Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Last year I wrote a slightly depressing post about failing everything I tried in 2011. I made an effort to make 2012 better. I think it's safe to say that I rocked 2012. Sure I've had some low points this year, but when I look back at it 2012 has been fantastic.

I won NaNoWriMo
I wrote a lot
I kept up with this blog
I vlogged for 30 days

There are a lot of goals I want to make for 2013. Like reading more, vlogging more often, and seeing if I can get somewhere with my writing.  I don't know where 2013 is going to take me, but I will happily be go along for the ride. Who knows, 2013 might be even better.

Goodbye 2012 it's been real.

See you all in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Road Trip Day 5


The Holiday Road Trip is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post several questions each day about the books you've read through the year. We have several different questions for each day. Answer one, answer a few, answer them all: anything goes! You can draw from books that were new in 2012, or ones that were new to you---this is just a great opportunity to reflect on the year of reading you enjoyed.



Today's Holiday Road Trip Questions:
- Most Anticipated Book Releases in 2013
 - Most Recommended (By You)

So I've basically just did the odd days. Anyway since it is the last day I'm answering both.

Most Anticipated Book Releases in 2013: 
Debuts:
Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Reboot by Amy Tintera 
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Sequels:
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan (I finished Unspoken in basically one sitting. SO MANY FEELS)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Do I have to explain?)
Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton (Still need to finish Wings of the Wicked though)

There are a lot of books that didn't make the cut because I could not think of them all. There are also a lot of books in 2012 that I wanted to put on the list. I'll do a separate post about that. 

Most Recommended

I'm taking this as what books I am recommending to you. I'm limiting it to 2012 releases, but it's hard because I can't remember that far back. 

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (SO MANY FEELS)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer 
Origin by Jessica Khoury
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Actually I recommend anything by him)
Room by Emma Donoghue (not YA but it's one of the few assigned readings in college that I've enjoyed)

That's my list. I had a great time doing Road Trip Wednesday for YA Highway. I've made so many online friends along the way and follow some great bloggers. I can't wait for 2013.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Road Trip Day 3

The Holiday Road Trip is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post several questions each day about the books you've read through the year. We have several different questions for each day. Answer one, answer a few, answer them all: anything goes! You can draw from books that were new in 2012, or ones that were new to you---this is just a great opportunity to reflect on the year of reading you enjoyed.

Today's Holiday Road Trip Questions:

                                                                         - Best "I Want To Go To There" Setting in a Book
                                    - Favorite YA Characters

I didn't post anything Tuesday because I was too busy with my family. You know, because it was Christmas. And then Wednesday, well I'm posting this at midnight so I think it counts.

Now for best "I want to go to there" settings I'm pretty wimpy so there are tons of places in YA literature that I would not like to go. ***cough cough*** Panem ***cough cough*** Also I would not survive in places where there are mythical creatures roaming about in secret or in public.

I would however like to go to real destinations like some characters in books. Like Hazel Grace in The Fault in Our Stars I would love to go to Amsterdam. Anywhere in Europe actually. London, Rome, Paris, I just want to travel.

If I had to pick a fictional place that is 100% safe I to live guess it would be Genovia. I wouldn't want to be royalty like Princess Mia, that's too much responsibly. But I would love to go to a place and be fancy.

Happy Reading!

PS- Don't kill me, but I would not want to go to Hogwarts, I would not survive a day there. 


Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Roadtrip Day 1


The Holiday Road Trip is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post several questions each day about the books you've read through the year. We have several different questions for each day. Answer one, answer a few, answer them all: anything goes! You can draw from books that were new in 2012, or ones that were new to you---this is just a great opportunity to reflect on the year of reading you enjoyed.




                              Today's Holiday Road Trip Questions:

- Best Book Of The Year
- Most Unexpectedly Delightful Book Of The Year
- Book I Wanted To Hate But Couldn't Because Game Recognize Game*
Book I Can't Get Out Of My Mind
- Best "New To Me" YA Author

I'm only answering the ones I put in bold. I didn't read much this year for a number of reasons, but of the books I did read I really enjoyed. 

Best Book of the YearThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Do I really have to explain why I loved this book? It's charming, funny and I cried like a baby for hours after reading it. Well done John Green, well done.

Book I Can't Get Out Of My MindCinder by Marissa Meyer. I pulled an all nighter to read that book. I literally did not get any sleep the night after I finished it. If you remember from an earlier post I wrote a semi crazed fan email to her the minute after I finished the book. I can't wait for Scarlet. I just downloaded the prequel Glitches for my nook. I'll start it once the Holiday season is over.

Best "New To Me" YA Author: I thought really hard about this question and I decided not to go with a 2012 debut author because they are all new authors. So I chose Rachel Vincent. I bought a copy of Soul Screamers: Volume One at Target this summer it's a large book containing My Soul to Lose (a prequel novellas) My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save. I wasn't expecting much since I never heard of the series before that day. I bought it on a whim and I was not disappointed. The second volume is already out I think. I might have to pick that up soon...

There's my list. I'll be back tomorrow with more questions. If you want to participate check out yahighway.com

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

YA Highway RTW: The Name Game


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: The list of top baby names in 2012 had us talking about naming characters. How do you decide on names? Would you ever name a character after a friend/family member/ex?

I hate naming characters. It's actually worse than titles for me. I change them all the time. Sometimes when I need a name in a pinch I do what most writers do and go to babynames.com. When looking for names I don't go for the top names. I usually search by the meaning of the name to see if it has something to do about my characters's traits. Like in my WIP one of the character's name is Val and Valerie means strength. Val is a very strong character mentally and physically so the name fits her.

