Insurgent Trailer Reaction

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Hello Friends!

We, the Divergent fandom, have been on pins and needles waiting anxiously for any signs of the second book to movie adaptation from Veronica Roth’s bestselling trilogy.

Earlier in the week, we got our first movie still image with a promise for a surprise that was expected to arrive Friday. The interwebs went crazy with the same hypothesis: THE FIRST OFFICIAL TRAILER.

And we were RIGHT!

Before that, Summit released it’s first Teaser where we witnessed Tris in what we believed to be a simulation. It was very Inception meets The Amazing SpiderMan. Many of us didn’t know what to think. Half of the fandom was excited claiming; EPICNESS, while the other half were worried. I was part of the worried bunch.

I’m also probably part of the very few who think this but, Tris’ new hairdo bothers me! Haha. It’s true. It looks too modern, stylish. I always pictured more like Christina’s cut from Divergent. There’s a brokenness to it–both emotionally and physically. This new hairdo in some parts is so gelled and piecey, it seems so out of character for this world, them constantly running for their lives, and Tris’ persona, alone. But I’m picky. Fine. Anywho, onto the recent Trailer!

So, as a lover of the Divergent series, of COURSE I saw a few things in this recent trailer that made me gasp and exclaim, “What the hell is that!?”

Let’s begin

PANDORA’S BOX

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What. The. Hell. Is. That?

Apologies, I don’t mean to offend anyone with the language, but I thought this was hilarious–it being out there at all. Made me not feel alone. Ha!

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I had to rack my brain on this one for a moment. This looks like ‘The Fifth Element’ stones meets alien technology meets Divergent found it and slapped their logo on it. Clearly, they’ve shifted the Jeanine plot a bit, using this BOX that needs to be opened by “The One”. Riiiight. Okay, I’ll bite.

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I actually do like their interpretation of the Erudite compound and how they test Divergents. I always pictured it old fashion, person on metal medical table, needles and tubes. This. This is pretty sweet looking–the poor unfortunate soul suspended in the air with the snake-like wires in them.

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SAY ELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND

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This here is a subplot/character arc change. Tris is pumping led into her enemies. So, for those who remember, a MAJOR issue with Tris in book two is that she psychologically can not hold or fire a gun. The death of those from book one, and specifically one by her own hand, really messed her up. She’s traumatized. It’s not even until Allegiant (I believe) that she finds it in her to finally shot a gun. Clearly, judging by the new trailer, that is NOT the case here.

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She has no qualms about being a bad ass with a gun. Even though they have removed this element in the movie, at least, it seems that they are still going to try and translate Tris’ PTSD just in a less tangible manner. For example, her simulation (first teaser) and the idea of losing her mother, not being able to save her. It’s obviously still plaguing her in movie two. Also, there was this moment in the official trailer:

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“I can’t let anyone else die because of me.”

This seems to be one of those moments where Tris finally breaks down after the truth comes out at Candor, and she talks to Four. Hopefully, we’ll still witness the Tris we know and recognize from Insurgent the book, only with a bit more bad ass edge, apparently. Oh, isn’t this when this happens?

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Looks like same scene, same outfits, lighting…speaking of:

HOLY HOTNESS HOLLYWOOD

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Let’s talk about this. Whoa. Simma’ down now!

Oh, Hollywood. You just had to sex it up, didn’t ya? Granted, in Insurgent, the book, there were a couple hot makeout scenes with Tris and Four. I remember the scene near the beginning of the book where Tris sneaks into Four’s room after she can’t sleep and I believe, has a nightmare about the person she killed in book one. (I’m trying to be kind with spoilers, JUST in case) She’s only wearing a shirt and underwear. Four lets her lie down next to him and she tries to forget her woes…by getting frisky and making out with Four, potentially trying to take things further. The gentleman that Four is sees through her sex-kitten act and stops her, knowing it’s not really what she needs or wants at the moment.

Well…don’t think that may be the case in this movie adaptation, if this snippet has anything to say about it. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Hollywood. Many fans as it is, felt there was a lack of FourTris affection in movie one, Divergent. Perhaps, they’re making up for it.

Moving on!

MUMMY? YOU HAVEN’T AGED

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The interwebs have had fun with this little casting development. Many have forgotten the announcement of Naomi Watts playing Evelyn, Four/Tobias’ mother. Many of us went, “Hmm. Um. Okayyyy. I guess, we’ll see?” I think we hoped they’d rough her up, age her a bit. Welp, turns out, she looks younger than her normal self, and quite put together for an outcast Factionless member of the abandoned Chicago streets. At least they dyed her hair. But really, when you compare her and Marcus’s actor…looks like he married MUCH younger.

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I mean, it is a little weird that they (Evelyn and Four) look…well, they look the exact same age almost, making the Tris and Four gap look even larger. Ha! In some twisted world out there, someone must’ve shipped it! Yeah, let’s not go there. Too creepy.

SPIDER TRIS, SPIDER TRIS

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Remember this? Inception meets The Amazing Spiderman! This had me a little worried at first, not knowing what the look of the film was going to be. After this official trailer, I do feel better about it. The director took an interesting direction with this simulation, pulling for those action-packed, heart pumping, epic movie feel moments. Crazy to think of that Tris up there…. and old Beatrice below.

