Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Ideas

This December has been crazy with finals and stuff a so I wanted to take a quick second to tell you that I’m back and next year there might be some changes. I’ve realized the blog has been all about me lately and that’s not very nice. I had the realization a long time ago that I wasn’t a book blogger and that I’m not qualified to give writing advice. So I’m thinking this could be a challenge blog. I’m still working out the kinks but I’m thinking each month or two I’ll challenge you and myself to read or write something with a theme in mind and at the end of the month we’ll report back to my blog (or yours if you want) to see how we did. I don’t know, what do you think? Tell me your suggestions in the comments.


Happy Reading!

PS: There will still be chocolate in the blog. Don’t worry.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

C.A. Marshall's Free edit contest

Hey guys
Agent intern and Freelance Editor C.A. Marshall is giving away a free manuscript edit. Check it out here. http://networkedblogs.com/bg3CK
Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Break

I know I haven't been present for a while and I'm sorry. I still need to adjust to college life. With that I will be taking a break from all of my social sites. I might still do a teaser Tuesday fro nanowrimo but there will be no initial though put into the post just the teaser. I'm really sorry to all my readers. I just need to relax and focus on school.
Happy Reading!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What's New?

What's new?
Well Nanowrimo is approaching and I am pumped. Last year I started out strong, but ended up not finishing due to my high school's production of Pippin. So this year I am determined to win. For those of you who don't know what Nanowrimo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. That's right, a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Sweet.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'll even do a teaser Tuesday. Wouldn't that be nice?
In chocolate news, I have rediscovered my love of chocolate milk. Mmmm. I know it's bad but what kind of sweet treat is your guilty pleasure?
Happy Reading!
PS: if you are interested in finding out more about Nanowrimo click here

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Banned Books

Ugh so college life is totally getting in the way of my blogging/writing stuff. But I promised a banned book post and you’re going to get it.


I was thirteen when I first heard of the musical Wicked. I was obsessed with it but I never saw the show. I told my mom about it and she said she’ll buy tickets for Christmas. I don’t remember every detail, but I remember buying the book. I read about fifty pages and decided to I start flipping through the pages and looked at the pictures before each section. All of a sudden I see a naked shadow and I started freaking out. So I turned to the next couple of pages and saw a SEX SCENE. I was freaking out. I was thirteen and I didn’t know what sex really was, but I knew it was in that book and I was too young to read the book. So I went to my basement and put the book in a box. I still wanted to see the show so I didn’t tell my mother.

Weeks later my mom and I were carpooling with my teammate and her mom to a volleyball game. We were talking about musicals or something in the car and mom brought up Wicked. She told her I was reading the book and how I wanted to see the show. My teammate’s mother went crazy. She told my mother how she couldn’t finish it because it was like pornography. Once again I was thirteen and didn’t know what to say but the truth. I told her that I knew about the sex scenes and how I put the book away until I was old enough to read it. Needless to say I didn't get to see the musical.

When it comes to censorship I believe that the reader’s maturity it the only obstacle. I think it’s up to the reader to decide if the content of the novel is too extreme for them. I PUT DOWN THE BOOK. It was my decision to stop reading, not my mothers, not my librarian, ME. I don’t think people should tell kids that they are too immature to read books with racy content. And if someone told me that I couldn’t read something because I’m too young I would read it anyway.

When Harry Potter got popular my parents told me and my brother we weren’t allowed to read it because of the witchcraft. I understood, I lived in a strong Christian household and Harry Potter was not very Christian. One Christmas my Aunt bought the first four books for my brother. My parents were worried but they told us we could read them. So after my brother read them I got had my turn to read them and let me tell you I LOVED THEM. However not once did I question my Christian faith because of what I read. I actually fell in love with reading after reading them.

That’s my little rant on banned books. I wrote an article for my high school newspaper earlier this year about book banning. My editor and adviser were worried that I would be bias in my article, so obviously I proved them wrong and won Best Feature Article at the end of the year. My article took on both sides of book banning and I interviewed some pretty powerful people in the school corporation. You can find it here.

I know Banned Books Week is over, but I felt like I needed to add my two-sense.

Happy reading!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cover Party

Tera Lynn Child fans. Get ready for the cover unveiling of the century. For those of you who read Forgive my Fins know about Tera Lynn Child’s summer 2011 sequel Fins are Forever. As a member of the splash team, we have opportunities to spread the word about Forgive my Fins. Well, without further ado here is the cover for Fins are Forever.




WARNING: CONTAINS FORGIVE MY FINS SPOILER ALERT

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but
signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all.


Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?


The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?


So I was thinking out loud what kind of chocolate is great for the beach and my roommate said chocolate covered strawberries. Yum. It would be perfect for a romantic picnic on the beach for Lily and Quince.

