and a half of my morning.
Happy writing everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Tips: The One About Formatting

Most people would agree that following the guide lines when submitting to a literary agency, publishing house, or magazine is kind of important. After all, if the guide lines clearly say a one page query letter and two page synopsis, it would not be a good idea to give them a four page book proposal and a one page bio.
But for some reason a lot of people don't follow common formatting practice.
So here are the common formatting rules that should be followed unless otherwise stated in the submission guide lines:
  • Font should be black, point 12 Times New Romans aligned to the left. The only exceptions are chapter headings and the title, which should be aligned in the middle and may be larger then pt. 12.
  • Lines should be double spaced. But there's a new rule about sentences, you only put one space at the start of a sentence.
  • The first line of every paragraph should be indented.
  • At the end of a chapter, don't press enter until you get to the beginning of the next page. Instead, press Control+Enter. This should take you to the start of a fresh page.
  • There should be at least one inch margins around the all the page.
Generally, if you follow those rules you'll be conforming to the standard formatting rules.

I hope you have a great Valentines Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mind the Writer Mondays


Happy Monday! Or not so happy Monday depending on your view of things.
Over the weekend, I wrote a grand total of 400 words. Then, this morning as I worked on a different section of story, I deleted 300 words, thus leaving me with a net gain of 100 words. Which is not nearly enough, especially considering that's all I've written all week. I am in the process of writing the second draft of my novel, (You can read about said novel here) which is -- for me -- not as easy as the first draft.
To day, after re-reading a large portion of Revision & Self-Editing,(a book I would highly recommend) I have decided I need to re-write the first six chapters of my manuscript. This amounts to about 10,000 words and it's not something I'm looking forward to.
And by re-writing, I don't mean changing a few things here or there, I mean deleting what I have and starting over with a blank page.
On the bright side, I already finished Chapter 1, which is almost 2,000 words.
As far as publishing is concerned, I am almost done with my first query letter, which I will send to a few writing partners and probably post on here as well. Hopefully, the query will only get better from here!
Happy writing week, everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fridays with First Timers: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

The book and author spotlighted this Friday are . . . Struck by Jennifer Bosworth.


So, about this author:
Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California, where lightning hardly ever strikes, but when it does she takes cover. She is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth.



And about the book?



Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.



Be sure to cheek out Struck when is hits the shelves May 8th.