17 March 2011

Tell The Truth Thursday

Mood: Irish (it's St. Patty's day so it can be a mood) 

My truths this Thursday

1.) I am part Irish but I don't like corned beef and cabbage.* This was a source of eternal disappointment to my grandmother who was very proud of our Irish heritage.

2.)  It would seem that my OCD is expanding to include friends and family.I spent part of this evening with my sister at prompt care. As we were leaving I whipped out my hand sanitizer and demanded that everyone with me be degermed as well. **

3.) I've been taking a spring break from both my healthy eating and exercise regime. I'm not saying that this is a great idea but I was so tired of always worrying about every calorie eaten and burned that my brain was about to explode - so I gave myself  a week off. ***

What are your truths this Thursday?

* Corned beef and cabbage smells like feet but I totally LOVE potatoes so I figure it evens out.
** In my defense prompt care is filled with nothing but super germy people and friends and family will thank me when they don't have to suffer through the plague.
*** This may or may not have been cleverly timed to take advantage of the reappearance of the Shamrock Shake.

16 March 2011

WIP Wednesday

Mood: Mad and sad - I'm SMAD (got some not so great news about someone I care about this afternoon)

I've been working the edits on Legacy and, while working the edits I've discovered that there are major parts that just don't work, chapters that are in the wrong places and entire plot sections that need to be disposed of.

While working on cutting, ripping and tearing bits and pieces apart I've also discovered that the creative part of my brain isn't willing to rest quietly while my internal editor wrestles over word choices and timelines. Oh no. She wants her voice heard as well.

Creative Brain: Wouldn't it be awesome if we added 'completely awesome but complicated storyline idea'?

Me: Uh yeah, that would be awesome but to do that I'd have to re-write the entire book almost from the beginning.

CB: So?

Me: So? So that's a heck of a lot of work and I'm not sure I can do that kind of rewrite on this story.

CB: So you just want your story to suck then?

Me: No

CB: You must, you want to suck. Suckity, suckity, suck.

Me: Look, you don't have to do the work - it's not easy doing that kind of change

CB: LALALALALALALALA I can't heeeaaarrrr you! Suckity, suckity, suck!

So, yeah - that's what's going on in  my writing world - what about yours?


14 March 2011

Monday in Books - Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Mood: Tired (curse you DST!)

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Acher to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

My Take

Rachel Hawkins delivers another amazing entry in the Hex Hall series.  This time Sophie and her bff Jenna  (with super handsome healer Cal) are off on an adventure to England to spend the summer with Sophie's dad. Frightened of her own power to potentially harm the people she loves most, Sophie is at first determined to undergo 'the removal' - a dangerous ceremony that will strip her of her powers. However, she quickly realizes that all is not as it seems in the world of the Prodigium and having her powers stripped is perhaps the last thing she should be doing.

The Eye is actively hunting Sophie in an attempt to destroy her. Someone is raising demons and no one seems to know who or why. The Prodigium council, the staff at Hex Hall - suddenly no one is who or what they seem and Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. To get the answers she seeks she's going to have to rely on her old frenemy, Archer Cross - but as a warlock working for The Eye can he be trusted?

At A Glance

1.) Demonglass is that rare perfect combination of pacing, humor, suspense and action making it a read that I just couldn't put down.

2.) I LOVE that Sophie has evolved and grown as a character. Sophie is not a one dimensional, stagnate character - she's learning, changing and adapting.

3.) As much as she might be evolving, Sophie never loses her sense of humor or her sarcastic responses - this makes her the most awesome demon I've never met! Demonglass will keep you smiling as much as it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

4.) Almost nothing is black and white in this book - but there are TONS of shades of gray. Bad guys aren't always all bad - good guys aren't always what they seem to be and the decisions between the two aren't always easy. For me this a great addition to a story - I like feeling the conflict of two 'almost right' decisions.