I hope you all like the cover. Check out some of the other splashers blogs to see how they shared the cover.

Happy Reading!



Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm back!

I’ve been taking two lit courses this semester. One is Introduction to Literary Fiction and the other is a Comparative Lit class called Major Characters in Western Literature. I have been assigned quite a bit of reading since I started these courses and it has been a handful. My limits have been pushed in these classes and I had an epiphany Reading and writing from an academic view point is hard.


I love to read but it’s hard to read a novel and just study it and say what I think the author is trying to say (if anyone has E.M. Forster on speed dial from the dead let me know.) on the other hand I do like discussing literature with my well educated colleges students, but writing it on paper has without sounding like I don’t know what I’m talking about? Yeah a little difficult.

College life has been good for me though. I’m never late for my classes; I get my homework done and have an adequate social life. My problem is that I don’t have time to read or write. I barely get through my required reading for class and whenever I say “I’m going to have a writing day” I get tired or remember I have to do something for class. I just need to get into the grove of things.

Next week is banned books week and hopefully I’ll get to talk about my favorite banned books. Last year I wrote an article on Banned books for my school newspaper. I posted it a while back after Ellen Hopkins' uninvitation to the Teen Lit Festival last month. You can check it out here
What are your favorite banned books?

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 27, 2010

College

Sorry for my lack of blogging. So as many of you know I started college this week. Once I get settled in I'll start to blog more. I'm taking two different Literature classes so that might be interesting to talk about. I promise I'll be back soon.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What are you reading?

As some of you know, YA author Ellen Hopkins was uninvited to the Teen Lit Festival in Humble, TX after a librarian and some parents went to the superintendent and asked for her to be removed from the program. In the aftermath, authors Melissa de la Cruz, Pete Hautman, Tera Lynn Childs and Matt de la Pena withdrew from the festival to protest the censorship.
After hearing of this problem I thought back to an article I wrote last year for my school newspaper. We were doing an issue with all controversial topics for our final exam. It didn’t take me long to choose my topic because it was around the time Lauran Myracle’s book Luv Ya Bunches caused a problem at the Scholastic Book Fair. After two months of research, emails and awkward interviews, my story was published. The only thing was I couldn’t be bias. So this article explores both sides. (PS: It’s also my first draft. The edited copy is on the school computer.)

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

In this day and age, the media is constantly changing. The internet is at its high point, and newspapers and television are rapidly trying to keep up with it. Despite all of the technology the twenty-first century has brought us, books, have not changed. Books will always have that familiar smell, and there will always be somebody offended by its content.

For years, there has been controversy about what kinds of books go into schools. Many books have been pulled out of school library shelves and taken off high school reading lists. English teacher Mrs. Cynthia Brosnan voiced her opinion on book banning. “The main reason was that they [book banners] considered the material obscene or showed people in a bad light,” she stated. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned because it showed the stereotypes of racism in the 1800s. It made white people look really bad because they held slaves and used the N-word. There were con men, hucksters and vigilantes all portrayed by white people. The only noble person in the book was Jim.”

Today, the book controversy grows on. The Kite Runner, a book on the senior’s required reading list, became one of the most challenged books in 2008 for its language and sexual content.

“Most of the books that we taught at Clay High School at one point or another were banned,” Mrs. Brosnan continued. “Catcher in the Rye was banned because of its language. The F-bomb was dropped many times.”

Other than the classrooms, school libraries are another key place where books are taken off the shelves due to explicit materials. “As a school librarian, I feel that some books’ content is not appropriate for a certain age of students,” Mrs. Angie Bitner-Westen, the librarian, stated. “I am not ‘censoring’ to a point where the book is not viewed by anyone, but rather viewed but a more mature audience. I believe that if the book deals with an issue that might affect teens—example teen pregnancy, drugs, parent with relationship abuse—that is okay. However, if it is an explicit romance novel, that is something else.”

Mr. Al Large, the Director of Instructional Technology and Library Services for the South Bend Community School Corporation, had faced controversial book issues many times for different reasons. “There have been instances when a parent has objected to a book,” he said. “For example, one parent objected to the cover of the book, Monsters You Have Never Heard Of by Daniel Cohen. The parent thought that the cover resembled a beast representing the devil, which offended her religious convictions. Another parent objected to Scary Stories 3 -- More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz because of some of the illustrations and a belief that the book promoted violence. Another parent objected to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, a Newbery Award book, because of the offensive language. The story shows the racial tension in America during 1933.”

“Each parent thought that she/he was representing the best interest of her/his child,” Mr. Large stated. “The reality is that each one of us could probably walk into any library (school, public, or academic) and find books that are objectionable from our individual perspectives.”