Other times when naming characters I like to have fun with the meaning. Susan Black the MC from my NaNo Novel Suspension of Disbelief has the powers to control all forms of earth. I wanted to name her after a flower so I chose the Black-eyed Susan. See what I did there. Grayson Clark was a name I had fun naming. Since the it was a superhero novel I took his name from two different superheros. Guess in the comments which two. I also played with alliteration for some names because Stan Lee does that in most of his comics to remember his character's names. I had help with Grayson's superhero persona's through a forum, but I'm still struggling with villain's names. That's something I have to do a little more research on.  

Sometimes the names just come to me. I really like having unisex names for the girls most of the time. It's just a quirk I have. I also try to avoid naming characters after people I know. It's just weird. But I can never avoid it really. There will always be some character that has the same name as a friend or coworker. When the name is right for the character there's no way around it.

That's my weird process of naming characters. It's not really my favorite thing to do, but it has to be done. Who do you do about naming characters? 

Happy Reading 

Friday, December 7, 2012

End of Semester Refletion

The semester is OVER!!!

The past five months have been insane, stressful, and wonderful all at the same time. There are things I wish I could have committed to more, like my vlog and finishing the first draft of Unremarkable. But there are also things that I am proud of accomplishing, like finishing NaNoWriMo and keeping up with this blog. All and all the first semester of my junior year was successful and I can only hope for the best second semester.

Things I want to accomplish second semester:

1. Read more: I've only read a few books this semester. I have a lot of them on my bookshelf, but I never make the time to read. I have the time, I do. But the challenge is picking up the book and actually reading. There are so many books on my TBR list, so many series I want to finish. I think next semester I should make an effort to read two books a month. In high school I read two books a week. But that was when I had all the time in the world. With my limited time, I think I can make this goal a reality. 

2. Write more: I proved I could write 50,000 words in a month. Now I need to apply everything to my daily writing routine. Finishing NaNoWriMo has put a lot in perspective. Much like reading I've always had the time to write. The challenge was just opening the document and going at it. Even though I am taking a Creative Writing course next semester, I want to make time for my own personal writing. I want to be published one day, I can't sit around saying that I'll write later. "Write Now." That's not just a motivator for me it's for you too. I don't want these bad habits bleeding into adulthood. I still think I can't get over the shock that I'll be out of school in a year in a half. I need to shape up now.

3. Be a better Leslie: This is pretty self-explanatory. I think before I could really be successful I have to be comfortable in my own skin, as a writer and as a person in general.

Well that's all the philosophy I can dish out in one post. Finals are next week and I'm going to need a lot of chocolate to survive that.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Revisions


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic is: For many, December is a post-NaNoWriMo revision haze! How do you approach editing/revising? Any tips or tricks or resources you can share?

Never ask me for advice. EVER. Since I finished NaNoWriMo I've been in slowly working on revisions. Nothing too heavy because I don't want to tire myself. I'll take a break after this first edit.

How I approach revision: 

1. I do a super basic grammar and spelling check. I fix sentence structure and add some more detail and description. Add scenes to fit inconsistencies. I find it easier to just go over the simple stuff on the computer.
2. Print it, shred it, burn it and scatter the ashes all over central Indiana.
3. Print it again. This is when I freak out and delete/rewrite everything. Scenes get cut and added, more setting and detail are infused characters die (or come back to life).
4. Repeat step 2 and 3 about six billion times
5. Done

When I do have it printed out. I like to read the story without making any corrections, notating what I need to work on when I go back to it. Sometimes I like to use Post-Its to indicate what I needed to change.

That's all I got. Does anybody have any revising advice? How do you approach revisions?

Happy Revising!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Journey to 50,000 words

I finished NaNoWriMo for the first time. After failing the first two attempts and never finishing any of my WIPs I lost confidence in myself as I writer. With all of that on top of college and rehearsals I wasn't sure if I could do it at all. So this year I made a real effort to finish. The first thing I did was made sure everyone knew what I was going through so I would not back down. A lot of my friends were constantly supportive and asking about my progress. My internet buddies were also a big support group. Without their constant support and cheering I probably would not have finished. I lost some twiter follower this month because I tweeted my word count everyday. I'm over it.
If you weren't following my NaNoWriMo Chronicles here is what you missed:
I managed to keep up the pace for the first week and a half. I fell behind a little during week two but once Thanksgiving break started I was kicking it into overdrive. I wrote between 2,500-5,000 words a day that week. My family was really supportive during that week. Eventually I got to a point in my writing where I was comfortable enough to attempt to finish it a week early. When I hit the 50,000 words I stopped there. I realized that I had no ending, but I was okay with that. The goal was 50,000 words and I reached it and I really needed a break. I'm glad I had it because the last week of November was crazy hectic for me.

Things I learned from NaNoWriMo that I can take to my everyday writing:
1. Plan: For a long time I thought I was a pantser. That's how I approached all of my WIPs and I never finished. Since I was so determined to finish within the frame I needed to know what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there. Obviously I did not follow it 100% but I had a clear idea of of the the book I wanted to write.
50,00 words and a finished charm bracelet from my ML
2. Dare to suck: seriously while my inner editor was still peering over my shoulder at sometimes I just had to tell it to shut up and use write. Sometimes I has sentences like "I went to the door and opened it." Seriously, it's awful, just like first drafts should be. I'm okay with that. that is what revisions are for.
3. Write everyday: Even when I was busy I manged to get the bare minimum or a little less. I never stopped written even when I was ahead. There were times while writing were I felt the scene was going nowhere and instead of stressing over it I wrapped it up and moved to the next scene.

