Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shiny New Project and TSA

I did it. I finished the third draft of The Sandman's Apprentice. It is now in the trusted hands of other insanely awesome writers. Hopefully, it will not require extensive revisions, but it may. It may.

In the mean time, I have begun work on what I have dubbed Shiny New Project. About a month or so ago, this boy popped into my head. I don't know where he came from. I didn't know his name or anything about him. I just knew he had a story, and he wanted me to tell it. And this is how he came to me:

"I was ten when the world ended. Well, sort of. My sister Laney was thirteen. She'd remember it better than me, but she never even made it to fifteen. She wasn't the only one."

That little guy had me. He did. but I'd promised myself I wasn't going to work on anything else until TSA was out for crits. And I didn't. So TSA got shipped to my lovelies, and Shiny New Idea became Shiny New Project. I wrote the first chapter (a whole whopping 3 pages) the first night without knowing anything more than those four sentences. Now I know a whole lot more. 

This new book is some odd version of a post-apocalyptic/dystopian, and I say odd because the world has literally just ended, and the whole point of the book is the formation of the dystopian society/-ies. It's gonna be so much fun. No supernatural abilities. No paranormal creatures. Just people. Living in a futuristic world that's fallen to pieces around them. 


So, what're all of you fine people up to as of late?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

RIP Diana Wynne Jones

I've been trying to find the right words since I heard about it, and I still don't know what to say.

I read The Darklord of Derkholm when I was little, and it stuck with me. I loved it. And years later I discovered the film adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle. Let me tell you, it was the best thing since sliced bread. When I finally read the book, I was blown away. Imagine my reaction when I made the connection that two of my favorite books were written by the same author. (In my defense, I'd forgotten who wrote Darklord and was too lazy to look it up for the longest time, not that that's much of a defense, but still.)

Diana Wynne Jones was one of the most influential and well known fantasy authors in the world, and her death is an incredible loss to us all. She did amazing things for young adult fantasy and was an inspiration to many authors. Her books were an inspiration to me.

If you have no idea who I'm talking about, if you've never read one of her books, please, go out and buy one right now. Experience the wonders of Howl's Moving Castle. See the incredible things she did with world building.

Be inspired. Be a better writer. Be amazing. Because we lost one of the greats, and she left some pretty big shoes behind to fill.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Good Morning, Starshine!

It's been a couple of weeks since my last update. Sorry about that. School and fraternity stuff have kept me pretty busy. I don't even get on Twitter as much as I'd like to. But honestly, I feel like I have nothing to say. Everyone blogs about tips and tricks and struggles they've overcome. Inspirational stories, what they're working on, how it is to be agented. I just don't have anything to say.

I read books and work on my own novel when I can. I try to help other people with their work. I try to have a social life (and I fail miserably at it). And then I get online and the words are just gone. I'm not afraid to say them. I'm not worried that I might not be the best person to talk about a certain subject (though I do wonder sometimes). Mostly, I just don't have any words left at all.

I write reviews over books I read, and sometimes I even question that. It's so hard to rate a book, but at the same time I feel like I have to when every book site out there seems to have a star rating out beside the title. So I try to focus on the things I liked or didn't like, and then I wonder what the author will think when they see my 3 star review. Will they hate me because I didn't think their book was right for me? Because I didn't care for the way they wrote it or their characters? I certainly hope not, because I hope to be among them one day. Still, I wonder.

I think about the people who have been blogging for years and are just now running out of topics. How do they do it? I have nothing to say. And maybe it's because I don't have anyone here to talk to about books and writing most days. But you would think that would leave me with an abundance of things to say instead. I don't know.

And I think about all of you reading this. Why are you here? Why do read my blog when I ramble about stupid things and don't say anything worth hearing? I'm not teaching you how to be a better writer or imparting any great wisdom on you, and yet here you are. And I feel compelled to post things, to keep you entertained, to keep you around. But I don't have anything else.

I have a book that I'm working on. I'm trying to move across the country to get a job in publishing, and I'm trying to do it with very little money. I'm trying to find a way to get paid for doing what I love. And I may crash and burn, at which point I don't know what I'll do, much less how I'll do it.

So here I am, typing up a post that says absolutely nothing and says everything at exactly the same time. I am here. And you are here. And I guess that's all that really matters.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: Prada and Prejudice

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: June 11, 2009 by Razorbill
Format: Paperback, 238 pgs.
Source: Purchased


To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

Friday, March 4, 2011

SCBWI New York - Part II

Sorry this is so late you guys. I have been having some roommate issues and dealing with a bunch of random crap that's been taking up a lot of time and wearing me down lately. But I promised you an Alessandra Balzer post and you're going to get one. In fact, you're going to get as much as I can cram into one post without going on and on and on today. So enjoy. : )


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