In loco parentis is Latin for ‘in place of the parent.” This means while the student is in school, the corporation is responsible for them. “Public libraries are not bound by it [in loco parentis],” Ms. Marianne Kruppa, a librarian at the Francis Branch said. “When it comes to public libraries it falls on the parent to monitor what the child reads. It is not our responsibility to say you can and cannot read that.”

If a parent objects to a book in the public library, the librarian cannot just remove it from the shelves permanently. The patron is asked to fill out a “Patron Request for Reconsideration of Library Material Form.” The purpose of the form is a request to move the book to a section that is more appropriate for that age group. The form asks questions about the book and why the parent found it offensive. The first and most important question on the form that Ms. Kruppa pointed out was “Have you read the entire book?” If the patron has not read the book in its entirety, they may miss relevant information and misinterpret the context. After they fill out the form, the librarians will review it and decided whether or not it should stay in its designated section.

In an interview with momlogic.com back in November, Lauren Myracle, author of the bestselling Young Adult series The Internet Girls (one of the most challenged books for 2008 and 2009,) explained her dilemma with Scholastic Book Club and Book Fair about her Middle Grade novel Luv Ya Bunches. They had a problem with some of the content in the book. “They mentioned wanting us to address the fact that one of the characters, Mila, has two moms,” Mrs. Myracle explained. “I said we’d do the other stuff, but not that. The whole point was to have a cast of main characters that reflect the diversity of today’s elementary schools. The moms’ lesbianism is incidental. It's not a plot point or the source of some big lesson in the book. Just like there's a half Asian girl, an African-American girl who lives just with her dad, and a Muslim girl who wears a headscarf, there's a girl with two moms.”

Eventually, the Book Club accepted Luv Ya Bunches after some of the slightly crude language was changed, but the Book Fair would not take it if the sex of one of the parents was not changed.

“This isn't censorship, per se,” Mrs. Myracle stated. “This is a private company deciding what can and can't be included among the products they decide to sell.”

Throughout the halls, students carry books of all genres from class to class, ranging from Teen Vampire Romances such as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight to spiritual books like The Shack by William P. Young. Is there a book in the mix that someone finds too inappropriate or controversial? Junior Betsy Cook gave her thoughts on what she would do if she started reading one. “I would probably just stop reading it,” she said. “But sometimes it depends on how inappropriate it is. I don’t think it is a good idea to let your child read a book like that if it’s against the parent’s morals.”

Kaitlyn Miner, a junior, explained her experience with books and its mature content. “In the sixth grade I read Empress of the World. It’s a book about a girl who goes to summer camp, sees a pretty girl and becomes a lesbian,” Kaitlyn said. “In the sixth grade of course I thought that was controversial. But when I re-read it in eighth grade I was MUCH more accepting.”

“I feel like books can’t corrupt people,” Kaitlyn continued. “Books are meant to make you feel, so if Harry Potter makes you want to become a Wiccan, so be it!”

Whether you object to certain content in book or the author that wrote it, everyone has the First Amendment-right of freedom of speech.

This article was published in The Colonial in January 2010.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Revising, Writing and Chocolate

Yeah I’m procrastinating. Right now I should be finishing up putting in my final revisions for my manuscript on the computer before I requery.

This little bugger needs another 4k
What I’m really doing is staring at the document on my computer thinking “why am I doing this?” I should have given up earlier this year when the rejections were coming in by the truck load. The reason I haven’t is simple. I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

Back in high school I was an active member of the drama club. When I auditioned for one of the plays at the end of the year, I didn’t get in. I was crushed. I worked so hard at my audition and to top it all of it was my senior year. Devastated, I stared doubting myself and wondered if I was cut out for show business. A few weeks later my friend told me about a play the local theatre was having auditions for. She explained that the role I should audition for would be good fit for me. So a few weeks later I auditioned and got the lead role.

In the end everything really did happen for a reason. If I would’ve made my school play I never would have auditioned for the other one and got the lead. The same thing goes for querying. Maybe all those rejections telling me the manuscript is “not the right fit” really means it’s not the right fit. Maybe one day I’ll find the right fit just like I did with the part. Who knows? The right fit could be my dream agent.

However, I did do a lot of research on the play before I auditioned. (Life Lesson) The same should go with querying. RESEARCH AND FOLLOW GUIDELINES!!! There was one time, ONE TIME, I did not follow guidelines. Boy did I feel like an idiot. That won’t happen again.