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All them fear serums were like radioactive spidey juice. In a couple short months, she’s a completely different person–especially, movie versions. Makes ya think, what will Summit make Tris like for Allegiant part 1 and 2?

KATNISS IN DISTRICT 12?

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This part, for the life of me, I can not remember what this could be but when I saw it, my first thoughts were, “Is this Katniss, looking out into destroyed District 12? Look, it’s Gale in the background!

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ALL IN ALL

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So here’s the thing. After I took a day or two to internally and not so internally (social media) vent, I had to come to a conclusion. There are many inconsistencies from the book to this adaptation, and that’s just from the trailer alone. As a Divergent fandom lover–although, I am TOTALLY okay with them butchering ALLEGIANT movies to help salvage them but I digress–of course I want to see these first two book to movies done well. However, this is Hollywood and our movie audiences have certain expectations. Rarely will we ever get The Hunger Games type brilliance that not only are near-perfect adaptations but freaking EPIC in itself that non-readers also love. We can’t always hope for Hunger Games franchise results.

Now, once I can put all that aside, I then look at the potential. This is the characters and story that we love, but slightly tweaked for epic awesomeness on screen. In terms of visual appeal and story line, it seems that they have upped the action and switched a few things around for over all pacing of the film as well as comprehension for all movie goers.

I remember hearing some complaints from non-readers when Divergent, the movie came out this past March. Many were confused as to the plot. They left with plot holes, slightly dazed to what entirely was going on. I believe the Director and team behind Insurgent felt certain things about the book were not going to translate well to film, needing to alter the plot so our non-readers leave satisfied. I totally get that.

So, I will vent my ‘inconsistencies’ argument, and then I will lay them down. This March, I will enjoy what hopefully looks to be an epic action-packed, momentary swoonage-blush, adventure in the beloved Divergent world. And hey, we get to see more Four (Theo James)…yeah. Nuff, said.

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That’s a pretty sweet shot right there! One of my favorites from the trailer.

Some fan feedback:

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I thought this was hilarious and also the general consensus with worried fans after seeing the Trailer. Another reaction.

magcfingers on Tumblr said:

Me before watching the Insurgent trailer:

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Me after watching the Insurgent trailer:

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What are your thoughts?

Are you excited for Insurgent? Are you happy or not so happy with this new trailer? Let me know! All in all, I’m excited and hoping for Epicness! If you have yet to see it, or just want to see it again, enjoy the first official INSURGENT trailer below!

Book Spotlight: EVE: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci

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Hello my friends! Feels so good to return to the bookish front of blogging and share with you all my random rambling delights. As a ‘COME BACK PARTY’ post, I decided to put the spotlight on a debut series I have had the privilege of getting a sneak peek into. Who loves…

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Well, if ya do or are at least intrigued, don’t go anywhere! I wanna tell you all about it! Or, as much as I can without Spoilers.

Jenna Moreci (that’s the nice author lady) lives in California where she is currently typing away and preparing all the behind the scenes goodies for her debut novel’s release. This is a woman of many talents ranging from the artistic to business,  a skillful, natural teacher, and–as many of you will come to know–a brilliant writer.

Stumbling upon Eve:

I had connected with Jenna awhile back. Instantly, her casual, comedic nature on social media caught my attention. With time, I picked up on news of her story, EVE: The Awakening. Fast forward a few months and Jenna’s YouTube videos were serving as research and entertainment during my writing process. Every Wednesday, a new video is released on her YouTube channel, giving viewers tips for writing, Q&A’s, personal stories about her and this writing journey, as well as news on her upcoming novel. On her website, you will find the first three chapters to EVE: The Awakening.

One evening, I had the privilege of receiving a few more chapters from EVE and well…I WAS HOOKED! I wanted, no…I needed more!

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But more on that later.

What’s EVE: The Awakening?

“Eve was an outcast. A Chimera. She wanted to start over; to escape her past and her secret. She thought it would be easy…that, for once, she would be safe. She was wrong.”

(Below is my personal synopsis from what I know of the story)

EVE: The Awakening is the first book in a young adult, Sci-fi series. Nineteen year old Evelyn “Eve” Kingston is ready to escape the only place she’s ever known for the chance to be viewed as normal. For once, not to be the outcast enduring repulsed glares from every passerby and all because they know who she is–what she is.

Eve is a Chimera. In the eyes of the world; a mutant. Events of her past bring this knowledge to the people of her hometown but outside of those city walls, Eve could be free. She could be like everyone else and the nation’s largest ranking and most widely acclaimed university–Billington–is her ticket to that freedom. Welcome to Billington University–Fall of 2087–where nothing is as it seems, and secrets lurk within the walls and gossiping tongues of the adolescent in this governmental establishment where young minds are given the best education this country has to offer. Dangers from her haunted past as well as current, unsettling events plague the once safe and impenetrable establishment, threatening Eve’s plan of anonymity. War is imminent but is the world focusing on the wrong enemy?