5.) The guys - sigh. Archer and Cal - which one will Sophie choose? Which one should she choose? Personally, I'm glad I'm not Sophie because the decision would be WAY too hard to make. *

6.) The ending - another sigh. I didn't hate the ending but it definitely left us hanging and I do mean HANGING!!!! Not that this is necessarily a bad thing but it did make me want to station myself in front of Rachel Hawkins and poke her constantly with incessent questions like "is the new Hex Hall out yet?" "What about now?" "now?" "is it out yet?" until she is forced to give in and hand over the book so I can find out what happens. **

*I'm leaning ever so slightly towards team Cal.

** Not that I would actually do that? Or....would I? *insert evil laugh here*

11 March 2011

The Friday Five

Mood: Weary (the earth has gone crazy today - praying for everyone affected)

It's Friday so it's time for the Friday Five - Five random things that are knocking about in the recesses of my brain.

1.) The earth has gone completely crazy today. Earthquakes and tsunamis affecting people all over the globe. I pray for the people affected and give thanks that my brother, who was stationed in Japan, is safe and sound at home.

Those of us who are safe and sound may want to consider making a donation to the Red Cross to help assist in the disaster relief efforts following this massive event.

From the Red Cross Website:
Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org  and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

2.) My sister drives a 1980 - something Chevy Blazer that we affectionately refer to as "The Geez". The Geez has a zillion miles on it, sounds like a Sherman Tank and drives like a little old lady with arthritis - but it's her baby. For Christmas the hubs and I got her an emergency roadside assistance kit because we were worried about her driving The Geez and not having proper emergency tools.

This morning my 2006 Ford Fusion with less than 60,000 miles refused to start. I had to call my sister to bring The Geez to come rescue me. She cracked open her brand new roadside assistance kit for the first time to attempt to help me with my car. The irony of this is not lost on me.

3.) My car still won't start. I'm sincerely hoping that it's a dead cell in the battery - if not then it's probably the starter. The battery is roughly $100 - the starter? $400 (installed). It has to be the battery. *Gives car the stink eye*

4.) Nearly everyone in my family who has a car has been involved in a car accident in the last couple of weeks. From minor fender benders to a fairly serious car vs. semi truck accident everyone walked away without a scratch. I can't decide if this means we should play the lottery or wrap ourselves in bubble wrap.

5.) I like bacon!! This is a seriously epic announcement because my entire life I've loathed bacon with a loathing that is usually reserved for things like liver and other icky organ meat. However, recently I've come to embrace the yummy goodness that is a perfectly crisp piece of bacon.

I suspect this change of palate is due, at least in part, to a rare but acknowledged side effect of one of my medications - "change in taste". So chances are if I go off this medication bacon will once again be banished to the land of liver but until then? Bring.it.on. #nomomnom

10 March 2011

Tell The Truth Thursday

Mood: Sore (Video Game Barbie is going down - seriously) 

My truths this Thursday:

1.) I'm ridiculously obsessed with the Charlie Sheen saga. I get that his little red choo-choo has gone right round the bend and that's sad but I can't.stop.watching.

2.) I totes want this shirt

3. I've given up nothing for Lent. I'm hoping God doesn't keep really close tabs on things like this.

4. There has been a black garbage bag in the hallway outside the neighbors apartment door for the last 3 days. I have half convinced myself that there must be body parts inside because that's somehow better in my mind than the idea that the neighbor has just dumped her trash in the hallway to rot for all eternity.

So, bloggie friends, what are your truths today?


09 March 2011

WIP Wednesday

Mood: Cranky (really, really cranky) 

I'm currently knee deep in the editing process (yes, still so shut up already) but I am making at least some progress as evidenced by the following snapshot I took of my computer screen not more than 5 minutes ago

That rainbow of colors? Deleted text, added text, moved text and helpful notes like "really? can she STOP looking around the damn room already?*" BUT. If you look closely** you will see that there are a few words here and there that escaped completely unscathed. Those are the words*** around which I am building my second draft.

With any luck the suckage factor of my second draft will be infinitely less than that of the first but if it's one thing I've learned through the writing process it's to never underestimate my ability to suck.****
*seriously, I think I may have accidentally given my main character whiplash from all the looking around the room she did.

**verra verra closely

***mostly gems like "the", "and" & "I"

****that and no matter how well the writing is going if you don't take that pee break things are going to get VERY uncomfortable. A little friendly writerly advice there - just saying..


