children's writer

Going Camping in April

Mar 30, 2013
Judging by the title of this post you probably already know what it's about--Camp NaNoWriMo.

Yes, I'm buying repellent and packing my bags for Camp NaNoWriMo in April--the month where dozens of writers sign up to write a novel in a month. This year they're doing things a little differently by allowing us to choose our own word count goal. After some thought, I've decided to give myself a word count goal of 15,000 words. By the end of spring, hopefully, I expect to have a finished novel.

I had plans to finish up a project I'd already started, but you know how that goes. I think I might start calling myself the queen of unfinished novels. I'm actually challenging myself a bit this year. I have about 1,000 words written of two projects that I want to finish.

The first: a complete rewrite of my YA contemporary, which includes another title change, lots more blood, and secrets. So far the rewrite is going well.

The second: an MG novel about a very sad girl named Bryn and the fallen star that comes to her aide. I kind of have an obsession with stars. When I see one I can't help but wish on it.

This year I solemnly swear that I will win NaNoWriMo. Also, I'd like to give a big thanks to everyone who commented on my top ten movies post and my last Thursday's Children post. I've been terrible at responding and visiting other blogs.

Are any of you doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year?

Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest

Mar 18, 2013
Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting the Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest today. We get to list our top ten favorite movies.


My top ten movies:

1. An Education: I've seen this movie way too many times. It's a coming of age film that takes place in the 1960s. It's about a young girl named Jenny who becomes enamored with an older man and gets caught up in his "glamorous" lifestyle. I love it because it's the kind of story I'd love to tell.


2. Never Let Me Go: I read the book before seeing the movie and both took my breath away. It helped that three of my favorite actors starred in the film, Andrew, Carey, and Keira. If you haven't heard of it, it's from the point of view of a girl named Kathy H. Kathy isn't like other girls because she is a clone and so are the other children at her school and later the cottages. Kathy only exists for one reason: to donate her organs and then complete. It's a wonderful film.


3. The Awakening: It's one of the best horror movies I've seen in a long time. It's so good I'm afraid I won't be able to explain it well. I'll give it a go anyway. A woman who doesn't believe in ghosts is invited to a boys boarding school that is supposedly haunted. While on her mission to prove that the school isn't haunted,  she begins to recall some astonishing truths about herself and one of the students there. There's a romance. It takes place in England in the 1920s. Fans of The Others will love it.


4. My Neighbor Totoro: One of the best animated movies I've seen hands down. It's on the quieter side with is why I love it. It explores two of my favorite themes, family and love.


5. Spirited Away: Spirited Away is one of the reasons I love Animes. It's a movie filled with magic and love. It doesn't get any better than that.


6. Alice in Wonderland (2010): You guys are already familiar with this story line I bet. I will never get tired of it. Johnny Depp is phenomenal in his role as the Mad Hatter. Off with their heads.


7. 500 Days of Summer:  Okay so I'm not the biggest romantic comedy fan but this one is so good. It's not so typical. Yes, boy meets girl. Boy loves girl, except girl doesn't love boy so much. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the main character and he's always nice to look at.


8. My Girl: I couldn't finish this list without including my favorite childhood movies. My Girl is my favorite childhood movie. It's another coming of age. It's probably the first movie that made me cry. It's a great movie to watch if you're writing for children even though it is older. The subject matter is always very timely.


9. Edward Scissorhands: This is the reason why Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors. You can't get any better than this. Thinking about this movie really makes me miss my childhood.


10. Beetlejuice: I will always love Beetlejuice and the Banana Boat Song.


Thanks for hosting, Alex. And thanks for stopping by.

Schedules! Lists! Oh My!

Mar 13, 2013
It's time for another installment of Thursday's Children, which is a blog hop in which writers share what inspires them.

This week I'm deeply inspired by all of the folks who can create schedules for themselves and stick to them. Lately I've been feeling very restless. Maybe one or two of you might have noticed how many times I've changed my blog layout in the past month. My willingness to blog almost every single day has left me feeling a bit fatigued.