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Those Interloper bastards…they’re mocking us…

What’s not to love? 

First of all…MAN, was that hard to describe without spoiling anything! Kudos to authors who have to come up with their back-of-the-book synopses. *winks* <~~~you know who you are. Sorry, guys. Inside joke.

Upon reading the first quarter of the book, I knew instantly that this was one of those rare gems. The concept is fresh and unique. Sure, we’ve read about aliens. We’ve read tons of different variations, but my friends…I assure you, not like this. Jenna has a rare and natural talent of giving the reader a balance between dark memories, lighthearted interactions, hilarious dialogue, while seamlessly slapping you with PLOT TWISTS, tossing in sneaky spoonfuls of vital background story along with keeping a great pace that wets your appetite for more. A mouthful, I know! She’s a cyborg! She must be, because she’s that good.

There’s so much to love about this story!

1. Aliens. Big, scary, creeptastic aliens that can FLY (what?), with sharp teeth the length of your entire frame.

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Yeah. You should totally check out those first three free chapters.

Now, are you like me, wondering if you’re mispronouncing “Chimera”? Because I’ll just confess now: I was totally butchering it. Luckily, Jenna anticipated this and included a nifty little feature on her website! At the bottom of the sample pages within each chapter, she includes exclusive behind-the-scenes commentaries on Vine videos. One of them being the proper pronunciation of “Chimera”. Click the image for the Vine and then come right back…Oh, it’s okay, I can wait. I won’t continue without you… *elevator music*

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2. Humanovus–humans who have evolved and are…well, better than everyone else. This, of course, bruises everyone’s ego, thus giving us outcast Chimeras. And the smooth stylings of MAGIC!’s “Rude” comes to mind.

“Why you gotta be so rude. Don’t you know I’m human, too…”

Anywho, I digress.

3. Girls you love to hate. *le sigh* Well, you gotta love the whole aliens vs. humans vs. advanced humans concept, ’cause, I mean, how could it get better than that, right? Well, it does! Throw in a collegiate campus and BAM! The playground is limitless. If there be college, then there be students. If there be students, then we most definitely will find ourselves a few people we will love to hate. And, OH! Are there people you will love and not love to hate. One in particular, I like to refer to her as the spawn of Regina George (Mean Girls) meets Elle Woods’ (Legally Blonde) evil doppelganger. Yeah, that sounds about right.

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4. Humor meets Tragedy. I mentioned when complimenting this author’s awesomeness above but may I elaborate? Of course, I can! It’s my blog, dammit. *wink* As I was saying. The nature of our main character’s past, present, and subconscious are tragic and at times very dark. Our heroine has been through the ringer and it just doesn’t seem to get any easier with time. Yet, with the haunting horrors plaguing our MC (main character), her every day interactions provide some hilarious material. Even Eve’s–our heroine–snarky wit and sarcasm play for some great comedic relief. As more characters are introduced, we’re provided with new colorful personalities and backgrounds, bringing some much needed diversity we don’t usually see in fiction these days.

5. Swoon-worthy male lead. Hello, Jason A. Valentine.

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There is something refreshing about Jason. He’s not your cookie cutter male lead. He’s the son of a Senator, attending the prestigious university people with power, money or intelligence would find themselves. Now, if you think you know his story, or how this is going to play out…nope, you’re so wrong. Yep, I’m sure. Jason is warm, caring, and carries an internal strength that aids those closest to him. I’m only starting to get to know him but I’m already swooning and wanting more.

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And that folks is just some of the things to love about this debut Sci-fi novel! In preparation for EVE’s, shall we say, ‘coming out party’, Jenna has tons of fun goodies in store for us readers. In the next few weeks, look forward to quizzes, her book cover reveal, and giveaways!

This week’s giveaway is–get this–the opportunity to become a character in an author’s book! Wait, there’s more! And you will be–fictionally–killed off in a wonderfully, gory and bloody manner! 

Who wants to die in my next sci-fi novel?
Enter for a chance to win a gory, bloody, and completely fictional demise in my sequel to EVE: THE AWAKENING. One lucky winner will kick the bucket–but all entrants will receive a gift from me! Watch this quick video for all the details and tips on how to improve your odds of winning! (yes, you may click the image below for all that goodness) 

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Alas, I leave you with enough, I believe, to peak your interest. Hey you…yeah you! Are you one of the ones grumbling, “Eh. I’m not really a sci-fi genre fan.” Totally get where you’re coming from. I like Sci-fi but personally, it hasn’t always been my top pick genre. Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, or Contemporary (romance) are my usual go-to.

One of the things I love about this story is that is doesn’t take place in a galaxy far, far away–though that is pretty sweet, too. Here, we have all the juicy, fun, adventurous staples that we love about Sci-fi, tossed together with a fresh faced freshman’s college experience. I love that the setting gives me an instant connection, making it plausible as the reader to believe I’m living this right alongside Eve. The character dynamics are fun and there’s no shortage of twists and turns to keep you turning them pages like an addict.

“Just one more chapter,” I said. “I’ll go to sleep after this last page,” I said.

