Saturday, 30 July 2011

My FIRE proof (no pun intended) arrived

It arrived!! And before anyone gets the wrong idea (again) (like last time), I'm not being published. This was a free proof copy that I got as a result of participating in ABNA this year. I highly recommend that everyone participate in ABNA every year, so you can get your free proof copy too! I don't know that they do this every year, of course, but it's worth the shot! It's also worth participating in NaNoWriMo, as they usually give you a free proof copy too. For more information, you can check out this post I did a while back answering people's questions.

FYI, this was the last proof copy I got. You may notice that I stuck with the same cover design template. Both pieces of art are mine, but the template was a free one available from CreateSpace. I was pretty excited when I realised you could change the colour scheme. I figure I'll get all of the SUNDOWN novels proofed up, and all with the same template...just in different colours. And then they shall all sit on my shelf and they shall all look pretty together!

In other news...I've been kind of slack with the blogging, and that is probably because I've been kind of very slack with everything else writing-related. I'm supposed to be posting my Chrysalis story this week over at the Chrysalis blog, but I haven't quite finished it yet. I only started it last night. One excuse is that the prompt went up late. The main excuse though is no excuse at all - just a slacker's pathetic reason for why she didn't get her act together sooner. However, I have to say I'm quite enjoying my life right now, so I guess I'm okay with slacking just a little.

Still, there are two major goals I have yet to meet this year: Preparing SUNDOWN for beta readers (including actually sending it out to them), and completing a preliminary read-through/edit of NAUSICAA. I know I've got 5 months to get those two things done in, and that's plenty of time. But I do feel the days ticking away, slowly but surely. ;)

I just finished reading L.K. Madigan's FLASH BURNOUT, and absolutely adored it. You can read my review at GoodReads.

And in other news, I have a rooster in my back yard. I'm not sure if I mentioned him before, but my cat likes to chase him. Even at risk to himself (roosters have sharp beaks!).

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

So, I'm 31 now

Yesterday was my birthday, and now I'm 31. Technically I turned 31 at 1:30 am on the 26th, since that was the Western Australian equivalent of 6:30pm on the 25th of July in north-eastern England. I was born sometime between 6:00 and 6:30, can't remember quite when! Mum would be able to tell me if I could be bothered asking her right now!

Anyway, everytime a birthday comes around I get to thinking about what I've achieved in life so far, and what I have yet to achieve. Mostly I dwell on the good stuff I've done, and then I think about the fun stuff yet to come. Same thing this year. I'm pretty proud of what I've achieved in my time, even if there are some things I lament: I don't have a house, I don't have a nest egg of any kind, I don't have many savings. Still, I guess I've spent my money on great things - travel, a car, and lots of books.

This year started out full of inspiration, and it's still that way. I've achieved many of my year's goals so far, but still have some big ones to work on. I met an amazing man this year and am having the most brilliant (if at times challenging; oh yeah, he likes to challenge me like no other ever has) time with him. Basically, the future is bright, and I can't wait to experience it.

Happy birthday to me!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Travel Series...coming soon

"Travelling is a bug I can't be cured of.
And why would I want to be?"

I've travelled a lot, seen many amazing places, and I want to share my experiences with you! I intend to start a series here on my blog which will achieve that purpose. First though, I want to give a little introduction and/or background. I've been travelling since before I was born. Yep, my parents were far from home when I was born. There are a fair few countries I've never seen with my own eyes, but have technically visited while I existed in some form. But don't worry - I'll be confining my travel entries to places I've actually laid eyes on.

A great source of inspiration for me is the world trip I took in 1998 with my father. I was 17 and just out of high school. Instead of going straight into university as most people seem to do, I took a year off. Most of the first half of that year was spent on foreign soil, getting to know the world and my father in a whole new light. While there were a great many stressful moments, as there are bound to be if you're travelling with my Dad, there were more than enough amazing moments to compensate. I look back at those months with no little awe at the sorts of things I saw - breathtaking landscapes, insides of homeless shelters, bars where Al Capone hung out, Swiss glaciers... Sometimes we were at rock bottom, clawing our way up again. Other times we were in 5 star hotels eating pizza. I can't thank my father enough for giving me the chance to see these wonders (and sometimes, horrors) with my own eyes. I think every teen (or even adult) should be so lucky.