08 March 2011

Tuesday Tunes

Mood: Weary (is it really only Tuesday?)

Lest everyone think that I only watch tv, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some totally random earworms that have recently infected my brain. Don’t judge me – my brain is a very weird place.

Grenade – Bruno Mars
Dude? If people are lopping grenades at her you might want to rethink your level of devotion. Just saying…but the song is still pretty epic.

Secrets – The Pierces
Okay, so the video is creepy and the whole “kill your friend because she knows your secrets” part of the song is a bit creepy but I still love it. I don’t want to think about what this means.

This is The Day – The The
I seriously love this song – lots of fun and used in the completely awesome but severely underrated Empire Records.

There you have it bloggery friends – my current earworms. What about you? What songs are buzzing against your eardrums refusing to leave? 


07 March 2011

Monday in Books - The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Mood: Monday (it's a mood)
On the interwebz radio: Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars (*sigh*)

It's Monday and I'm trying something new - you know, actually blogging and stuff. Yay blogger me! Okay, well I'm trying the whole "blog in advance and let it post on Monday" thing but whatever - it's almost the same thing, right? Right!

So onto the next new for me thing - book reviews. I don't usually (read: never) do them. Now don't get me wrong, I'll chat books all day in person. I'll tell you the good, the bad, the ugly and twist your arm to the point of snapping to either get you to buy a good book or stop you from wasting your money on what I considered a monumental waste of perfectly good trees and ink. However, putting those thoughts into actual written words? Not so much.

Until now. As I started thinking about what would make a good book for my very first blogging book review, I didn't have to look much further than my pink haired avi on Twitter for the answer.


Since when do the dead send emails?

Kate Lowry's best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate's more than a little confused.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu

From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu

Subject: (no subject)

I'm here... sort of.
Find Cameron. He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell. They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder...
Sourcebooks Fire (March 1, 2011)

My Take

Lisa and Laura Roecker have hit an absolute YA home run with their debut novel The Liar Society.

Sporting pink hair and her best friend's pearls and prompted by e-mails from her dead best friend, Kate Lowry is on a mission to solve the mysteries that haunt the hallowed halls of her prestigious private school, Pemberly Brown, and in the process get to the bottom of what really happened the night her best friend died in a tragic fire.

First, let me say that Kate Lowry has taken up residence right next to Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars in the YA mystery niche of my heart but she has a very special space all her own. In Kate, the Roecker sisters have created a main character that is so real, and perfect in her imperfection that she really is the girl next door - if the girl next door got e-mails from her dead best friend, had a dorky side kick with an undying crush on her and a super smexy love interest who may or may not be involved in the deadly secrets that are buried at Pemberly Brown.

Told seamlessly in a mixture of flashbacks and present day, the story carries the reader along through an adventure that will keep you guessing from one minute to the next.

At a Glance

1. No one dimensional "mean girl" or "rich spoiled kids" stereotypes for the Roecker sisters which I LOVE! The characters are real, flawed, and three dimensional - even the more minor characters - did I mention that I LOVE this?

2. Kate is not only sassy and sarcastic, which = awesome but she's SMART. Like 'knows Latin' smart. Also, she knows enough to know that when she's heading into a potentially dangerous situation she should probably at least leave a text message for her knights in shiny tin foil (okay, maybe the tin foil thing only applies to Seth and the tin foil was probably in the form of a hat, but still)

3. The "love story". All good books have one and this book is no exception - except that it is. Seth has a major thing for Kate. Kate may or may not have a thing for Liam. It's a nice side story that unfolds in a very real awkward teenage way but it doesn't take over the main story. Which is all kinds of awesome! No pining away for some guy for our Kate! She's got mysteries to solve and butts to kick. She might have time to steal a kiss or two in between but really? That's not her focus.

4. The ending - I'll admit that some might find the ending somewhat unsatisfying but I was not one of those people. I'm okay with endings that are a bit open ended because life is often that way. Not everything gets pulled together in a neat little package and that's okay because, like Kate, we always have the option to keep pressing forward. And she will and I will be there to read it when she does! :)