What's next?
A better look at the bracelet
1. Revisions: I've decided to do my first round of revisions without the ending. Hopeful once reread and fix a few things I will have a better idea of how I want to end it. Also I will be changing the ENTIRE novel to present tense. So please if you care about my well being send chocolate, or pictures of chocolate.
2. Critique Partners: Now that I actually have a somewhat finished novel, I should start looking for some again. I still kind of have one, but we've both been busy because of school. I should email her... Anyway in the next couple months I will be scoping Absolute Write again, hopefully I'll find a perfect match. If any of you are interested let me know by sending me a DM on twitter.
3. We will see: Honestly I don't know. I'm not one of those people who jumps on the querying bandwagon right away. I want to do this properly, and if that means not sending it out ever then so be it. I'm still going to write and I still want to be published someday. Just not until I'm ready. Hopefully I'll finish my other WIP I put off for NaNo and see where that will take me.

So there it is. One month, 50,000 words, sanity still intact. Okay that last one is a lie. To everyone who finished congratulations! For those of you who did not finish don't give up. Finish what you started and come back the next year with more determination. Believe me, hitting 50,000 words after two years of not finishing is worth it.

Happy Revising!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Busy Week: NaNoWriMo Chronicled pt. 4

So basically I have six zillion things to do this week so my post about what happened last week will be on Friday. What I can tell you now is that I reached 50,000 words and I have no ending.

Here is a teaser:


            I arrive at Grayson’s at seven on the dot. I knocked. There was no answer. I knocked again. Still no answer. I press my ear against the door, I could hear pots and pans rattling and the faint beep of a smoke detector. Without hesitation I pushed open the door using my powers. Grayson was trying to put out a small fire on the stove with a fire extinguisher. He was a mess. His hair was sticking up and flour was all over his face and apron. Once the fire was out he sighed in relief.
            I started laughing, he looked up and finally noticed me. “Susan,” he walked over to me, but slipped on something and landed right on his back. I kept laughing. He groaned. “I am so sorry. I tried to make chicken parmesan and everything turned out to be a disaster. And this day was going so well.”
            I went over to him and helped him up, being careful not to get flour on Darcy’s dress. “Grayson, you just made my day a thousand times better.”
            “How so?”
            “Do not get me wrong,” I said. “I really liked your whole romancing me throughout the day thing, but what I love is seeing you fall apart. You tired so hard to be Mr. Perfect for months. Nobody is that perfect. It is great to know that my boyfriend can make mistakes.”

Good luck to everyone finishing up NaNoWriMo. :D

Happy Writing!

Friday, November 23, 2012

50,000 words

So this happened...
 

I'm too much in shock to actually write about it, but I can assure you a post will be coming.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Home for the Holidays

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic. 
This week's topic: With Thanksgiving on the horizon we want to know how you balance hectic times like the holidays with your writing schedule.

Honestly since I am still in college I don't have to worry about all of the crazy holiday stuff. The being home for the holidays is not that stressful for me. Yeah, during Thanksgiving I will be busy helping my mom, doing chores and entertaining guest but for the most part it doesn't change. Even with Christmas I don't do too much work.

I actually find it nice being home for the holiday's. I don't have a car since I'm lame, so I spend the mornings at home. That is when I get a lot of writing done. I like the quite of an empty house. It keeps my head clear and I can can just write. When my family gets home that's a different story. Most of the time I just put my writing away because I know I get distracted. Since I'm a night owl I can write again once my family is asleep for the night.

Personally for me I think the real hectic times are when I am in school. Ugh, papers, and test and projects oh my! But this year with NaNoWriMo I proved to myself that I can find time to write in college I just needed the motivation.

So how does your schedule change during the holidays? And just for fun what is your favorite holiday dessert?

Happy Reading!

PS I am over 40,000 words into NaNoWriMo. :D

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Keeping the Pace: NaNo Chronicles pt 3

Week three is upon us. Last week as predicted I fell behind. Not by a lot, but I was behind on the word count for a few days. Honestly it was school. I had papers and test and all that jazz. I knew it was going to happen. On Friday I left for Thanksgiving break. I spent the entire car ride home typing. In the end in about three and a half hours I got 2,500 words written. I was completely caught up. Saturday was my first free day in a while. I reached 30k which is amazing in itself. So I set a goal for the weekend to be at 32k and by Sunday night I made my goal.
Monday I set my goal a little higher. My plan was to reach 35k. I got to 37k. 37,000 words. That's the farthest I have gotten in years. Yep. I really want to finish early because I know next week will be hectic. If I keep up this pace I will be there in no time. The key for me this week is to keep going. If there is a muse just go with it. Even when I reached my goal I still had the urge to keep going.
Also if you are on twitter there are a lot of ways you could connect with other NaNoers and bump up your word count.@NaNoWordSprints constantly has different challenges and sprints to participate in. A sprint is when you write as much as you can nonstop until the time  runs out. Usually to keep your juices flowing they give you a prompt or a challenge to add to your novel like "Include something about mirrors, glass, and/or reflections" or "write a scene in a graveyard!".  It is optional but it is a lot of fun. Also authors Susan Dennerd (Something Strange and Deadly) and Sarah J. Maas (The Throne of Glass) Host a NaNoWriMoBattle everyday on twitter around 3pm. Three thirty minute rounds of continuous writing. It's tons of fun and it's awesome to know published authors are going through the same thing as you and are very supportive. I love NaNoWriMo.
All right it's teaser time.