So, that was World Trip #1. But wait, there's more! In 2004, I booked another round-the-world ticket. This time I travelled alone, and my fifteen-stop ticket took me to thirteen different countries. I'll be mentioning some of the places I visited during 2004 too, later on in the series. There are also the shorter trips I've taken, which may merit talking about at some point. For a start, though, I'll focus on the 1998 trip, starting with the Australian leg which took my father, uncle and I across Australia from west to east (approx. 4000 km, or 2485 mi). And we'll see where it goes from there.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Retro Summer Blogfest

Sure, it's not summer here, but I can still participate in this Blogfest. Mostly because I say so!

Amy from The Ramblings of Amy is hosting the Retro Summer Blogfest today, and sucker for music blogfests that I am, I just had to sign up!! The idea is to find an old mixed audio CD that you haven't listened to in a while, and post the following:

  1. Artist name and song title
  2. What the song means to you and why you like it.

I was thinking of a particular mix CD but I haven't been able to locate it, so I opted to use a list of songs I had on a mix tape (one of MANY) from back in the day (as in, the high school day). So without further ado...

  1. SMASHING PUMPKINS - "Zero"; it's a classic tune from SP, though not one of my all-time favourites.
  2. VERUCA SALT - "Seether"; always reminds me of the power chicks have to ROCK IT on guitar
  3. SMASHING PUMPKINS - "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"; this is the first song I listened to after we got our new and (at the time) fancy stereo...and I remember going, "WOAH, this song has some serious BASS in it!"
  4. VERUCA SALT - "Cock of Nothing"; noticing a pattern here? SP...VS...SP...VS. Yeah. Anyway, this is a fabulous rockin' b-side from this band
  5. SOUNDGARDEN - "The Day I Tried To Live"; a song from the great album Superunknown, and at my time it was one of my favourites
  6. SILVERCHAIR - "Suicidal Dream"; kings of emo before emo was emo...or something? Got to love the 'Chair for taking me back to my youth
  7. SMASHING PUMPKINS - "To Forgive"; this is another that really isn't a favourite anymore. Maybe I listened it to death back then?? Still, a great song.
  8. SOUNDGARDEN - "Karaoke"; amazing b-side from these awesome dudes
  9. SILVERCHAIR - "The Closing"; I always loved the way this album ended...with this song.
  10. VERUCA SALT - "All Mine"; yet another brilliant b-side from the queens of alt rock
  11. JEBEDIAH - "Denver"; b-side from this Perth band, and a fast-paced energizing rockin' tune
  12. VERUCA SALT - "The Morning Sad"; another case of me looking back and going...huh? Why'd I choose this one? Not that I don't like it, it's just there are heaps of other songs on this album I would now choose instead.

  1. EVERCLEAR - "Santa Monica"; classic tune, always puts me in mind of L.A.
  2. POWDERFINGER - "Living Type"; still my favourite song from these dudes...except maybe the utterly brilliant "Capoicity"
  3. SMASHING PUMPKINS - "Today"; a timeless classic, yet one I would not put on a mix tape today. Unless it was a tape for my boyfriend titled "You SERIOUSLY haven't heard this song before?!"
  4. VERUCA SALT - "With David Bowie"; once again, no longer a fave, and this album has much more rockin' tunes. I still like the sentiment behind it though - being a teenaged girl in school crushing on a rock star. Been there, DONE THAT. (still doing it actually. hehehe)
  5. TRIPPING DAISY - "Cause Tomb Shop"; b-side (yep, I love me some awesome b-sides) from a little-known band I always associate with people who are off their faces (due to their interesting video clips, especially the one for "I Got A Girl"...)
  6. SILVERCHAIR - "Pop Song For Us Rejects"; picture this... two high school friends, awoken unhappily from their only-just-begun slumber by the alarm clock, which was in fact a clock radio blasting Triple J and this song. First time I heard it, while Freakshow was Triple J's feature album of the week. 1997, my friends. 1997.
  7. FOO FIGHTERS - "Floaty"; I skipped this song once, when my cousin and his sexy friends were over, and one of the sexiest guys got up and turned it back on and said, "You can't skip that song! It's a brilliant song!" I think I was about 15
  8. FOO FIGHTERS - "Everlong"; still one of my favourite songs by the Foos, and a stunning tune when stripped back
  9. EVERCLEAR - "Summerland"; another thing I now wonder why I chose, when there were others that could easily have filled its spot.
  10. HOLE - "Miss World"; a Hole classic, but where the heck was "Violet"?!?! is what I'm now asking myself.
  11. SMASHING PUMPKINS - "Frail and Bedazzled"; b-side, a tune from Pisces Iscariot, and a rockin' invigorating sound!
  12. EVERCLEAR - "You Make Me Feel Like A Whore"; classic tune and one that still gets me up and feeling like dancing. Still, not sure it'd fit on a mix tape of mine nowadays.
  13. FAITH NO MORE - "Your Last Cup of Sorrow" (sic); yeah, that's how I wrote it. Aww, high school me was so cute! I saw FNM recently in concert, very awesome experience. And this is a great song, but nowhere near their best.
  14. GREEN DAY - "Emenius Sleepus"; this was a b-side on one of the singles of theirs I bought. It took me many years before I even bought a full album by Green Day. But I do appreciate them for who and what they are. hehe

