I’ve already read sarahreesbrennan's UNSPOKEN, but I figured I should get it as a refresher before plunging into UNTOLD. And I've been meaning to read ransomriggs' MISS PEREGRINE'S for a while, mostly because one of the settings is Wales and I cannot pass up a story set in Wales no matter what! (Guess you could call it heritage pride?)
This was officially my first book order from Amazon.ca and I am satisfied! The Boundless doesn’t come out until Tuesday, yet HERE IT IS! Initially I bought it because there’s a chance I’m going to Kenneth Oppel’s book signing on April 26, but really it’s just a really awesome sounding book. I mean, the Titanic of trains? COUNT ME IN! (also, it was on for $12, so yeah)
And then there’s Ava Lavender about a girl who has wings, though she’s not an angel or avian. The story is told by the MC as a middle aged women having researched her family history and discovering who she truly is (I think).
And finally there’s The Unnameables. First off, it was only $4, but ALSO it sounds cool. An island where names are given based on the purpose the named thing or person has, but the story is about a boy who doesn’t have a traditional name.
THE SHADOW’S CURSE is the second book in Amy McCulloch’s Knot’s Sequence, a duology about 16-year-old Raim, whose biggest dream was to become the greatest Yun warrior and protector of is best friend and future Khan, Khareh… until he breaks a vow he doesn’t remember making and is exiled to the desert.
Seriously, the first book in the series, THE OATHBREAKER’S SHADOW was amazing. It’s not currently available in the US (coming from Flux early 2015), but if you’re in Canada or the UK… PICK UP THIS BOOK AND READ IT!
BOOK SIGNING ALERT! Any Starters fans or just general fans of YA in the Barrie, Ontario area, LISSA PRICE IS COMING TO CHAPTERS BARRIE ON SATURDAY MAY 3RD!
This is a rare treat for Barrieites as, in recent history, there has only been one other YA author signing (November 2012, which I went to and which I found to be poorly attended with only about 12 people—there were 5 authors).
OPENING: Nighttime in Yggresha meant two things: Darkness and monsters. The former brought on the presence of the latter. The latter took away all peacefulness during the former. Consequently, the people of Yggresha tended to keep inside during the former.
As for Caroline Drebinski, on this night, that luxury wasn’t open to her.
“Are you sure you don’t want my husband to escort you home?” said Lady Costa, who hovered on the doorstep of the Costa manor.
Caroline stepped carefully down each stair and onto the beaten dirt path where she turned and gave Lady Costa and her daughter a brave smile. “I am sure.”
Sunlight had disappeared from the sky not long ago, the silence of the night only now creeping in. Wind rustled the skirts of Caroline’s pale mauve dress, and a few wisps of blonde hair escaped the already loose cinch at the nape of her neck. Darkness and empty land lay behind her. The flickering glow of the Costa manor’s porch lamps teased her, laughed at her having to leave their presence in favour of the darkness. Darkness and monsters.
“Sasha should have been here by now,” Lady Costa murmured beneath her breath.
Caroline was thinking the exact same thing about her betrothed, the man who was to keep her safe at all times. The man who had promised to be there to escort her home even if it meant waiting until the sun set and rose and set and rose again. The women of Yggresha were put first in front of all else, but especially Caroline. Her father practically created this world on his own. If he could create a world, he could do anything, which included punishing anyone who brought harm to his youngest daughter.
Lately I’ve been in a writing slump. I realize many of you writers out there go into writing slumps, but mine always seem to happen in March and April. The past two years I’ve broken through them—with the help of Care No More (2012) and BCSBM (2013). This year I’m hoping to break through it too, but this time I have a bigger motivator: CanWrite! 2014, that writers’ conference I’ve mentioned a fewtimes.
