Monday, 16 October 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017



So, I had my plan all figured out for NaNoWriMo this year, with my 'beat sheet' written up and discussed with my critique group (though not in any great depth at this point). Then, boom, bam, lightning strikes and I get another idea ... which has sort of taken over my first idea.

I'll probably still start off writing my first idea during November, just because that was my original plan. BUT the second idea is really consuming me and I'm dying to start writing it. Currently I'm writing up scene summaries for what I'll be writing, and filling in any gaps that show themselves. And no matter how many notes I wrote, my excitement doesn't diminish. Ohhh, I love this inspired feeling!

Of course, before I can really get stuck into NaNo, I have my last two assignments to complete for my studies - and they're big ones hanging over my head. I also technically have to complete my research project which is a rather mammoth undertaking. So while I'm excited about NaNo, I'm super stressed about my studies.

It's a weird sort of situation to be in.

Friday, 29 September 2017

[SEPT UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals







Okay, I have read a few books this month and the one I have to choose is City of Lost Souls, Book #5 in The Mortal Instruments. My GoodReads review is one big gushy ramble of mostly "Clace"-related blabbering, but I did edit the review later to talk about "the rest of those characters" who are in fact quite significant. So I'll try to make this review some semblance of useful for anyone unfamiliar with and curious about the book and/or series.

** If you don't want to know ANY LITTLE HINT OF A THING about Book #5, maybe skip the review. Okay **


This entire series has been a combination of "eewwww", "OMG" and "aaaaahhhh must read on ASAP" for me. I struggled with Books #2 & #3, and if any of you have read the series you may be able to relate. After Book #3 was done, I foolishly thought there might be some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of character happiness. What was I thinking, huh? These books are definitely full of teen angst and drama, but I think the kids have good reason to be angsty, quite frankly, so I don't hold it against them.

Something to note about this book is that my respect for Clary grew so much. Sure, she frustrated me at times, but I thought she was so brave most of the way through, and the epitome of her bravery was in that epic scene near the end when she made the hardest decision she'd ever had to make before - you know the one, right?! I was really, seriously impressed with her at that point.


On a sort of related note, I actually do feel sorry for "the bad guy" of the story, because despite the fact that he is truly a heinous bad guy, Clary was right when she said he's incredibly lonely. Yeah, he's a creep, there's no denying that, but still, it's not his fault he was born the way he was, is it? He had no control over how he turned out, and a great wrong was done to him very early in his life.

This book was quite a slow and torturous read (even though it was good at the same time, and sort of psychologically harrowing), and I was very tempted to skip ahead just so I knew that something good would happen in the end, but I hung in there and kept reading the pages in the proper order, as is usual for me. It felt like it took forever to read this book, but in fact it only took me a few days.

Regarding other characters, Alec continued to annoy me, and I was totally on Magnus's side with that whole thing. I'm a fan of Maia and "Kyle". As for "Sizzy", I'm torn, but mostly because I don't really find vampires hot in general, because they're actually dead people and I don't think dead people are hot. Like, why would anyone want to be with a corpse? That said, I do love my Buffy and Angel hotties. Sigh. Anyway, yeah, I'm torn on this one. Isabelle is so full of life and warm and all that, and I just don't know if she's suited to dating a dead guy. But I'll reserve judgment till I conclude the series I guess. Also, I was happy to see Maryse Lightwood kicking arse, as well as Jocelyn. But when Jocelyn was telling Clary to get off Jace, I was like, "Step off, woman! Get ye gone! Leave your daughter be!"

All in all, I loved this book, and I'm now reading Book #6 and hoping the light will be VERY bright at the end of this long, hard-slog tunnel

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
"


Currently Reading: City of Heavenly Fire,
Book #6 in The Mortal Instruments series








Just a repeat of last month's news! There is a new blog for this blog hop, rather than us going straight to Misha's blog. Check out the new Do You Have Goals? blog, and join our hop if you want to have some extra motivation for achieving your goals. :)

Now, some updates on my own creative goals:
  • DAPHNE - I'm a little stalled on this one, but I've had a break from it so maybe it's time to return and try to tackle that third chapter again. I was happy with it until I realised the second half of it had a lot of dialogue. I want to rework the lead-in to that dialogue and think about what parts of the long chat I really want to keep.
  • Critique Partner Group! - Last time I mentioned I had found a new critique partner. Well, we have sucked another lady from AbsoluteWrite into our circle and now we are a little critique trio, and have our own PBWorks site to share our stories in and put feedback comments up, etc. It's really motivating and we are talking about NaNo plans and so on. So all is good there!
  • ON THE OUTSIDE - Last time I mentioned I had been revising Chapter #1 of this novel, and I finished that and shared it on my critique group. I got some good feedback and overall I feel like the revised chapter is better than what I had before, but it still needs some work. I think I'm going to leave it where it is for now, though, as I'm a little burned out on OtO at present.
  • NaNoWriMo 2017 - So yeah, speaking of NaNo 2017, I do have a sort of rough plan for what to write this time, but I only have plans for the beginning, and a hint of the end, and a very vague middle. I feel like I should at least have a skeleton plot worked out before November starts, despite my notorious pantsing ways. ;)
That's a wrap for September. How are you doing with your goals/projects/etc?