Oh, the naive ramblings of a booknerd engrossed in a hella good story.

Thank you for stopping by today. Eve: The Awakening is set to release within the next few months. Details on when will be revealed soon. In the meantime, enjoy the first three chapters for free on her website! And remember to check out the cool, behind-the-scenes Vine videos at the end of each page. Keep yourself up-to-date (like all the ‘cool’ kids) on all things EVE by following Jenna at all the links below.

Author Bio:

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Jenna Moreci is a sci-fi writer, vlogger extraordinaire, nerd-incognito, and self-proclaimed badass. A bona fide Renaissance woman, Jenna crunched numbers in the fast-paced, male-dominated world of finance as a stockbroker while simultaneously working as an internationally published commercial and beauty model. Naturally, she has decided to flush all of that crap down the toilet in order to pursue a career writing about aliens. Some of Jenna’s other talents include prolific cursing, spilling/dropping things, being asthmatic, accidentally making people cry, and drawing.

Follow Jenna on social media! She’s freaking hilarious.

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/jennamoreci

FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/authorjennamoreci

TUMBLR: http://jennamoreci.tumblr.com

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December Expectations: Books, Authors, Writing, Oh my!

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Pfft! Yeah, about that…I have NOT been keeping calm. Can we take a brief moment to talk about this? Where the HELL did the year go? We ate turkey? We dressed in costumes and trusted strangers to gives us candy? We went to the beach and swam in oceans and swimming pools? Because, I don’t even remember Summer coming and going! *hyperventilates* 

Welp, apparently, it’s December, the last month of the year. The month of my favorite time of the year. The month of my birthday, and the month we gather worldwide and say farewell to another year. All good things, right? Yeah, I’m feeling more the bah-humbug vibe right now but I am working on adjusting that a little each day. It’s either embrace the crap out of this or wallow and miss another time gone by. I choose the former.

With that said, I wanted to give you all a quick update of things to come before the year’s end! Like I said, I’m intentionally resurrecting this poor neglected blog. The past three months have been a whirlwind of circumstance and emotions but I’m taking the reins. I’m stirring this ship, dammit! I’M THE CAPTAIN! *clears throat* *composes self and smiles*

WHAT’S TO COME THIS GLORIOUS MONTH? 

I am so glad you asked. To put it simply; books, authors and writing, OH MY!

Books:

In the recent months, I have been on a New Adult contemporary binge. I had placed most of my YA TBR recipients on hold and took to my Kindle for some fun, coming of age, collegiate located drama of epic proportions. Ok, that’s a bit much but yeah, I was just in the mood for contemporary and when that is so, I prefer NA to YA contemporary–unless, you’re Stephanie Perkins. Then I’m always in the mood for her YA contemporaries.

For the month of December, I will be dusting off my YA TBR shelf, and delving back into a few stories I have been eagerly wanting to experience, ’cause reading, my friends…is an experience. Oh yeah….As you can tell, I’m delirious and been away from this blog a little too long. Don’t judge me. Just love me. *toothy smile* 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Book Talks about said books in the coming weeks. I want to shake off my writing hiatus and what better way than to WRITE ALL THE THINGS!

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Writing: 

Speaking of ‘writing all the things’, I plan on…WRITING THINGS! You all have ‘heard’ me speak excessively, like a pansy about this new work in progress (WIP) story I’ve been plotting these last couple months. In my writing hiatus, this was one of the reasons I had crawled into my little hermit habitat. I also, (on a personal note) had been attempting to be that thing big people do. What? Oh, you know–be an adult. I was attempting to get some things in order before the new year but alas, life had other plans. Now, I have decided that I can no longer allow other circumstances to keep me from writing. Ever. Again.

I was chatting with a writer friend and she helped give me some perspective as well as a swift kick in the ass. This is what I want to do. Finally, I have found the courage to pursue this and let the world know it instead of keeping my writings to myself, never eluding to a soul that I write as solace, therapy, entertainment, etc.

I have currently two stories now available. One has been written and is off getting revision notes. The second, I will be starting today. After that, my first book project still has a sequel to be written and in my little vault of mindless treasures lie other story ideas. I have stories to tell. I have characters that I’m eager for you all to love. This is my passion, my home.

Alright, enough with the mushiness. All that to say; I WILL START DRAFTING MY SECOND BOOK PROJECT TODAY!

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In addition to all the bookish goodness, I’m sure I will be sharing with you all the fun, stressful, joys and woes of this drafting process. I have developed some awesome connections with some pretty cool peoples. It’s crazy looking back over a year ago when I first began this process with my first book project, feeling so lost and alone during it all. My sanity was in tact (sometimes) thankfully because of my long distance best friend who rode the wave with me the entire way. “I love you, Therlee”.

I’m thankful for the few I have today who have been doing this, are going through this, and/or are also just lovers of words. Thanks to all of you for your support, your honestly, and shared enthusiasm of these beloved characters whom I love.

Authors: 

Lastly, be ready to see a couple posts highlighting a debut author whose current novel I have had the privilege of getting a sneak peek into. Let me tell y’all…IT’S SO GOOD! I’ll be telling you guys (and gals, in case that offends anyone) all about it very soon!