To the right you see my zombie cell phone. When it dies it comes back to life. Mug is not filled with coffee.
Now that it’s all out, what am I doing now? Well I’m defiantly surprised I used now twice in a sentence. Currently I’m staring at my hard copy thinking “I can do this…and this might not be my final revisions after all. Oh I hope I get this done before I leave for school. I’ll be too busy when I get there to finish this. I want some chocolate. There’s pudding in the fridge. Wait no it’s moose pudding. Did I use the right moose? I should check, there should be a u in it. Phone’s ringing, crap.” Okay that was long. Well I got my pudding mousse and spoon. Yum. Now it’s time to dig into this manuscript and GIT-R-DONE!

Happy reading!
Yummy Mousse Pudding.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chocolate with Nuts

Hey everyone. Sorry that I've been a bad blogger. This past month has been pretty busy. I had to balance work, writing, closing a play, preparing for college, and getting in some friend time before I leave. You forgive me right?
Not only have I been a bad blogger, but I've been a bad reader also. In all honesty I did not read more than two books last month. I'm still going to read the Sarah Dessen books like I promised, but it's been rough. I've started many books I just never had time to finish them. Maybe since I own most of the books I started, I don't need to rush to finish them before I needed to return them. I bought a book that a book club was reading at my local Barnes and Noble. I only got halfway through it by the end of the month. Needless to say I didn't go to the meeting. (I also forgot about it.)
On the other hand, I have been writing a little bit. My manuscript is on hold at the moment because my friend is reading the hard copy I printed out to edit. Lucky for me she promised to edit it and give me notes. So while the manuscript is away the writer will play. I have been playing with a lot of stories that I shoved behind while I was on my insane query quest. So with my new found freedom I've enjoyed working on other pieces for a change.
As for chocolate. My mom wanted me to talk about nuts. I hate all nuts other than peanuts and cashews. I hate it when my mom gets a can of mixed nuts instead of just peanuts. Then I end up eating all of the peanuts and cashews and that causes problems. Nuts in chocolate it a different story though. I can eat chocolate with almond pieces just fine.I like the crunch. However, if you give me a chocolate covered almond I will eat the chocolate and throw away a perfectly good almond. That's just me. Don't get me started on walnut brownies. The point is I'm not so nuts about nuts.
As you know it's still Reading, Writing and Chocolate's Summer Reading Edition and I'm suppose to give a challenge for the month. Well since I failed at all of my challenges and my life is a little hectic, I'm not going to give a challenge. Instead I say go out and read, write and eat chocolate. I'm going to try to blog once a week and read a lot more before I go to school. I'll continue to write while working on my manuscript. Also, I'll keep an eye out for new chocolate treats to share with you.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Reading Edition: July 17

This is my first (and only) post from my iPod touch. I bought the iPod today and can't put it down. But that's not what I'm bloging about. The challenge for this month was supposed to be reading a genre that you don't read as much. Mine was normal fiction. No magic, no ghost, no superpowers. So since I never read a book written by Sarah Dessen I was going to read three by the end of the month. Little did I know that her books are really long. So I will probably finnish only one due to the high demand for her books at my library and my lack of book money. I have Lock and Key at home and will crack into it ASAP. How are you doing? If you still want to join you can!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer Reading Edition July

Last month was a lot of fun. Even though I didn’t reach my goal of reading five new releases in June, I did read a lot. Personally I blame my lack of money. It stopped me from purchasing my own copy of the books. Here are all the books I’ve read last month. The Bolded titles are the books that were released last month. The titles in purple are books I own.

1. Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié

2. Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

3. Insatiable by Meg Cabot

4. Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

5. Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barns

6. Ghost Huntress: Awakening by Marley Gibson

7. Ghost Huntress: Guidance by Marley Gibson

Looking back at what I read, I realize I really didn’t do well with my challenge. Five out of the seven books I read last month have been paranormal/fantasy and if I would have finished Dark Flame by Alyson Noel a day earlier my list would still be heavy on the paranormal/fantasy side. The truth of the matter is that I find it hard to read normal book about real life. Don’t get me wrong I still read the normal stuff, just not as much.

So I have a challenge for you readers. What kind of books have you not really given a chance? Does your list contain more mysteries that dramas. Have you had a hard time picking up a paranormal romance? So for July’s challenge for Reading Writing and Chocolate’s Summer Reading Edition, I challenge you to pick up three books you never thought you would read and read them by the end of the month.

Confession time. I’ve never read a Sarah Dessen book. There I said it. I have never read a book written by Sarah Dessen. Never. Not one. So my goal is to read three of her books this month. Any Suggestions?

With that said. Post below what kind of books you don’t read that much and by the end of the month tell me what you’ve read and if you liked them.

Happy Reading!

PS. What kind of chocolate confection are you munching on this Independence Day?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mistakes I never thought I would make, but I did

Earlier today I dropped my cell phone in a sink full of water. I always criticized people for being dumb enough to drop their phone in water. Well now it’s barely working and I hope it will work better after it’s dry.