Friday, 25 August 2017

[AUGUST UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals







This month it was difficult to choose between the two novels I read. In the end I've gone with Katie McGarry's Dare You To, Book #2 in the Pushing the Limits series and actually my favourite to date. The honourable mention was Nyrae Dawn's Façade (Games, #2). Click HERE for my full GoodReads review of Dare You To, which contains spoilers.

I wasn't really sure what I would think of this book, since I'd recently re-read Book #1 and remembered why I loved it...and why I didn't. I can't remember Book #3 very well, but I think I'm safe in saying Dare You To is my favourite.

A problem I had with Book #1 was the patheticness of the heroine, Echo. Beth is a totally different kettle of fish; she's no shrinking violet, and doesn't faint against walls or black out. Wow, what a meanie I am! Poor Echo. ;) But seriously, I like that Beth didn't need to be constantly caught (literally, caught before she fell over) by the sexy hero. Ryan also gets major stars for not calling Beth "baby". He didn't, right?! I only remember Noah doing that with Echo... Disclaimer: I love Noah.

Dare You To cracked me up on many occasions - Beth's language is just as foul as mine (well, okay, I'm worse), and she was so fiery. Her early exchanges with Ryan were hilarious - she was a real force for him to reckon with. I also found it refreshing that Ryan was the 'innocent' one in this story, as opposed to the usual 'good' girl / bad boy dynamic in this series. Ryan was still sexy, so there was no letdown there. But Beth taught him a thing or two about life. That said, of course I adore bad boy characters - as long as they're not total assholes.

I remember reading Pushing the Limits and always wishing that Echo would become more of a rock for Noah. The school counsellor did that instead, while Noah was always having to be Echo's rock. Not that he was complaining. I was the one complaining. And I'm not really sure that Beth went much further in this regard than Echo did, but she had her moments. It was such a relief when she finally realised Ryan was right about her fear of having a new life...and possible happiness.


One downside to this read was seeing Isaiah so forlorn, but since I knew this gets addressed in Book #3, it wasn't really a problem.

I gave this book five stars!

This is the GoodReads blurb:

"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 Beth finds herself starting over at a school where no one understands her. 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. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image is risking everything for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...."


Currently Reading: City of Glass,
Book #3 in The Mortal Insruments series
(a re-read so I can finally read the last three books).








First up, some news! There is a new blog for this blog hop, rather than us going straight to Misha's blog. Check out the new Do You Have Goals? blog, and join our hop if you want to have some extra motivation for achieving your goals. :)

Now, some updates on my own creative goals:

  • Music - Somehow I believed I had recorded a song for our new album that I had never even downloaded the instrumental track for. Apparently I hallucinated an entire thing where this song was totally done already. So I still have one more song to do... Thankfully, Billy is happy with the other two, so no more work required on those!
  • DAPHNE - I'm continuing to post stuff at Absolute Write. I've had a lot of help from people with my opening few scenes for DAPHNE. It's been a hard slog (and isn't over yet), but I feel like I'm finally getting to the right place with the opening scenes.
  • Critique Partner! - In other exciting news, I appear to have found myself a new critique partner, one of the ladies who's been helping me on AW. So that's great! I'm excited at the chance to start getting some more in-depth and focused help on my work again, and to give said help in return.
  • ON THE OUTSIDE - I've been revising the first chapter of OTO, which has been driving me nuts. As usual with my stories, there's a lot of bloating that needs culling, and the first scene possibly needs to be merged with a bit of the next scene. I've whittled it a lot so far, but have a way to go. I wanted to post it on AW for critique, but my perfectionist self won't allow that till I've got it into better shape.

So, that's about it for August. How are you all going with your various creative / other goals? And yes, I have some catching up to do with your blogs too.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Kyra Lennon's REASONABLE DOUBTS - release blitz!

Hi everyone! I'm excited and honoured to be taking part in the release blitz for Reasonable Doubts by Kyra Lennon!

Blurb: Darcy Ryan is a woman on a mission. A mission to take down the corrupt cops who ensured her best friend, Matteo Torres, went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit – the murder of his wife, Rebecca.
                             
Darcy is willing to do just about anything to prove his innocence, including getting up close and personal with lead detective, Finn Drake.

She knows she’s playing a dangerous game, but it gets more dangerous than she could have ever imagined when she discovers everything she thought she knew about Rebecca Torres was wrong, and Finn Drake isn’t the man she thought he was either.

Darcy’s life and her best friend’s freedom are on the line. With her entire world turned on its head and time running out, she has to decide. Should she take a chance on Drake and go against her gut instincts, or go it alone and pray she can find the killer before he finds her?




Stalker Links

Website: http://www.kyralennon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyralennonwrites/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KLennonWrites