At a writers’ conference such as this they allow you at least 3 hours each day to write or do writing related things. That ends up being about 9 hours for the whole weekend (Thursday-Saturday). However, my track record for staying focused for a significant amount of time is… not very good. I think at this point 1 day is my max, then I get distracted or feel like crap and move on to something else. I can’t do that at the conference. Or at least I won’t let myself do that at the conference.
So here’s my 5-step plan:
Choose a project (or two; I always like to have options)
Organize my thoughts on said project (some of them I haven’t worked on for a while and might be jumbled a bit)
Read over what I’ve already written
Work out what the story is actually about (plot, character motivations, goals, conflicts, etc.)
By the time CanWrite! rolls around in June I’m HOPING to have the whole beginning of the project I choose to work on so that, just in case I’m brave enough to ask a fellow conference goer for some advice, I know what I should be asking and can give them a good idea of what the story is about and where it’s going.
Now, as to the project(s) I’ll be working on? Hmm… I started with 6 choices, which I’ve narrowed down to 3, but because I really shouldn’t be working on 3 projects at once, I still need to cut at least one more. Here’s where it stands right now:
YGGRESHA (YA portal fantasy - other world > our world)
DRAGONNOVEL/SEQUEL (High fantasy - though DragonNovel may actually be a prequel to DragonSequel)
ALIENNOVEL (MG supernatural sci-fi - with aliens, and a gay couple, and middle school shenanigans)
The first 2 are the ones I’m probably going to go with, but I’m still holding out hope for AlienNovel. Because aliens. And I really like the beginning it has.
What do you do when you feel uninspired? I've been feeling that way for over a month and people keep telling me that there's no such thing as a writer's block and if I just keep writing then I'll get over it. This hasn't been the case. All the writing I have produced had been complete crap. What do you do when you hit a low point in your writing?
Most of writing is a low point. There really aren’t a lot of high points, and when they do come around, they’re rare, like when a traffic light turns green JUST as you’re pulling up to it. So really, writing is all about slogging through those lows just to find your way back to those inexplicably and seemingly arbitrary highs.
As for “there’s no such thing as writer’s block” I ignore generalized advice like that as a rule of thumb. Call it what you will, sometimes the inspiration just isn’t there. It could be that you’re writing the wrong story. If you don’t have any desire to fix what isn’t working, and you’re not interested, how could you possibly turn that story into something a reader will be excited about? The solution may be to start something else.
Writing is not all about sitting at the keyboard typing, either. A lot of writing, maybe most of writing, comes from the thoughts a writer has throughout the day. Take a drive. Go for a walk. Watch a documentary. Browse through tumblr gifs. Do things you enjoy, and have thoughts that interest you, and the story will make itself known.
IT’S OFFICIAL! I am legitimately going to CanWrite! 2014, for free, thanks to my sister’s boyfriend, who is the videographer for the conference. And as it turns out, I WON’T be acting as his lackey. I’ll actually be attending the conference like everyone else!
If you’re an Ontario (or Canadian) writer, consider joining me? Okay, so it’s $600 for non-members, but it’ll be worth it!
(Also, Kelley Armstrong will be there running a workshop on Friday and Saturday. So there’s that.)
Pre-order of Laini Taylor’s Dreams of Gods & Monsters and Kelley Armstrong’s Sea of Shadows arrived—get this—on release day! That has never happened, though admittedly I don’t pre-order books that oftem.
DoGaM also came with a signed art print by Laini. All first editions from Indigo/Chapters and B&N have these.
I know this is a VERY long shot with my previous track record, but I’m going to set a goal this week, a SPECIFIC goal, and hope something comes of it.
So, here starts week 5 of YAB Bootcamp and I’ve honestly lost track of how many times I’ve switched projects. But this week (and maybe the next??) I’m hoping to stick to one: SSOYtA. I posted some snippets from it last week as I did a read through of what I had of it already, but I think that maybe I’m ready to move on with it and continue writing.
So, with the help of Sir Elton John and Fleetwood Mac… WISH ME LUCK!