Okay...I'm done, and it's way past bedtime so I'm signing off!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Inspiration Blogfest

Yep, it's that time! I am participating in the Inspiration Blogfest, hosted by Summer Ross at My Inner Fairy. For more information, check here! Basically the idea is to post a prompt (it can be a writing prompt or a photo prompt) that you think will inspire others. I've decided to share one of my father's photos, because I just LOVE his work and it's always inspiring to me.

This was a photo taken in 1998, while we were on our trip around the world together. Just a note - when you travel with MY dad, you can't expect to do it in comfort. You can expect to burst into unhappy tears at any given moment, but comfort? Not unless you're enjoying one of those brief stays with other family members or friends at various places around the world. Still, my dad knows how to go a long way on a very small budget, and he's given me some of the most amazing experiences of my life. I'm grateful also to him for instilling a slight obsession with travel in me. So without further ado, here is the photo I've chosen (trust me, it was one of HUNDREDS I could've chosen):

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Paper edit a go-go

I did it! Firstly, I finished my revision, and second I printed out SUNDOWN (all 188 pages) for a paper edit. This is my 4th draft, and so I'll be working on the 5th with this next round of edits. For interest's sakes, I'll say that draft #3 had 180 pages. So I've added 8 pages (A4, size 12 Times font - as opposed to Times New Roman - and single-spaced) since then. This needs to shrink again, because I currently have a word count of 101,459 (this will shrink when I check it in Word, as Scrivener has a higher word count than Word does, but still it's too high!). My goal is 95k or thereabouts, as it was during my last edit also. I did get there with draft #3, but my latest revision added some new content.

In other news, for some reason I took it for granted that (at least here in Aus!) everyone knows about the goodness that is peanut butter and honey on toast. Apparently though, it's not as common as I thought. I've had a few people lately telling me they've never tried it.

Anyway, that's it for today. I've read and commented on a few blogs already today, but I'm going to head out and read some more! Hope everyone is doing well.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Upcoming blogfests...I know of 2

They both look like heaps of fun to me! If you haven't signed up and are interested, do it now!!

So I thought I'd do an update on how my goals are going. I started out the year with a list of goals I would achieve this year. Since 2011 began, some of the goals have been altered/added to. Others have been crossed out already, once I've achieved them. I love being able to cross things off my list! It's a very satisfying feeling. Anyway, let's recap (in blue is stuff I've finished, and red is what I'm still working on):

  1. I finished an edit of SUNDOWN and ordered my proof copy (it has been sitting on my shelf for a while now)
  2. I finished another edit of SUNDOWN
  3. I started another round, which would leave me with draft #...I think it's draft #5?? Honestly, I've kind of lost track. But this is the revision I'm still working on (and I have two chapters to go, people!! That's all)
  4. Next, I'm printing out SUNDOWN to do a paper edit. I was going to wait on ElitistCritiques crits, but I've decided I'm too impatient for that! So paper edit, coming right up.
  5. Once I'm done with the paper edit, I'm going to look for some beta readers!
  6. I won NaNoEdMo 2011 - after chopping & changing my plans for what I'd edit so many times, I wound up working on SUNDOWN
  7. Write 52 short stories in 2011 for the Chrysalis Experiment - this is something I cannot possibly win until the end of the year...but so far so good, with 27 stories written in 27 weeks...and the 28th brewing somewhere in my subconscious where I can't see even a glimmer of it yet. hehe
  8. Write once a week in this blog - again, I cannot achieve this till the end of the year! But as of today I'm well on track!
  9. Win NaNoWriMo 2011 - yep, another goal I can't achieve till November comes and goes. This year I have some especially lofty goals for NaNo, as mentioned in this blog post a while back...
  10. I completed the first draft of STORM, and while the novel is an ugly best-ignored mess right now, that doesn't matter to me! What matters is I finished a draft, at least.
  11. Complete a preliminary read-through/edit of NAUSICAA - um, yeah, no. Not done yet. But I've got plenty of time!
  12. Read more than 21 (amended to at least 25!) books in 2011 - yes, I achieved this! I'm currently reading my 26th book of the year.
  13. Participate in (and win) BuNoWriMo 2011 - achieved! I wrote over 50k, even if I didn't stick to just one story, and didn't complete any new novels. I did complete a novella!
  14. Participate in A'vron Ayende's Classics Book Club - so far we have done 4 months of this, and I've participated in each one. I have a feeling it may be on hold for a while...but we'll see where it goes! Can't really call this an achievement till the year is over.