That is all for this quick update! And now, off to WRITE THE THING! Wish me luck. I’m excited about this new story. It’s a Post-war/Supernatural following our heroine through her dark past and current struggles to survive and keep her humanity. When the world pulls you one way but your heart another, how do you respond?

We shall see. *wink* 

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Happy Holidays and all that Jazz!

The End of 2014 is Nigh…What Have I Been Up To?

Hello fellow bloggers, readers, friends and such! How have y’all been?!?! I’m alive. I’m still here. I’m a disgrace to this poor neglected blog of mine. It’s been what feels like forever. What’s been going on these last few months, some may ask? (While, most, I’m sure could care less). ;)

September came and went. I got to visit the bestie in Missouri, get my first tattoo, get away, and it was wonderful. The time went by too quickly and coming back home was…well, interesting. Ah, you could run and press ‘pause’ on life all you want, but once you return, all you left behind is still waiting for you. That is what happened to me. I left, needing time away and needing a dose of my best friend–desperately. Those six days were wonderful, especially with the weather being PERFECT for my visit. Coming home took some adjustment.  I have been eager and ready for change. Moving to another state (whether that be California or not) isn’t going to happen anytime soon, unfortunately. Finances are just not there yet.

October:

My sister from another mother –Vane– motivated me to take on a crazy new venture. With all my fun health issues, it has always been a struggle to get fit. Being that the end of the year didn’t turn out to look as I had planned it to, I decided to not be bummed out about that and take advantage of this time.

Vane and I at concert

Vane and I began for the month of October to get crazy committed to getting fit and healthy. We began going daily to the gym to do cardio and weight/strength training. It was crazy at first, getting adjusted and used to going every damn day to beat my body up, but it’s been worth it!

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Nike twins!

Another cool event happened this month. I got a hair and makeup gig for a band who were launching their project during a weekend concert in Downtown art district. Caro Marrelli launched, The WARSHIP Experience. It was two full days and though I was EXHAUSTED by the end of it, it was a great experience and truly, a fun time!

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November:

HAPPY GOBBLE GOBBLE DAY! 

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November kind of sneaked up and bit us in the ass! For the first time since I could remember, we did not have a decorated house and Christmas tree for Thanksgiving. That  NEVER happens, but we truly were not prepared for how fast this year blinked by. Thanksgiving day felt surreal, but at least we had a great time. Hope you all did too! A cousin in the family lives at a ranch. We all went and had an outdoor Thanksgiving. The weather was absolutely beautiful! Perfect, which is rare for South Florida. I got to reunite with my ha-mazing niece and nephew, which is always a plus. Later that night, we had a BONFIRE! We toasted some marshmallows, watched the embers dance in the sky, snuggled up in the cool weather and all that jazz.

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My gorgeous mother and me on our way to Gobble Gobble dinner

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Samantha caught Mr. Moon!

What’s left of the year? DECEMBER:

Oh boy, oh boy. I can’t believe the end of this year is a month away. Tomorrow is December 1st. YIKES! I’m so not ready for 2015 but ready or not, here it comes. What else comes with this crazy month, other than Christmas (my favorite time of the year) is my birthday. Yet, another thing I am NOT ready for. To turn another year older.

I’m sure I’ll write a “fun” retrospective post nearing the end of the year so I won’t divulge any of that now but it’s been an interesting year. I’ve had my ups and I’ve had my downs. A definite “up” was writing my first book and completing that draft! She (my manuscript)  is still currently visiting the freelance editor I’ve told you all about which is fine by me cause frankly, I don’t think I’m mentally or emotionally prepared to experience my first REVISIONS process. It’s gonna be quite an adventure, I’m sure.

Writing:

In the meantime, I am taking Julie’s advice (freelance editor) and focusing on writing a new story. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you may know how I was freaking out about this new story. I felt as though I was cheating on my previous story and characters by focusing on this new one. With further psycho-analyzing, I realized the real reason why I’ve been avoiding drafting this new story. I’ve been intimidated by this new story. It’s much darker than anything I thought I’d write and the genre is Post-war/Supernatural. Supernatural being a genre I never saw myself writing. I am excited about the challenge though. A fellow writer friend (Jenna Moreci, author of EVE: Awakening), has been a great motivator! She’s provoked me to get off my procrastinating ass and get back to writing which I’ve missed. Luckily, when I was visiting le bestie in Missouri, I plotted out the entire story. It’s ready for drafting…Yikes and Yay.

Welp! That’s all for now! Feels good to be back! Hope everyone’s holiday was great, full of laughs and love! Here comes December! Let’s end this year with a bang! Enjoy every minute and welcome 2015 with fireworks, laughs, and more joy than 2014 may or may not have shown us. :)

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Plot Kills.

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In James Scott Bell’s ‘Plot & Structure‘, chapter one asks,

“What is plot, anyway?”

1. A small piece of ground, generally used for burying dead people, including writers.

Get it? Because, plot kills…right? *crickets* Ba-dum-tssss!

Pun aside, if you’re a writer, I would–as well as many other authors–recommend this book.

