2014: The Year of the Writer

So looking back at my New Year’s Resolution post from a year ago, I want to do things a little differently. Last year, I was really analytical with my resolutions and I don’t think that is the way to go with writing goals. Maybe it works for some people but it didn’t really work at all for me. I accomplished a few of the items but some I didn’t even touch.

This year is going to be different. I’ve already accomplished something that has been one of the biggest achievements for me YET. I completed a first draft of a novel. It is a REAL story. It might suck big time in it’s massive, unmanageable first draft format, but it is a story from start to finish. When I first started writing, I thought that would be easy, finishing a book. I thought what would be hard would be finding time to write the hundreds of ideas I have for books. No, sticking to a story and pouring your heart and soul into it is exhausting and emotionally draining and lots of hard work. LOTS. A TON. Way more than I expected. But guess what?

I love it. Continue reading

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10 Writing Tips I Wish I Would Have Known: Volume 2

So I said I was going to re-cap what I’ve learned this year in my little writing world. I have done that and listed is as a Volume 2 for my 10 Writing Tips I Wish I Would Have Known. (If you’re looking for Volume 1, I have it right here!)

1. End a writing session and KNOW what is going to happen next.

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I used to wrap up my writing sessions by ending a scene. I would then be stuck on where the story was going next so what did I do? I stopped writing. Ugh, do you know how hard it is to go back into your next writing session without knowing where the story is going? Try stopping in the middle of a scene where you know what will be happening next. It makes starting up again easier. Continue reading

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

dare-you-to-katie-mcgarrySo I’ve been reading a lot of dual-narrative books in YA contemporary because that is what my current WIP is – trying to do my homework since I’ve 1) never really been drawn a lot to contemporary and 2) also never really read a lot of multiple POV stories except maybe Game of Thrones…but come on, George R.R. Martin is a genius so of course that was good.

Anyway, in my research, Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits kept coming up as a good dual narrative YA contemporary. When I saw her latest novel Dare You To on NetGalley for free to review, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to test out her writing style since it was also a dual narrative (and pulled characters from Pushing the Limits so I guess it’s considered part of a series). Now I had just finished reading The Sea of Tranquility which I am still reeling about how amazing it was so I wasn’t sure how much this book was going to show me anything more about dual narrative that I didn’t already acquire from TSoT.

Here’s the book summary:

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”

“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….

“I dare you…”

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all.

So my review? Wow. It was pretty damn good. Continue reading

Miss Snark’s First Kiss Request

Well, boo. I was trying to enter the Miss Snark’s First Victim – First Kiss Critique but it’s already full. I figured since I already spent the time putting together my entry, I might as well post it here! Let me know what you all think!

Lead-in: Roland has to confess his biggest secret that he believes will drive Candace away. She’s sitting on a piano bench and Roland’s on his knees in front of her.

“Do you have feelings for me?”

“I can’t tell you with words,” she replies.

I motion to the piano behind her. “Then, music?”

She shakes her head no and then pulls my chin up higher still. She leans down and brushes her lips against mine. Her breathing comes out shaky; anything she breathes out, though, I’m right there to take in. But it’s only lips brushing. She doesn’t make the effort to make it a full kiss, and I’m so frozen on my knees that I don’t either. But then I remember I’m being selfish right now. I’m taking this moment to hold onto in the future when I don’t have her anymore. So I push against her and make it real.

I rise on my feet, in my heart. Everything inside of me reaches to a newer height, but I never lose contact with her lips, my lifeline. I lean her back like I did when I dipped her during our first dance. Her elbows make contact with the right end of the piano, and it ripples a melody on the upper register.

I’ve never kissed a girl like this before. It’s not an I want you kiss or a how far will we go kiss, but a kiss that gives away a part of myself. A buzzing feeling runs through me, like I’ve been struck by lightning, but the electricity can’t find its way out of my body.

When she finally breaks away, even though I’m disoriented and burning up inside, I know what I have to do.

“I’m ready to tell you the truth now,” I mummer against her mouth.

She smiles, our faces still so close that I can feel every twitch of her lips. “You already did.”

Thoughts, comments, reactions? Was it swoon-worthy? Do you want to join the Roland fan club? (No, seriously, I’ve been asked if there is one established for him!)

2013 Writerly Resolutions Update: First Quarter

2011-year-resolution-400x400_3Do you how much can change in a quarter of a year? A LOT. Man, I’m going in a totally different direction than I thought I would be when I started 2013. But I LOVE IT. This past quarter has been my biggest and best in the writing world. I have met so many cool people and put myself out there more than I ever have before. It’s definitely been scary most of the time but always worth it!

The biggest thing that doesn’t even reflect in my original goals for this year is that I started up The Writer Diaries – a group blog of writers sharing our deepest secrets. And it has been AMAZING! If you are a writer out there and are scared to jump into the crazy world of Twitter and blogs and meeting people, trust me when I say YOU SHOULD JUST DO IT! Best thing I ever did. To always be surrounded by people who love books and writing as much as you is so great. I don’t feel so alone in my struggles. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see someone tweet something or see a gif or read a blog from a writer and think “OMG, I know exactly how that feels!” You’re not alone, so stop trying to be!

Anyways, back to my resolutions, I have done “decent” on them so far if I want to grade myself. Let’s go through the list though and see! Continue reading

Review of The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

the-sea-of-tranquility

Um. Seriously. Wow. No words. Blown away. Can’t stop thinking about it. Incredible. Unbelievable. Wow.

So if you couldn’t tell already, I just cannot find the words to express how much I loved LOVED LURRRRVED The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Like honestly, new favorite book of ALL TIME.

Maybe it’s mostly because it’s the kind of book that I want to write myself. It’s lyrical, it’s powerful, it’s got deep and dark themes, it made me ball my eyes out, it has characters that were so real they walked out of the pages and said hello to me…all that good stuff.

But seriously. Wow.

I never wanted it to end and I was so sad when it was over, I started reading it again. This is a super big deal since my TBR list is growing uncontrollably long.

I guess you are ready for the official description of the book then? Ok, here it is: Continue reading

Celebrate the Small Things Hop

vik - small things 2Week 8 here at Celebrate the Small Things! If you are new to this blog hop, all you have to do is sign up on the linky below if you want to join! If you already have, then go around to each blog that signed up and congratulate or just say YAY to everyone and their accomplishments for this week! (Full instructions at our host Vikki’s post here!)

I apologize dudes and dudettes for kind of being out of the loop these last few weeks at CTST Hop. I won that Lit class as many of you know and it’s been majorly kicking my butt. I’m not the kind of person to let my commitments slip so back to the grind I go with this post! Continue reading