That got me thinking about other things I thought I’d never do but I did anyway. Well back in the day so did I. I honestly thought that I would not make any silly mistake that I’ve read about in countless blogs. Boy was I wrong. So right now I’m going to take a break from Summer Reading Edition and tell you a few amateur mistakes I thought I would never make and I did.

1. Querying before you’re ready. This was one of my biggest mistakes. I thought after spending my entire junior year editing my manuscript would be enough. Boy was I wrong. After over thirty rejection letters I stopped my insane query quest and read my manuscript again. It was horrible. Like really bad. So I spent a lot of time rewriting it and trying to make it as polished as possible.

2. Not having a good query. All of the advice blogs I read say you have to have a near perfect query before you submit to agents I thought mine was perfect. Boy was I wrong. Well after the rewrite I took a look at my query. Not that good either. I rewrote it until I thought it was presentable.

3. School first writing second. My junior year I screw up. I was so concerned about editing my manuscript I let my grades slip. At first I was in denial. I thought I was in control of my grades. Boy was I wrong. When I saw that my grade was lower than I expected I had to pull off a high final score to get a decent grade. If I had spent less time with my manuscript and more time on Algebra 2 and Chemistry I would have graduated with a higher GPA.

In the end I hated myself for making such stupid mistakes.I honestly did not think I would be the one to make these mistakes. I’m just like everybody else. The point is we all make mistakes and my biggest mistake was not thinking I would make one.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Reading Edition: June: Day 17

Hello Readers.
It’s the middle of June and the Summer Reading Edition of Reading, Writing and Chocolate is going smoothly. So far I’ve read two of my promised five new releases. My last read was Insatiable by Meg Cabot. While I wait for my next reading to come into the library, I would like to know what new releases this month you’ve read and would recommend?
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Forgive My Fins Winner

After cutting and folding countless amounts of paper, I finally have a winner.
    and the winner is...
MARISKA!!!
Congratulations!!!!
Thank you all so much for participating. Now a contest like this will come once in a blue moon so just read the blog and keep your eyes peeled for more about reading, writing and chocolate.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Forgive My Fins Giveaway

Well my hunt is over. I bought a copy of Forgive my Fins and loved it. Well here’s the thing. I won a copy the day I bought mine. Lucky for you, readers, I will be giving away my copy. Here’s a quick synopsis of Forgive My Fins from Tera Lynn Childs website:

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily's mermaid identity is a secret that can't get out, since she's not just any mermaid—she's a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn't feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she's been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren't really the casual dating type—the instant they "bond," it's for life.

When Lily's attempt to win Brody's love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Do you want to win the fabulous novel? Here’s the 411. I’ll be picking a name randomly out of a hat. If you comment on this post you will automatically be entered into the drawing. To increase your chances you can follow this blog and/or me on Twitter. You can also tweet or blog about this giveaway for your name to be put in the hat more times.

There you have it. I will announce the winners on Tuesday June 15.

Happy Reading!

Edit: Make sure you mention me when you Tweet about the giveaway. It would be much easier for me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Reading Edition: June Day 1: The Hunt


I'm on a hunt. I need to get my hands of Tera Lynn Childs' new book Forgive My Fins.
I've been waiting for this book to come out forever and it's finally here! Now, I have no money at the moment and no way to the bookstore. Here's the deal as part of Reading, Writing and Chocolate's first ever Summer Reading Edition I pledged to read five new releases this month. I will obtain the targets, read them and blog, all in the month of June.
Yep well that's it really. It's only the first Summer Reading Edition. Maybe it'll get better next year. I don't know. I'm still new the blog thing.

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Quick Post About Brownies

I must blog about Brownies
LOVE BROWNIES!!! 
Yesterday my friend gave me the best brownies EVER!!!
Well that's it.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Summer Reading Edition: June

The school year is coming to an end. And that means only one thing: SUMMER VACATION. Summer vacation = more reading time. It’s simple math. To kick of the first ever summer reading edition of Reading, Writing and Chocolate I have a couple of my most anticipated books this June.


Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs- June 1, 2010



















(A little side note I am officially a member of The Splash Team. If you want to learn more and get cool tattoo and bookmarks check it out here http://tinyurl.com/2vl4jp2


(My super coool Splash Team kit!) 

And finally the fourth installment to the Bestselling Immortals Series

Dark Flame by Alyson Noël- June 22, 2010
I have been following this series for a long time. The cliffhanger endings are nuts (but I LOVE IT!)
I can’t wait to read these. I will read them and give you feedback this June. What books are you looking forward to next month?

Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Raising the Dead

I have raised the dead. Well just in my manuscript. I recently finished rewriting my manuscript and there were a lot of changes made to it. Before I started rewriting I wondered why no agent wanted it. So I stopped my insane query quest and took a look. When I reread it I noticed it was way too corny and a lot of parts were just bad. No wonder no one wanted it. So I stopped and looked the next thing I needed to do was listen. I had to listen to what my characters wanted to say and what they needed. So I made some big changes.


Things I changed

1. How the MC meets her love interest. When I read it I felt that the meeting was too forced and that the love interest’s character didn’t his first scene.

2. Added witty dialogue. It needed it. Badly

3. Dream sequence reboot. It was way too cheesy. Seriously it had to go.

4. Entire subplot change. It involved me raising the dead, ‘nuff said.

5. Toughened it up. It was too nice. It needed a real life reality check.

So in the end, even though I thought I wasn’t one of those newbie writers who make stupid mistakes, I made the biggest newbie mistake of them all. I queried before I was really ready.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Contest Blues

I can honestly admit that I have never won a writing contest. I’ve been writing for years and I’ve won nothing. (I don’t count that poem I wrote in the third grade that got in like a children’s poetry book because I didn’t know what it was for.)


It’s very sad.

The worst part of the matter is that I never find out I didn’t win until I look up the contest winners on the website. There was this one contest that I entered every year since the eighth grade. This year I was determined to win. THEY CANCELED THE CONTEST. I was heartbroken, it was my senior year, I had a great story and my writing skill had improved tenfold. (See I used the word tenfold. I would have never used that word in the past)

My most recent loss was for a novel writing competition part of this big art and writing contest. There are pros and cons to this matter.

Pro- I don’t have to worry about the two year copyright if was recognized

Con- I wasn’t even recognized

Pro- I can finish writing it sooner

Con- I could have finished it with a chance of publication

It’s pretty much Even Steven. Well, I’m not really going work on finishing it much. I’m still rewriting of my finished novel. I have a lot of work to do.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Short Mother's Day Post

Hey hey hey it's Mother's Day! (Sorry I did not mean to rhyme.) It's that time of year when you get to show your mother how much you love her more than usual. So for today's segment of Reading, Writing and Chocolate I would like to say thank you to all of the mothers out there for being awesome.


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY EVERYONE!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rewites

If you haven’t noticed I kind of been failing a blogging lately. I’m just super busy and just don’t have time. My bad.

Anyway, I am here to talk about rewritings. I wrote a novel a few years ago and my attempts to get it published epically failed. So I did what every author/agent/anybody who wrote about publishing said in a blog. I stopped. I left the file untouched on my computer for months. I didn’t query, I didn’t read it and I didn’t even think about it. On Wednesday I went back and started rewriting it. I put new ideas in places where the plot dragged. I added witty dialogue and decided to give one of the subplots a facelift. When I’m done I’m going to comb through it, yet again for months. Maybe this time things will go better.

Oh and for chocolate. I’m selling chocolate for school. You’d think it would be easy. It’s not.

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reading while traveling

I recently got back from a long trip to Disney World over spring break. I packed a book with me hoping to get some reading time while on the motor coach. Unfortunately I was distracted by all of my friends, and the movies and the stops every three hours. I can honestly tell you that I only read one page of that book. It’s sad to be an avid reader and not have time to read.


On the way back I was a little better. I bought a book. Yes I went to Disney World and bought a book. I wanted to buy The Kingdom Keepers Ridley Pearson, but Disney didn’t have the first one. (I placed a hold on it at the library today though).

What I did buy was Fairest of All: A tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino. The title explains it all really.

I read about forty pages on the way back. I could have read more but, I was in and out of sleep the whole time. Well that's traveling for you. So what do you do on a long trip? Post a comment below.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bad Blogger/Spring Break

Dear Blog/Blog Readers
I'm sorry I'm a bad blogger and I'm sorry I'm leaving of Spring Break.
After vacation things will be better between us, right?
I'm sorry :(
Love Leslie Ann
Happy Reading!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Not Having Time to Write Part 2 (what's left of it at least)

I just deleted my blog post. Great. Three things.
No more Book Rec Friday
Script Frenzy is going slow
and...
SPRING BREAK!!!!
That's all.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Having time to read.

I honestly have the hardest time trying to find time to read. I have school, play rehearsal, work and life. How can I possible have time to read? Take this weekend for example when I was trying to read Albatross by Josie Bloss (great book by the way). I started Saturday morning and I got really into it. Unfortunately I had to do chores. Then the power went out before I started. So I read more. Afterwards I had to go to work. By the time I got home the power was still out and it was too dark to read. Sunday I read some more, I was so close to being finished I had to lock myself in my room before work. I finished.