            
            The Gray Eagle and the Vine Vixen were on the front page of every newspaper in Caperville the next day. This kiss was worse than the first. Now everyone knew we were dating. Susan and Grayson and the Gray Eagle and the Vine Vixen. Lovely.
            Darcy was in a very good mood the next day. Her outfit was mentioned in the article.
            “The Vine Vixen, wearing a fabulous new black suit…”
            That was all it said. But Darcy was ecstatic. “I can start a business you know. Making superhero costumes I mean. Not just for you, but anyone who wants to dress like a superhero. I have been thinking about this for a while. The fashion industry is so hard to get into I need a gimmick. Superhero couture, genius right?”
            “Genius,” I said halfheartedly. Other things were on my mind.
            “What is wrong?”
            “Nothing,” I lied.
            “You are lying. Tell me what’s up?”
            “I ducked out of the house this morning before I saw Aunt Lexie. She still does not know about Grayson. Well I guess she knows now.”
            “You two have been dating for over three months and you still have not told her?”
            “Aunt Lexie is not a fan of the Gray Eagle. Ever since the first kiss. Now that this happened, now that we are in the newspaper. I do not even know.”
            “Invite him over to dinner,” she said. “Let the two meet. Remember you were not a Gray Eagle fan when you first met. Grayson is a great guy. I am sure she will like him.”

So how is everybody else's writing going? What is your typical pacing? Have you participated in any sprints?

Happy Writing

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Motivation


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This Weeks Topic: Tons of writers are in the midst of NaNoWriMo, trying to stay inspired as we reach the dreaded middle. Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!

For me my quote is not writing related but life related. and writing is life.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill

This quote has been my life guide for years. Sometimes I lose sight of it when things don't go my way. This pertains to my writing, all writing really. It's such a tough business. Failure is part of the job, especially when we are starting out. Rejection is common. But we have to move on. We can't give up. One day it will all pay off.

Motivational video. Okay this is a little silly, but this is a song from Starship a musical written and performed by Team Starkid. It's such a motivational song.  

Lastly if you want to keep up with my NaNoWriMo progress. I've been doing a weekly update plus a teaser. You can check the first two out here and here. Also add me as a buddy if you haven't yet.

How do you stay motivated. Songs? Quotes? Pep talks from friends? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NaNo Chronicles pt. 2

This week has defiantly been very slow. I stayed a day ahead up until Sunday. Everything is hectic. I'm making sure I get my 1,667 words in everyday, but I wish I could strive for more. I fear as if I'm going to fall behind this week. School stuff. I have a couple papers due this week. But after this Thanksgiving Break is coming up. I'll most likely finish up during that week if I keep pushing. My plan was to be finish before I start tech rehearsals for the show I'm working on. That's not going to happen.
One thing I can take away from this week though is writing everyday. Even when I was ahead and I felt like I could slack I didn't. Thank goodness or else I will be playing catch up until the end of the month. Keeping my head in the story is what helps me write everyday. Planning this out was a great decision. I fell in love with my story before I even wrote it and that passion is what drives me to finish it.
I still got a ways to go
Something that helps a lot is the Write-Ins it's so nice to actually meet and talk with other writers going through the same thing I am. My ML (Municipal Liaison) has beads for a charm bracelet for our region. With each different accomplishment/milestone we get a new bead. I won't be at any write ins for a while because of Thanksgiving break, but I'm grateful to be a part of a wonderful writing community.
As promised a teaser from "Suspension of Disbelief"


The ground shook furiously as the emotions poured out. I was sobbing. The robots were violently shaken off of me. The building began to crumble. I continued to sob as I fell to the ground. The building was falling apart, but I couldn’t will myself to get up.
            “Susan,” Grayson shouted. He was still in the cage. I was paralyzed on the floor. I couldn’t move. “Susan!” The bricks of the building started falling in chunks. I continued to sob. I hand grabbed my shoulder. It was Grayson. He picked me up and walked me out of the crumbling building. Once we were far enough from the building, he sat me down. “Calm down, calm down,” he stroked my hair with the side of his hands. I took several deep breaths. The earthquake had settled, along with my nerves. I sat there for a moment taking in the damage I had done.


How's NaNoWriMo going for you?

Happy Writing!

P.S. what else has been going on in my life? Well one the plays I wrote was selected for The Student Play Festival at my school. It went up on Sunday. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Daring to Suck: NaNo Chronicles Pt 1

So I've decide to keep a log of my progress on the blog to go a long with Teaser Tuesday. Kind of like a NaNo journal only shorter.

Day 1: I started writing at midnight in a Google Hangout with a few people from my region. I clocked off after an hour into it to get ready for bed. After my nightly preparations I continued to write until I reached 2k words. I wrote more in-between classes and during free time. By the end of the day I reached 3,775 words. Good First day.

Day 2: I only write a little after midnight. After class I wrote a little more. Later I went out to see a show a other things then I headed to a Write-In. This was my first Write-In ever. It was so much fun. I got a nice chunk of words done and chatted with other writers. It's nice to actually talk to a NaNoer in person rather than online. It makes everything so much more real. By the end of the night I reached 6,667 words. Great second day.

Day 3: Saturday! I slept good. But I have work in the afternoon. No writing done before then. I get back to writing around 9:30 pm. It took a long time to get back into it but in the end I got out 1,667 words before midnight. I ended the third day with 8,333 words Monday's word count. Still a day ahead. Homework time.

Day 4: Daylight savings time. I got an extra hour of sleep. However my phone didn't change time zones automatically like I thought. So my 8:30 am alarm wakes me up at 7:30 am. I write a couple hundred words before I get ready for rehearsal. After rehearsal I go to a Write-In. by the end of it I reached 10k. This is a personal milestone for me because my last NaNo novel didn't quite make it there. I only hope to keep moving forward from there.