So, there you go. Latest goals update! To date I'm pretty happy with how the year has gone, but it can only get better from here!

How are you going with your goals this year? Anything you're proud of? Things you want to improve on for the second half of the year?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest

Yay!! Time for another Blogfest. This one is hosted by Shelly, and you can sign up here! Here are the details though, for what you have to do!

1. Follow this blog
2. Sign up by filling out the Linky below
3. Write a Poem
(ANY kind of poem or you could even blog about 'why I hate poetry.' I'm cool with that.)
4. Post your poem the week of July 11th-14th (midnight PST)

And now it's time for me to share my poem! It is in fact an older poem, and one that's been converted into a song, which you can hear/download for free here.


Where there is a will
There is a way
My will is strong
The way will follow

Lots of talk
And a lot of action
This I promise
There's no forgetting me

I'm going in
I'm searching for the key
I'll open your door
I'll find you

Little boy lost
You're hiding away
You can't live that way
No you can't live that way

Lots of kissing
Lots of tumbling
Push you up against the wall
No you won't forget me

I'm going in
I'm searching for the key
I'll open your door
I'll find you

Friday, 8 July 2011

Congratulations to Natalie Whipple!!

I really just have to say this... I've been following Natalie Whipple's blog (and all of her ups and her downs) for a fair while now, and have been hoping and hoping that this day would come sooner rather than later. I've seen Natalie be a supportive friend and fellow writer to many others who have had their publishing dreams come true. I've watched her cheer for others' successes. But finally it's her turn!!

Congratulations Natalie! I'm so happy to see this day! You've earned this moment, for sure!!

Click here for the announcement!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Books read so far in 2011

So far in 2011, I've finished reading the following books:

The Phantom of the Opera
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Of Mice and Men
Cat Dreamer
Mother Love
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)
Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
Crush (Indigo: Sensuous Love Stories)
Burmese Days (Penguin Modern Classics)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (Popular Penguins)
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (Magical Cats Mystery, #1)
About a Girl
Pride and Prejudice
The Brutal Art
The Calling
To Kill a Mockingbird
Body Surfing
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight, #3.5)
Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2)

The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time, #12; A Memory of Light, #1)

Currently I'm reading this:

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)

And who knows what I'll read next?! I have an entire shelf on my "to be read before I read anything else" shelf. And then I have most of another bookcase full of books - my "to be read at some point" collection. Just a note before I post this...I've definitely added a few titles to my "favourites" shelf at GoodReads this year. And you can see my reviews of all these titles on GoodReads (some are more extensive than others). As for non-spoiler reviews, I wrote about "Grotesque" and "The Brutal Art" in this blog.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Alexandra Shostak has goodies to give away!

She went (to ALA), she saw (lots of cool people!), she held a baby alligator. Now Alexandra's back and she's got some great books to give away, so get in there & take a chance. :)

Books up for grabs are:

  1. A signed copy of PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa Desrochers (plus signed bookmarks!)
  2. An ARC of FALLING FOR HAMLET by Michelle Ray
  3. An ARC of FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick
  4. An ARC of FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater (if you were wondering, the ink IS a burgundy red!)
Go forth and be lucky! (only if you live in the US)

In other news, I'm back into editing SUNDOWN. So far I've got through another 3 chapters (since my revision break took effect from May 10). Last night I was pretty slack and only did one chapter. But I'm getting there. I also crossed another goal off my list - reading 25 books this year! I could up the number, I guess, but I'm not feeling in the mood to thwart my success right now. I'm just enjoying it. I intend to put up a list of books read so far this year sometime soon, just to reflect. But for now, you have this brief mention. Anyway, speaking of goals, I've started thinking about possible goals for 2012. Nothing is crystal clear yet. Fair enough right?? I mean, it's only the start of July! But I'm thinking...