Plot and Structure

Remember when I told all of you about writing my second book? How in the last few weeks I’ve been struggling, holding back due to feelings of adultery against my first book? Yesterday, I went over all my notes and was trying to figure out all the details. I felt stuck but not in a way I was familiar with. After reviewing my notes, I noticed something. I had ALL this back story, worldbuilding, character profiles. It looked like I had A LOT of information to build my story. Page and pages. Compared to my first book, this new story has more back story on my world and characters. So why was I stuck? Why couldn’t I beat sheet these scenes?

Then an epiphany.

Crap! I have no story. I have no PLOT! Without it, my story was dead.

I had heard authors vent about not having Plot and it being the killer of their current story. I got it in theory but didn’t fully understand what they meant. Why? Well, in my first book, I had the Plot. What I needed was to fill in the rest around it.

Last year, I went to a Lauren Oliver (author of the Delirium series, Panic and recently released, Rooms) Writer’s Workshop. It was fantastic! She was a great teacher. I still have her notes with me every time I’m writing. I glanced over and a line caught my attention.

PUT CONFLICT IN CONCEPT (PLOT)

Dystopians put concept in main conflict. Realistic fiction can have conflict in landscape of concept. i.e. “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Light. Bulb.

My first story is dystopian. Makes sense that within dystopian tales, the first thing that comes to mind is the conflict in society where a governing system manipulates a people group into a forced way of false paradise living. The hard part then is to fill in the rest. Build your characters, their world, the concept around the main conflict – plot.

This time around, I had the concept of characters and the world but no conflict. I had NO idea who their enemy was. What was their central struggle? What was the POINT of the story?

I had been mulling over this idea for weeks and though yes, new ideas about my characters and their world came here and there, inspiring, I still had no story. I had stuff, but no story. Once I finally came to this realization, I was able to move forward. I put everything down and asked myself the questions.

One, I asked myself again, what does my MC want? Interesting enough, that ‘want’ changed or evolved since I first jotted one down. Thank you back story. See? It wasn’t for nothing. Then I dissected that more. Once that was done, I started brainstorming about the overall themes and the personal themes in this new story. Eureka hit and I had PLOT! *shoots confetti canons* I had a story!

Taking all I had, I constructed a beat sheet. The “beat sheet” is a way to sequence your story, using bullets instead of whole sentences or paragraphs. When those bullet points become sentences and paragraphs, you’ve got an “outline” on your hands. Once I had my general Plot, I began to bullet point scenes from beginning to end . This helps you see holes in your story. It’s been a wonderful and different approach to building my story before the drafting process this time around.

Here’s a great article on “The Beat Sheet”

http://storyfix.com/beat-sheet-basics-101-plus

So if during your writing process, you find yourself stuck, take a moment to pause. The culprit might just be that dreaded and equally brilliant, PLOT. Go back to the beginning.

“What does my protagonist want?” “Why does he/she want that?” Then analyze your world. Compare the themes of your world with the personal themes of your characters. “What is your character’s main goal? Then what would be their main conflict?”

The creative juices will begin to flow and next thing you know, “Boom Baby!” You’re one step closer to drafting your book.

Till next time, folks! Happy writing and reading!

 

Am I Cheating On My First Book While Writing A Second?

Hello friends, new and old alike.

The weeks leading up to this weekend have been exciting and busy. My wonderful and brilliant Momma surprised me with a 6-day vacation to Missouri to visit my best friend! We hadn’t seen each other in over a year and a half and I myself have not traveled since returning from Kansas City almost 4 years ago.

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Currently, I am sitting across my best friend at Starbucks and having a writing session. We’re both updating our blogs, and I’m here today, taking a moment to discuss the other thing that’s been taking up my time these past couple of weeks.

After finishing the draft to the dystopian book I’ve been working on, I had it sent off to the freelance editor I’ve told you all about. She still has my manuscript and is tearing it apart I’m sure with tons of red marks and notes. *gulp* When asking for any feedback on my story’s potential, she emailed me back expressing her honest opinion of the industry’s hesitation on dystopian stories at the moment. Between the ‘Hunger Games’, ‘Divergents’, and ‘Maze Runners’ of the world, the publishing market is taking a break from enthusiastically accepting more from the genre. She suggested that during the Revision process with my Dystopian Manuscript, I may want to work on another manuscript of a different genre so that when the query process begins, I have another options to present.

At first, the thought of starting from scratch, beginning the research process, plotting, outlining, etc, all over again sounded daunting. I just spent the last year going through an emotional rollercoaster. My characters and I have been through one hell of a journey and now, I’m considering doing that all over again? I haven’t even properly recovered from the last experience. I’m still reeling from it all. I can’t even fathom the new emotional wave that will tsunami over me when I get her edits from my current story.

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I know it will be difficult reading through her suggestions and criticism. It’s all for the benefit of my story but it’s hard to separate your ‘hurt’ feelings from the bigger picture. Let’s face it, there will be ‘hurt’ feelings. I may pout, cry, and have a ridiculous moment of wanting to give up this crazy venture called, ‘writing a book’. It’s never easy hearing/reading suggestions/criticisms though 9 out of 10 times, they will benefit the overall outcome of your story, making you a better writer. Discouragement attacks and the negative voices start whispering in your ear again.