Day 5: Monday. It was defiantly slower getting into things. I wrote myself in a pickle the day before and I hadn't quite thought of a way to solve it. That's what I love about NaNoWriMo, I can be completely stuck at a scene and BS my way though it. All I'm really focused on is getting to the end. Since today was super busy I didn't get many words in. By the end of the day I reach 11,136 words.

Now it's Tuesday, as of right now I haven't written anything yet but I've been wanting to post this for a while along with my teaser. While I have some funny lines and nice parts to share. I think this is one of my funnier snippets. Remember this is just a rough draft. it still sucks.


           “So Grayson, right, or do you prefer to be called the Gray Eagle when we are alone.”
            “Grayson is fine,” he said.
            “What the hell are you doing here?”
            “I was just as surprised as you,” he began to chuckle. “I figured since I would be here longer than expected I should enroll for the rest of the semester.” His laugh grew louder.
            “What’s so funny?” I asked.
            “I’m sorry, but this is hilarious. Really, do you know how funny you are?”
            “Explain,” I said, not finding his tone amusing.
            “Come on, the glasses, the hat, the baggy clothes, oh this is just too rich.”
            “Are you making fun of my alter ego?”
            “You don’t find this the least bit cliché?” he continued to laugh.
“It is called suspension of disbelief.” I said. He continued to laugh. Annoyed that this conversation was going nowhere, I brought up roots from under the ground. They wrapped around Grayson’s feet. When he tried to break free I would tighten them.
            “Think I’m funny still?”
            “I thought you only threw rocks,” he said.
            “I’m multitalented,” I smirked. “I am called the Vine Vixen.”
            “I thought that was just a sexy alliteration. I be completely honest, your name sounds like a name for a villain.”
            “This is coming from the ‘Gray Eagle.’ Your real name is literally in your superhero persona’s name.”
            “Do not judge me,” he said.

There you have it. I still have a long way to go but at least I'm making progress. I know this school week is going to be slower than before because I have to work on papers and projects. But as long as I get my 1,667 words in I'll be fine.

How is NaNo going for you?

Happy Writing!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Scary Movies


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic. 

This Week's Topic: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! What's your favorite scary book or movie?

Truth time. I HATE SCARY MOVIES!
I'm a baby. I can't even watch Jumanji with out having nightmares. I haven't really ventured into any horror novels yet. I'm too scared. I want to read a few, but I is ascared.
There are a few non scary Halloween movies that I do enjoy though.
Halloweentown:
I know it's a children's movie but it is still the best thing ever! I watched it a couple weeks ago with my best friend. It's the greatest. The other the are okay. The second one is a little too scary for me. Again I'm a wimp.
Don't Look Under The Bed. If you haven't seen it the story is basically about this girl who is harassed by the boogieman and must stop him with the help of her brother's imaginary friend. Basically this movie was so scary that Disney hasn't aired it in years. Here's a clip. Disney has not had a high quality scary Halloween Movie since.

Okay the last one I guess is a scary movie. I think it's more of a thriller with ghost and stuff.

Basically M Night Shyamalan at his best. I've watched this movie dozens of times in the past six years and I guess I can say this is my favorite horror movie.
What do you like to watch during Halloween? Also what are you dressed as. Because I'm a poor college student I had to be resourceful this year. As a result this happened. I'm a cat dressed in a Christmas sweater. Yeah.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Coming...NaNo 2012

NaNoWriMo starts in less than 2 days. Holy crap. With all the plotting and outlining I've worked on this month I am still terrified. I'm all talk. I've never completed one. What if this year is no different? Quite Honestly NaNo is coming third on my list of priorities right behind School and the production I'm working on. (Notice that sleep is not in the top three.) I'll find time and when I do I'll sprint it out but still it's very terrifying.
This morning I received an email form the NaNoWriMo team. Basically they sent all the participants a road map for November. Today's instructions are to tell everyone you're writing a novel. This way they can constantly ask you how that novel's going and whatnot. So here goes.
Internet. I'm writing a novel. 
Well I knew you already knew that, but it's just for reassurance. Next month I'll be throwing myself into 30 days of literary abandonment. Obviously, I won't be checking up on the internet a lot and my other NaNo friends will probably be working hard on there novel to keep tabs with me. I'll be keeping you up to date with the word count daily on Twitter as well as having a "Teaser Tuesday" (and this time only a sentence or a paragraph)
I'm relying on a lot of support from friends, family and hopefully other NaNoer's from my region. Having a Thanksgiving break will help a lot. Sure I'll have other projects and reading to do, but I'm sure someone can keep me on track **cough** mom **cough**. As I stated before, while it would be great to actually finish, if I don't hit the 50,000 by midnight on the 30th it won't be the end of the world. My smaller goal is to write as much as I can everyday. If I can do that I'll be fine so even if don't finish I'll at least get far enough to actually finish the story completely after November. I'm just going to try.
NaNo friends, don't forget to buddy me. If you're game we could also do word wars and writing sprints.

Happy Writing!

P.S. Happy Halloween/50% Candy Day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Love List 2.0

A few months for YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday I started a love list for my WIP. The idea was inspired by on Stephanie Perkins' post on Natalie Whipple's blog. I briefly touched on my plans for this years NaNoWriMo. Well NaNo is in less than two weeks away and I've added quite a bit. My list started out like this.