Have fun everyone! :)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

CreateSpace proof copies...answering questions

A few people have asked me about the proof copies I've ordered, and what they're even for. Below are the questions I got on my last entry, and my answers to said questions!

"Charity Bradford ordered her proof copy too, and seeing her book in the print motivated me to order mine. But I got a little scared at the ISBN spot. If an ISBN is applied to the book, even if its not published, does that mean it cannot be assigned another if an actual publishing company picks it up?

I saved what I had up to that point and buzzed on out of it. I really want to see my first novel in print, but am skittish about submitting even that much until I'm sure it will never be picked up by an agent or publisher. Eeeek! Did you have these jitters yourself Trisha?" - Donna Hole

I had similar concerns when I got my free proof copy for winning NaNoWriMo last year, but I checked out the thread on the NaNo forums and was reassured that it didn't matter if my book got an ISBN. I wasn't actually publishing it, I was just preparing it for publishing if that makes sense? I would get a proof copy to "review", and then once I was happy with it I'd activate it and put it up for sale. However, the "activation" part never happened, and I was still able to get my free proof. My book is still sitting there, unactivated, although yes it has an ISBN. But as many people have mentioned, books have many ISBNs anyway according to which publisher puts them out in which country, what format they're in, etc. Anyway, to see others asking the question and getting answers, check out page 2 of this thread on the NaNo forums, and do a search for "ISBN" (you will find quotes from Toadychan). Last year's thread had more discussion, but this one has some too.

"I'm confused. Well that's often the case (hee hee). How come you've got a paper-back of your pre-edited novel, Trisha? That sounds like a good wheeze. Have you somehow pre-published it?" - Deborah Walker

Every time you win NaNoWriMo, you get a free proof copy of your novel from CreateSpace. At least, that has been the case for a fair few years now. I used my free proof voucher last year for the first time, but I didn't use it on last year's novel. I used it on a novel I'd already been editing a fair bit, and so was in better shape. That's the first proof I ever got. The novel has gone through serious edits since then, so has changed shape in many ways. But it's still nice to have my book on a bookshelf, looking pretty (I highly recommend choosing the "cream" coloured pages if you ever use CreateSpace, it looks awesome).

This year I entered ABNA, and to my surprise even though I didn't get past round one, they gave me another code to use at CreateSpace for a free proof. I figured this was the perfect chance to get another of my novels on my bookshelf. So I prepared one for printing, even though I know it's way too long and needs serious editing. It's still in first draft form for the most part, that novel. The whole point though is that it's free, so I may as well make use of it just so I can see my book looking all pretty in print. And maybe it's way better to do it with a pre-edited version, since the end version I wind up querying will be completely unrecognisable. ;)

So no, I'm not being published, I'm not represented by an agent or anything. But nor is my book being self-published. Because I'm not going that final step and activating it on CreateSpace. I hope this answers everyone's questions, but if there are more, please let me know!

Monday, 4 July 2011

ABNA proof...goals update

"Thank you for ordering a proof of Fire, Title #3645196. Your order has shipped.

My ABNA code has been used, and I am excited! Yes, FIRE needs serious editing, but I figure by reading the book in paperback form I can make notes as I go on what needs editing. Hehe. It's going to be a pretty large book, but then so was my proof copy of SUNDOWN (I've since shaved off about 40k from that one...hehe).

Can't wait to see it!!

In other news, I still haven't finished reading my 25th book of the year, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I blame a weekend in which I got no reading done. But for only good reasons. ;) As for other goals, I've decided that in getting back to my revisions of SUNDOWN I may print out the whole manuscript...despite not being done with my previous goal of getting through the revision I abandoned at the end of May before doing a print-out. I just think I need to read stuff on paper instead of on the computer.

In Chrysalis news, we've reached the halfway mark!! I've written 26 short stories in 26 weeks. I reported on my stats here, but suffice it to say that because of Chrysalis, I've written 69,007 words this year. Not counting all the other stuff I wrote during BuNo, etc.

Ooh, I forgot, I get to cross BuNoWriMo off my goals list! Yay!

It's been difficult to keep up on blog reading lately, but I've done my best to get bits and pieces of reading/commenting in. I really appreciate all the visits I get at this blog though, and I do try my best to reciprocate!

Hope you're all going well!