This will be my first Revision process with a book. Just like writing this draft unto completion was a year long learning experience, I know I will be going through a new level of learning experiences during Revision. I read her email about working on a new project after midnight. I was in bed about to close my eyes when I reached over ‘one last time’ to check my phone for any last call messages of the night. After reading her email, I was wide awake, staring at my ceiling thinking,

“What the hell am I going to write now?”

The idea seemed unfathomable. I couldn’t even think of a new concept I’d want to work on. I searched through the ‘NOTES’ app I have on my phone. There, I jot down any random ideas that come to me throughout the day, then I shelf them for later. I scrolled through all the random ideas I had written in the last year. It’s interesting how I don’t remember most of them. I read a few that night thinking, “I wrote that? Well, what happens next!?” I’d only write ideas/concepts and leave the rest hanging. I’m sure at the moment of the IDEA, I had more figured out.

Long story short, I had an idea. It actually involved combining three random story concepts. The next few days, I spent going back and forth on the ‘What If’ thoughts, slowly building the concept, and seeing all the possibilities. Then, I took a break for a few days. I needed to let my brain breathe. I came back to it the following week and the skeleton started filling out more. Then, it happened. I felt like I was cheating.

I admire authors who work on multiple books at the same time. Most probably don’t have a choice because they’re on a deadline and are required to provide a new best-seller in less than a year’s time. I mean, guys, I have spent the last year falling in love with my characters. I have spent the last year getting invested in their world and problems. I laughed when they laughed. I cried when they cried. I gasped when their antagonist showed up when even I wasn’t expecting it, to ruin my MC’s plans. How dare they? *I wave my fist at them*

Though I’ve finished writing this first draft, I am in no means finished with their story. I have another book to write concluding their journey. Now, I am awkward dating, barely being introduced to these new set of characters. I’m walking in the dark, my hands spread out before me, feeling my way around. Every so often, a small twinkle of light will illuminate a path, unveiling a little bit more of the story.

It feels weird, y’all. I miss my first MC’s who I am not finished with. I feel like I’m sneaking behind their backs, getting to know a new set of people. Granted, once I get my editor’s notes back from the first manuscript, there will be A LOT of work to be done. It’s not like I won’t still be working on my peoples.

The first manuscript writing process taught me A LOT. When I began writing that book, I had NO idea what I was doing. I had an concept but no idea that there were rules. You’re not just jumping in and putting words on a paper that somehow display a story. The publishing world expects certain things anywhere from how you format it on a document to the breakdown of your story from beginning to end.

Going into this new concept and draft, I feel more confident in preparing and putting together the concept. Where I am having trouble is with filling out the IDEA skeleton and I think I know why. I’m holding back, not giving it my all because one, I’m intimidated by the process of starting over again and two…because I feel like I’m cheating on my first MC’s and their story.

I’m not ‘supposed’ to fall in love with new people and their world or story. That’s what my nonsensical mind keeps saying but that’s ridiculous, I know. This story deserves a chance. These characters deserve to be heard. They have a story to tell.

I should take advantage of this time since I can’t move forward with my first story until I get those editing notes back. This is a prime time to delve into a new concept. I need to open my heart to fall for these new characters. I need to breathe life into them.

Today, I will be doing just that. I will keep my first story on the shelf and open this new one. In the end, what makes for a better writer? Writing and writing and writing some more. I believe, by working on this new concept, which is stretching my comfort zones, I am improving my skills and expanding on my creativity. By doing so, this can only help my other stories to come. Even the first concept. When it comes back from edits, stepping away from it for a time and then coming back to it, will only benefit it.

So that’s where I’m at.

Currently, I’m on vacation and it has been a blast. Sad that the days are dwindling but it’s been great catching up with my best friend and this town I once lived in for three years.

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But even on vacation, writing is a part of my life. Reading and Writing do not cease because I’m on vacation. They are a part of who I am.

Side Note:

I apologize for the lack of consistency on the blog. I hope to get back to posting more when I return home from this vaca. I have some Book Talks lined up and I’m sure much will come about during this new writing process. I will share all the the ‘specialness’ with you all soon. Happy reading, and writing!

The Liebster Award Tag and Q and A

Today, (Pfft…by the time I FINALLY finished this post, ‘today’ turned into, ‘last week’) I was informed that I was tagged. My newbie to the blog-o-world bestie, Heather from Little Darling Diaries was tagged in The Liebster Award which welcomes and encourages “new bloggers” (with under 200 followers) to the blogging world.

The Liebster Award rules are: 

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1) Link and thank the person who nominated you.
2) Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you
3) Tag 11 bloggers who have 200 or less followers
4) Ask the 11 bloggers 11 questions, and let them know you nominated them!

Since I know how much you all LOVE to get tagged, I’m not gonna pass this on. But, I will answer her uniquely awesome eleven questions.  So, here are her questions and my answers!