Superheros
Love
A not so mild mannered secret identity
a dramatic origin story
An evil pool playing shark mob boss

From there a lot happened. I started outlining, and working out the relationships and whatnot and my list got bigger. I even thought of a title. "Suspension of Disbelief" is going to be about the evolving relationship between two superheroes and how their pasts connect. There is a (somewhat) better synopsis on my "What I'm Working On"  or my author profile. I love the title because it is a recurring theme with most superheroes. For example, the fact that all Superman has to do is put on glasses and act mild mannered to become Clark Kent. NO ONE recognizes him. It's a hilarious concept I hope to with in the novel.

Love List 2.0
Lava Monster
robot army
mad scientist
a crazy stalker fangirl
earth powers (I put a lot of thought into this)
a very awkward "meet the legal guardian" scene
a surprise picnic
a utility belt filled with rocks
SALAD EXPLOSION!
terrible first kisses
floating second kisses
betrayal
deception
secrets
reunions
death (hee hee hee)

That's what I got so far. It will most likely grow. These are just random scenes and themes that go through my head. Whenever I get a thought for a scene I immediately have to write down the idea so I can get back to it later. I almost never leave the house without a notebook. I'm weird like that. 
Blogging might slow down in November. I might be able to do Road Trip Wednesday depending on my schedule. I'm thinking about doing another Teaser Tuesday. I don't know last time I did that someone got very attached to the unfinished story...you know who you are. ;) 
So friends who's doing NaNoWriMo this year? What do you love about your future project so far? 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Attempting NaNo...Again


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic is: Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

Oh NaNoWriMo. I've participated (and lost) in 2009 and 2010. I could blame it on a number of things, poor planning, to busy, or just plan procrastination. Whatever way the cookie crumbles, it all comes down to motivation. I didn't have it. The deadline was just a date. Both times around two weeks in if I wasn't caught up with the word count I just gave up. It's sad.
This year I am determined to finish. I've been struggling with my WIP lately and I think I'm just losing faith in myself as a writer. I haven't finished a novel in over four years. When that whole thing didn't work out self doubt kicked in and I don't know, I haven't been able to finish anything since. College doesn't help either. Since there is no deadline looming over me, I keep telling myself I have more time. Days pass, weeks, months. One year later when I finally look back at the story I lose interest. It sucks. I don't want to be like that. And this defiantly can't happen in the future.
This year's NaNo for me is more of a confidence booster. I need to see if I still have it in me. Even if I don't reach 50k I still want to be far enough in my story to finish after NaNo. It's going to be difficult this year. November, quite honestly, will be my busiest month. I have multiple papers due, a huge project for my stage lighting class, and I'll be assistant stage managing a show that goes into tech the last week of November.
Lucky for me I have a couple cheerleaders and my roommate has been instructed to yell at me when I'm procrastinating. Also I'll be able to attending a few local Write-Ins and I have a week off for Thanksgiving.
I've already started outlining and planning for this year. There is a synopsis under my "What I'm Working On" page as well as my author profile on the site. Add me as a buddy and I'll do the same. I could really use a extra boost of encouragement once November hits.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Are you a planner or a pantser? How do you get your encouragement/motivation?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

YA Highway RTW: In the Future

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: What do you hope to be writing in one year? Three? Five?

I've actually thought about this a lot. Where do I see myself in five years writing wise. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

One Year: One year from now I hope to be doing the same thing. Yeah it would be nice to at least have a literary agent, but I'm being realistic. As for now I like where I am, I'm in no real rush. Maybe things will change when I actually have a novel finished. Since I am a creative writing minor I'll probably write a lot more than I am this semester. I can predict what I will be doing a year from today. Outlining my NaNo Novel. As of right now I'm defiantly doing NaNo next year.

Three Years: I really hope things are different. I'll be out of college, starting a career as a Stage Manager. I've never really thought this part out through. I want to be a published author. I want to be a Stage Manager. I can do both, right? Both jobs are so time consuming. Time management is one of those things I'm working on. I can have the best of both world. And yes that was a Hannah Montana reference. Deal with it.

Five Years: Wow I'll be twenty-five years old. Theatre and Writing is what I want to do. Who knows maybe I'll write a play. I think the big difference between three years from now and five years is I'll actually know what I'm doing. In three years I'll be in that awkward "fresh out of college" stage.

When I think too much about this stuff my head hurts. I just need to take this one day at a time. But the one thing I'm absolutely positively sure about is that I will be writing YA. No doubt about that. It's what I love to read and write. That won't be changing.

How about you where do you see yourself in the future?

Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Get Ready

It's officially October. Less than a month until NaNoWriMo begins. If you don't know what that is check it out here. Basically at the start of Novmber you have thirty days to complete a 50,000 word novel.
I this will be my third year participating. Hopefully this year I'll actually win.
I'll try to do a few more post when it comes closer to the date. When November hits I will not be posting as much. Possibly a couple "Teaser Tuesdays."
Also I started a tumblr based on the #whatshouldwecallme trend called "#lifeduringnano. If anybody has emotions about NaNo that could only be explained through GIFs there is a submit page. Mostly likely I'll be busy or run out of ideas and I want to keep this going through NaNo.  If you submit something will be so grateful.
http://lifeduringnano.tumblr.com/
Lastly I was on the forums trying to find a superhero name for one of my characters. Based on my description of his personality and powers, a guy DREW ME A COSTUME DESIGN!!! I hadn't given much though about costumes yet, but as soon as I saw it I was like "That is exactly what Greyson would wear." I'm not going to post it yet without his permission, but rest assure it's awesome.
Here is my participant page.  You can check out my novel synopsis and send me a writing buddy request.
Is anybody doing NaNo this year? If you are doing NaNo on a scale of 1 to 10 how excited are you?