This morning I recorded the book on my list of books read in 2010. It was book #16!!! Really? By this time last year I was on book #30!!! The thing is I have not had much time to read this year. Why you may ask? I HAVE NO IDEA!!! It’s not work because I don’t work much and it’s not play rehearsal or school because I had that last year and that didn’t stop me from reading 100 books!!!

The point it I have to make time to read. I guess it’s the Senioritis. So what did the doctor prescribe? A good book and a chocolate bar. I hope that will cure me.


Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Leslie's Choice: Chocolate Ice Creams

I LOVE ICE CREAM!!!
I have three favorite flavors.

3. Cookies and Cream: I love the little cookie peices  they are soft and it's like they are pre-dunked in milk. But it's ice cream.


2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: It gives me a chance to eat cookie dough. Come on who doesn't love love to eat cookie dough?


1. Mint Chip: I use to hate it because it was green, but now I love it. It's all I ask for whenever we buy ice cream.


So those are my ice cream choices. What is your favorite ice cream?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Recommendations

So I skipped yesterday and decided to make it officially book recommendation Friday. Since I’m still new at this my first book recommendation via blog will be kind of rough. I don’t want to write a long summary so I'll just give you the links to the author’s website. I will get better at this. One day.


Today I’ve recommend to you Heist Society by Ally Carter.


For more information go here! http://www.allycarter.com/books/heist-society/synopsis

Next one is Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors.


Go here for info! http://www.suzanneselfors.com/CoffeehouseAngel.html

Last but not least Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe.


Click the link!!! http://www.megancrewe.com/gutg/index.html

And yeah about the Script Frenzy ideas. I’m extending the deadline until Wednesday’s writing blog. I realized that I need to get more people actually read the blog to comment on the posts. So you can go back to my old post here to give me ideas on how to stay on task for Script Frenzy.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blogging and Ranting and Script Frenzy. OH MY!

Happy Wednesday fellow readers, writers and chocolate lovers. I know I haven’t blogged much since Author Appreciation Week, but that is going to change very shortly. I have mapped out a blogging so I can make sure I keep you in the loop. So here it is.
Mondays is reading day. (Where I rant on about reading and what not.)

Wednesday is writing day (Where I rant about writing and what not.)

Thursday is book recommendation day (do I really have to explain?)

And Saturday is CHOCOLATE!!!!! (Don’t worry I will mention chocolate in other post too)

The rest of the week I will probably won’t blog or just talk about stuff.

So it is Wednesday and I have a big announcement. This year I am going to participate in Script Frenzy!!! For those of you who don’t know, head over to this site for information http://www.scriptfrenzy.org/

Script Frenzy is NaNoWriMo’s sister. This time however, we have thirty days to write a one hundred paged script instead of a 50,000 word novel. I’ve dabbled in script writing a few times, but I never wrote  more than twenty pages. This will be a challenge. But you know I’m just always up for a new challenge.

Unfortunately last year’s NaNoWriMo was an EPIC FAIL!!! I could not stay focused to even get 10,000 words out. So in the comments please give me ideas on how to stay on task and get my creative juices flowing. (Chocolate is always a good idea) The best three will be posted in Friday’s blog.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Author Appreciation Week: Make Up Days

I apologize a thousand times for not blogging for TWO DAYS. Anyway to make up for the day days lost I will have my last two authors in the same post.

Day Four Make Up

Lauren Myracle has been a big inspiration and I appreciate her so much. She has had to deal will a lot of censorship and challenging a few years now. What really makes me appreciate her is her attitude towards every issue she faces. I love how she takes the high road and keeps moving on.

That’s why I have to say “Lauren Myracle I appreciate you and good luck.”

Day Five Make Up
I would have to say that Meg Cabot is my biggest influence. I have been reading her books since I was twelve and she is one of the reasons I want to be an author. I literally counted all of the books she has written from the inside of Being Nikki a while back. I was really impressed. Now it seems like she’s releasing about four books a year.

With that I say “Hey Meg Cabot, I appreciate you and keep up the good work.”

That concludes my authors for Author Appreciation Week. I'll be back to my regular routine next week.
 
Happy Reading
 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Author Appreciation Week: Day Three

Today I’m going skip all of the fancy introduction stuff and get right into appreciating Maureen Johnson.
Maureen Johnson writes books. Good books. Good books for teens. She has written many, many good books for teens. I’m stalling, I know, but what can I say? I like to read.

Back in the day when I was a young and naïve, little girl (with was not that long ago) I read Girl at Sea with no idea of who Maureen Johnson was. Then the Battle of the Books competition I talked about during my last blog came and read Devilish and Bermudez Triangle. The next thing I knew I was preordering Suite Scarlett and anxiously awaiting the sequel (which I’m still waiting for my copy to come in from the library.)