I'm starting to feel like my blogging is keeping me from the things that are more important like my writing and  spending more time with books. I started two books months ago and never finished them. I started a new novel, and I'm still at the same word count I was last week. It's funny when I first started writing I did it with so much vigor. Now I can barley write a word without refreshing my blog page. It has become kind of an obsession, an obsession that needs to end. I need to unplug. I need to be more productive.

I know many of you have certain hours of the day set aside for writing. I've always enjoyed writing in the morning. There are things I'd like to improve, like learning to write more words in a shorter amount of time. I do find I write faster when I'm using Written? Kitten!. As of now, I don't think I'm going to keep myself on a strict schedule but some structure would do me some good.

In fact, I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be a nice change.

A few things I'd like to accomplish:

  • Finish reading the books I've started 
  • Finish cleaning up my manuscript
  • Have my first draft completed  by the end of April (Camp NaNo)

As always, thanks for reading, commenting, and being so awesome. If you'd like to join the blog hop visit the Linky List here. And if you'd like to feel more productive too there's this great online tool called Wunderlist I like to use to set goals.

Waiting on Wednesday: Fangirl

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme in which we blog about the books we're waiting on. It's hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm waiting on Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I haven't read any of Rainbow's other novels but fell in love when I stopped by her blog one day and listened to the playlist she created for Eleanor & Park. I just knew I had to add her next book to my to-read list. And I have. And the premise sounds oh so sweet.

---

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?



While you're waiting, stop by Rainbow's blog and listen to her playlists

SINGING IN THE WILDERNESS Excerpt

Mar 12, 2013
I really should be getting ready to leave the house soon, but I do like to dedicate the first few hours of my day to blogging and reading other blogs. A day or two ago I had this bright idea to print out my manuscript. Why? I just wanted to see it in hard copy. After I'd already declared the manuscript finished, I'm now on chapter seventeen on what has been my hundredth read through. Last night I remember thinking, this is getting ridiculous. I have to let it go. Though I still found things to fix, this is me letting it go because it'll never reach that level of perfection I keep striving for.

*snip*


As always, thanks for stopping by.

On A Bookish Date: Tumble & Fall

Mar 11, 2013
On A Bookish Date is a meme in which I share my love for books and cure my style cravings.

It was instant love when I saw the cover for Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts. The premise reminds me of a movie that came out earlier last year, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. I haven't seen that movie, but I really want to read this book. The cover, it's just so stunning.


The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand. 


For our date I'd wear a gold blouse and ankle boots.


Tumble

Thursday's Children: Rocks and Water

Mar 6, 2013
I did tell Rhiann I'd participate in Thursday's Children one of these days. I just never got around to it, but today Rhiann's and Jaye's posts really inspired me. If you're wondering, Thursday's Children is a weekly blog hop where writers share what inspires them.

I honestly had to think for a second of what inspired me this week because I've kind of been wandering around my own mind--a dangerous habit. You don't always notice things that are right in front of you. The first thing I thought of was a song I came across on Pandora that made me think I should revisit my good old WIP, which was abandoned for something shinier. It's a country song or has a country sound.

If you take a listen, it's a song about a mother warning her daughter. Of what, I'm not so sure but sometimes I do find myself drawn to songs with darker lyrics. After hearing Rocks and Water, I instantly added it to my favorite songs playlist. And I might just whip out that old WIP after all.


I've also been deeply inspired by my virtual garden because I don't own a real one. Peonies and cacti, there isn't anything that my virtual garden can't grow. It even inspired me to give my MC her own flower stand. When I was a bit younger I used to beg my mother to start one--a garden. We do have a small yard my father plants things in sometimes.

For now I'll stick with my virtual one, until I can afford a real one.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

On A Bookish Date: Just One Day

Mar 5, 2013
On A Bookish Date is a meme in which I share my love for books and cure my style cravings.

I usually post on Monday, but I was running a bit behind. I didn't even have time to create a new outfit, so today's post is for a book I already own but haven't read: Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I actually did read a sample of it last year and loved it. Gayle Forman and Paris, oui.


When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.


For our date I'd wear cable knit tights and Mary Janes.


Esther
Sadly I created this look so long ago a lot of the pieces have sold out.