Happy Writing!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

YA Highway RTW: The Changing Seasons


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: How does your writing (place, time, inspiration) change with the seasons?

I'm not routine enough to actually have a changes in my writing. However there are a few things that change.

FALL: For the past few years fall has been dedicated to NaNoWriMo. Although I have never actually finished a NaNo Novel. A lot of time and effort goes into planning it or thinking about planning it. It's pretty backwards I know. Once November hits I get pretty focused on working on that particular piece of work. (or thinking about working on it, then not really) Strangely all of my unfinished NaNo novels are set in the fall. Interesting. That might change for this one.

WINTER: Okay this is really weird but ever since my junior year in high school I've had this idea for a Christmas YA novel focused on Santa's daughter. Every year around Christmas time I write a few paragraphs or hand write a couple pages. I've never actually got around to actually writing it because once Christmas is over I lose the drive to continue working on it. Weird I know.

SPRING: This isn't really writing related, but usually in spring I run around like a chicken with its head cut off flailing my arms around screaming "I'M NEVER GOING TO PASS MY CLASSES!" True story. Though I do that year round.

SUMMER: Summer is the time where I get the most writing done. I'm usually back at home and more relaxed.

How does your writing change over the seasons? Also if you are doing NaNoWriMo this year do you want to be my writing buddy? Here's a link to my author page. CLICK ME!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Leslie Reads Origin on Bus


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: What was the best book you read in September?


Okay before I start I just wanted to tell you that I had already planned out what book I was going to choose. But then I started reading my book for my Literary Interpretation class and I could not put it down. It's Room by Emma Donghue. It's not YA but it's fantastic.Here's the a link to it's page on amazon. Seriously though, I read over 300 pages in less than twelve hours.

Since this is YA Highway, the best YA book I read this month was Origin by Jessica Khoury.


"Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever."


There was a lot of hype for this book. I saw it a Kroger (yes Kroger) and had an external debate with myself in front of the woman who was stoking the books. Eventually I caved in and sacrificed a few unnecessary things (like vegetables and eggs) from my grocery list to buy the book.
Origin exceeded every one of my expectation. The plot was riveting, the characters were (mostly) likable and there were a ton of surprises. Every chapter left me hanging and wanting more. I was up until three one night because I was waiting for the right place to stop reading. It was impossible put down. I was late to class that day.
I'm usually the reader who predicts how the story would end after the first few chapters. I was caught off guard multiple times. It was great. I did a lot of reading on the bus. I was quite vocal. I felt bad for the people who were on the bus with me. :D
I recommend Origin to anyone who enjoys a fast paced YA SyFi/Fantasy Thriller.
Have you red Origin? What did you think? What was the best book you read in September?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vlog: College is Hard

Filmed a video today. It pretty much sums up my life struggles.


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Fairy Tale Retelling

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: In honor of this month's Bookmobile book, Marissa Meyer's CINDER, name a fable or story you'd like to see a retelling of. If you're feeling creative, come up with a premise of your own!

I'm back. Sorry I left. College and whatnot. So I love fairy tale retellings. Cinderella is my absolute favorite to be retold. That's why I loved Cinder so much. There are so many retellings out there, but there are thousands of concepts not even though of yet. To me the story can not be overdone.
I also like the other basics like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and a lot more. But there are is one fairy tale that I adore that I have yet to see a retelling of is Snow White and Rose Red. 
If you don't know the story it's about two sisters, Snow White and Rose Red, who one winter help a bear out of the cold night and they become friends. When summer comes around he leaves to go protect his treasure. That summer the girls find a dwarf in the woods who is constantly in trouble so they help him out each time. He's ungrateful and mean to them instead of saying thanks. One day the see the dwarf being attacked the the bear. The bear kills him and he becomes a prince. As it turns out the dwarf turned him into a bear so he could steal his treasures. In the end Snow White marries the prince and Rose Red marries his brother. 
That's a basic summary of the story. I would love to see a modern retelling of Snow White and Rose Red where the bear is a homeless teenager who is taken in by Snow White and Rose Red's family during the winter and when he turns eighteen he revels himself to be the heir to a fortune. The dwarf could be someone close to the bear character who tries to steal his money from the inside or something. It's just an idea. Maybe I'll write it eventually.

Also this idea has been bouncing around in my head for years: An African American Rapunzel with magic weave. I'll write it someday...

I'll leave you at that. What fairy tales would you like to see retold?

Happy Reading!

P.S. Earlier this year I wrote a short play. It was produced for a 10 minute play festival. It's a dark story of what happens to fairy tale princesses after their happily ever after. For mature audiences only.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

More Life Updates

Sorry I haven't been around. I promised that I would do YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday regularly, but  For some reason I keep getting the days mixed up and by the time I realized it's Wednesday I don't have time to write a post. Ugh. I said I wouldn't do this when I started school, but it did. I'm not super busy right now. I'm just sleepy. Really really sleepy. 
In Reading: I'm currently reading Jessica Khoury's Origin. I'm halfway though it and I can't put it down. I suggest you all check it out. 
In Writing: Oh, yeah writing, I said a long time ago that I don't believe in writers block. I take that back. I am seriously blocked. I've tried almost every trick I know to get writing again, but I'm at a stand still. I'm sure I'll get through it soon though.
In Chocolate: Mmm Chocolate. Yeah. 

So that's my life. Questions for  you. What are you reading? Do you have any trick/advice for writers block? What is your current chocolate obsession?