So I say to you Maureen Johnson: Thank you for writing books. Good books. Good books for teens. Many, many good books for teens.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Author Appreciation Week: Day Two

Day two of Author Appreciation Week was a tough one. There is only one word to describe this author.


AWESOME!

John Green is the author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherine, Paper Towns and co-wrote the upcoming novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson with David Levithan.

The first thing I ever read from John Green was the anthology Let it Snow. He was the only author of the three who I had not heard of. (I know I lived in a box!!!) Afterwards I read Looking for Alaska for a battle of books contest at my school. (Only 4 kids showed up so we all won) I laughed, I cried and I realized I should not read books in public. I was hooked.

So here’s to you John Green for being awesome and making me look like a fool in class!!!

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Author Appreciation Week: Day 1

Today is the first day of  Author Appreciation Week. I’ve thought long and hard over the weekend and I have five authors I appreciate. Today I will talk about an author who has to put up with a bunch of crap, Stephenie Meyer.


Back in the day I had phases. I had a Mary-Kate and Ashley phase. I had a Britney Spears phase and I had a Twilight phase.

I was obsessed, and recommended it to all my friends. Well that phase is over. However, I hear so many negative things from people about the books it makes me sick. That’s when I’ve come to realize that whenever something or someone is really popular, people always try to bring it down. My opinion is that people should keep their opinion to their selves.

So I say to Stephanie Meyer (though she will never read this blog post) I appreciate you and how you don’t let all of the crap people give you get to you.

(PS If you are interseted in Author Appreciation week visit Heidi R. Kling's blog at  http://seaheidi.livejournal.com/173993.html)

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 12, 2010

In Review: Troy High

Here's the stroy. The seniors at my school were supposed to read the Homer's The Iliad during the first semester. I could honestly tell you that I did not read it. I did, however, listen to my teacher summerize  it and we also watched Troy, so I pretty much got the basis of the story. Flash forward to Christmas, I got this wonderful book called Troy High by Shana Norris.


Troy High is a modern retelling of The Iliad. I loved the book so much, I wrote a review for my school newspaper. So for my first offical blog post here is my reveiw of Troy High.

In Review: Troy High

This is a story for all the seniors who loved Homer’s classic tale, The Iliad, and for the ones who didn’t bother reading it. Substitute warring kingdoms for rivaling high schools, an out of control warrior with a football player with anger issues, and a wooden horse with a homecoming float, and you get Troy High.

The story follows Cassie, an outsider in her own high school despite brothers being football royalty. She finds solace in her best friend from band camp, Greg. There is only one problem. She attends Troy High and Greg goes to Lacede, their rival school. Greg’s brother is Lucas, star quarterback for the Spartans and is dating the most beautiful girl in school Elena.

Before the school year begins, the school board expands the school districts lines to prevent overcrowding in Lacede. Many unwilling Spartans, including the beautiful Elena, are forced to attend Troy High. Elena quickly attaches herself to the only person she knows, Cassie. There she falls hard for Cassie’s brother Perry, dumps Lucas, causing him to declare war on Troy.

As Elena’s popularity grows at Troy, so does Cassie’s. Hunter, her other brother and Perry warn her about hanging out with the Spartan, Greg, worried that she will betray them. Cassie’s loyalties are tested as each school pulls one elaborate prank after another. In the end she must decide between her brothers or her best friend.

Troy High by Shana Norris spins The Iliad into a modern day tale. The character traits as well as the names are parallel to the classic. Hector and Paris are football stars Hunter and Perry. Helen of Troy is Elena, the head cheerleader. Brothers Lucas and Greg Mennon are the Spartan leaders Menelaus and Agamemnon. The wild Achilles is Ackley, a defensive lineman with a grudge against Hunter for breaking his ankle in a game.

Cassie is Cassandra the Seer, the Trojan princess who was cursed with premonitions, but no one would believe her. Cassie, like Cassandra, had dreams of nothing but bad things for Troy. Since the story is in Cassie’s point of view, the novel sways away from the “glitz and glamour” of the popular crowd at Troy High and focuses on the outsider watching the chaos unfold.

Troy High is a wonderful novel filled with romance, rivalry and an explosive ending…literally.

You can check out the author Shana Norris at http://www.shananorris.com/

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Intro!!!

Hello world. This is a new blog about my life called Reading, Writing and Chocolate. Those three things are basically my life. I had this idea for a column for my schools newspaper and I decided to spread the love to the world.
So here is the low down.
I will try to blog at least once or twice a week about reading or writing and how chocolate helps you through it. This collection will include book reviews, information on my writing, pointless rants and of course chocolate.

Happy reading!