Happy Reading! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

College Life Recap #1

College.
Yay. It's only been the first week but I can already tell you that I've made a lot of changes in my writing routine (i.e. I'm actually writing).
Baby steps.
This happened. Little did he know I stole his Lucky Charms.
Classes are good. I've already dropped a class after one day and swapped it for a new one. I also had to drop a really fun class because I thought it counted as a GenEd but it didn't. Boo. But I did a required class for my minor so that's fun. I have homework. I'm totally doing my homework early (okay I'm lying, but I am actually turning it in). Yeah. Big change for me.
I have a lot of required reading and since I'm actually doing homework this year, I'm doing the readings. So reading for fun time is limited. What's new. Usually it's the internet keeps me from reading, now it's reading. Weird right?
If you missed my deceptive room tour video, here it is. 
I'm still Vlogging. Morphinominal Mondays will resume. So stay tuned. I'll also be making other videos. If any of you have suggestions leave a comment below or on one of my videos. Or you can tweet me.
So what's new with you? For those of you who started school (high school or college) how is adjusting to the changes. Don't you just miss summer?
Happy Reading!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

YA Highway RTW: Love List


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic is: Inspired by Stephanie Perkins' post on Natalie Whipple's blog, what is your novel's "Love List"?

Since my novel is a WIP I have a very short list. These are the first few things I thought of when I started.
Friendship
missed phone calls and texts
Secrets
Lies
Jealousy
Cheerleading (I just really wanted a collapsing pyramid scene)
making fun of cliches

Then I had an idea for my NaNo novel for this year. I haven't started it's just a few ideas I have. But I made a love list for it too.
Superheros
Love
A not so mild mannered secret identity
a dramatic origin story
An evil pool playing shark mob boss

What's on your "Love List"? 

Happy Reading!




Friday, August 17, 2012

And So It Begins

I'm back at school. Another year of balancing classes, theatre, a social life and trying to write. In the last couple years I slacked on one or two of those, mostly it was writing. I want to do so much this year, but the question that keeps running through my head is "can I have it all?"
Classes and theatre are set in stone. Without classes, I technically wouldn't be in college. Also theatre and classes sort of mix. Theatre is my major and it's what I want to do in the future (and writing of course). So I can't give that up.
My new desk!
I just got a social life. Seriously. It took a long time to get one, but I got it and I'm not letting it go. I've only been to a hand full of parties. Technically I've only been to cast parties. But those still count. Right? Anyway I also have a few circles of friends I hang out with at during the day or in the evening. It's fun just being around people. If I become a hermit again I would miss so many of my friends and the opportunity to make new ones.
 Then there's writing, which for two years got the short end of the stick. I've tried so hard over the summer to get my first draft finished. But life decided to be a douche and punch me in the stomach saying "Not on my watch." So now I have a first draft that is halfway to my goal and I start classes and the crazy madness of college in the next few days.
So what am I going to do? Well at WriteOnCon I found a whole group of college students in my predicament. Some were further than me, like on their third and fourth draft others were in the same boat. They all shared how they find time to write and trying to be well rounded in school. Honestly I don't know how these kids do it, but I know it can be done.
It will be. I'll have it all. Maybe not at the same time. I'm positive I can do it this year.
Bookshelf. I could only bring unread books.
Now usually with the new school year I fail at blogging. This will not be the case this year. I'll be doing YA Highway Road Trip Wednesdays and I'll attempt to get in a few post a month. Also the vlog is still a thing. 30 Days of Vlogging might have ended but I'll have "Morphinominal Monday" and maybe another video in the week. I might cheat and put the video up on the blog. Vlog on the blog. That's fun to say.
This has been a great summer and I'm thrilled to start the school year.
Happy Reading!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Excited for WriteOnCon

So if you watch my vlog you know a few days ago I did a video on WriteOnCon. I ramble. What's new.


I am beyond excited that it starts TOMORROW. I'm on the forums constantly. I'm not submitting anything because nothing is done but I am looking for a Critique Partner...hint hint.
I also started a few threads and a group for YA writers in college.
I'm most excited for the Live Chats and the blogs and vlogs from authors. I've learned so much in the past couple years from all the advice.
If you love Kidlit (YA, MG, PB) check it out.
And most importantly
IT'S FREE!!!

Check out these links
Website: writeoncon.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriteOnCon
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writeoncon/featured

Happy Writing!

PS this is the welcome video. You might see a familiar face at 1:42...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

YA Highway RTW Sounds of the Summer

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This Week's Topic is: What music has been your summer soundtrack?

I'm not that into music when I write. I know I'm lame. I just haven't found the right sound yet. But there have been a few songs I've listened to on a daily basis.

The first song is "All That Really Matters (Poor Paul Theme Song) by Kendall Schmidt & Sean Michael Beyer. It's from this really awesome web series called Poor Paul and it's about hanging with your best friends. 



The next song is Girl Power from Cheetah Girls. I know it's childish but I worked on a dance with some girls for this program I volunteered this summer so it played constantly.  


With the release of my favorite video game franchise seventh installment. I've been obsessed with this song. The Japanese version and English version. This video is the opening for the first game. It's a remix. I like the original better but I couldn't find one with vocals.

 

Then there's this. My best friend and I danced to this a while back and on occasion I'd do this on my own...


Oh and this I've been obsessed with this song. Seriously who isn't?


Lastly I couldn't resist. Who doesn't like Gravity Falls?


These are the songs I've been obsessed with this summer. Not really a summer soundtrack. Anyway what do you like to listen too? What kind of music do you write too. Leave some suggestions in the comments.

Happy Reading!