1. If your house was on fire, what is the one item you would take with you?

Funny, I have thought about this many times and my answer changes every time. This is hard when you think of EVERYTHING in your house, frivolous and necessary alike. What in the world would be the one thing I have to take with me? Do I go the practical route? Do I take the ridiculous to others but cherished by me item?  Now, the question says ‘item’, so we can safely assume that I would obviously grab my loved ones first.

Sadly, I am not the Hulk. If I were, I’d lift with my bare hands my entire bookshelf and run out with all my babies, I mean, books. I might still frantically open my window before grabbing my ‘one’ item and toss out all my babies–BOOKS, to keep them safe from the big, bad fire.

Can you tell, I’m not clear on my one item yet? I’m rambling. Typical Des. I guess, I’d grab my laptop bag (with laptop and charger inside). Why? Because my manuscript is in there–my other baby. My book research, images, plotting, outline notes are all in there and to me, that is extremely valuable.

2. If you could travel through time, past or future, what time would you take a pit stop in?

Since it is only a pit stop and not a permanent habitation, I’d visit the Regency era in all it’s actual glory. I am a passionate Janeite. I love all things Jane Austen and period drama eras. A dream I’ve always had since I was a little girl was to have the opportunity to visit a city that would live out these eras in the clothing, manners, activities, speech, etc. Once I learned of the yearly Jane Austen festival in England that does just that, it has been a determined bucket list item of mine. To live for a day or a small period of time where men like Captain Wentworth (Jane Austen’s Persuasion) grace the streets in their gallant, gentlemen-like manner, and women are ladies and I could parade around in those gorgeous dresses…I mean, yes. Beam me up, Scotty!

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3. Who is the one fictional character you would want to go on a date with?

Oof…this is almost an easy question. I have a top three in regards to book boyfriends. Heather’s question differed and asked if she could marry one fictional character who would it be, and I have to agree with her answer. Listen, I love Darcy. He’s absolutely wonderful but, I am first and foremost, a Captain Wentworth girl, through and through.

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He, of all Jane Austen’s leading men, has my heart. But, I’m not marrying someone in this question. I am simply being asked who I would go on a date with. My other book boyfriends are:

Number One:

Perry (Peregrine) from ‘Under the Never Sky’ by Veronica Rossi. I heart Perry so hard! He…he is just perfection for me. I struggle between him and my number two spot for book boyfriend. For a long time, number two was my number one. What I love about Perry is that he has all the qualities of number two that I love but is more attentive to someone’s emotions. He’s more loving and affectionate, not needing to be tough all the time.

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Number Two:

Tobias ‘Four ‘ Eaton of ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth. He and Tris worked so well together because of both of their hard, closed off natures. He didn’t comfort her or coddle her during her weepy moments and she was okay with that. She liked that. I couldn’t handle that, personally. I can be strong but when I’m having a moment, I need you to let me have it and hold me through it. Now, then again, when they were alone, he did show her those moments, so really, I’m torn.

I can not choose between Perry and Four…once again. So, my answer is….whoever says ‘Yes’ first. There. Done.

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Oh, and if you’re curious…

Number Three:

This Book Boyfriend spot is the Wild Card. Depending on what new series or book I’ve read, the newest swoon of my life usually gets placed in this spot. At the moment, this spot belongs to, Daemon Black of the LUX series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. He’s hot. He’s hilarious. He’s insufferable and you just want to kiss his face off!

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4. What is one issue of injustice you struggle with?

*ponders* Nope. Skipping this one…NEXT!

5. If you died tomorrow, what would your top 3 regrets be?

Wow. This is a raw question. This feels very personal but let’s see. Tomorrow’s my last breath. My top three regrets, I guess would be,

1. Not having experienced being madly in love and loved in that same manner in return.

For me, this is my number one desire to experience in this life. I remember during the promotional time of John Green’s best-selling adaptation, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, a question went out through the social sites that made me think. “What would you choose? Only getting to live a year with love or live a lifetime without it.” For me, after a slight pause, there was no doubt in my mind. I’d rather live only one more year on this earth but get to have Love than living a full ’80’years on earth without it.

2. Not fulfilling any of my dreams, i.e. becoming a published author. Life threw me in a direction that looking back, if I could choose differently, I would’ve. I would have done my 20’s all over again, completely different. So, even more so, I’m living for myself. I’m pursuing a passion and hoping it’s not too late.

3. Not having the opportunity to witness my loved ones (especially my Mom and big Bro) finally happy and not struggling in life. I won’t get into the details of that but I hope one day to find good fortune in life and career somehow to which I could help my family. I also want them both to find love. I would be sad not to be assured that they got that and will be more than okay in life.

If I really had time to think about it, perhaps my answers would be different but this is what comes to mind right now.

6. If there were no such thing as consequences, what is one thing you would want to do? (Keep it fairly PG-13)

Man. No consequences? I can’t even think of anything I’d be willing to do because my mind thinks automatically about the consequences. ha. Even robbing a bank, I’m thinking, “Sure, I won’t ever have to worry about the consequences, personally but other people will be affected by the money I took from them…”

(three days later, returns to finish this post…something came to mind-ha!)

oO! Oo! I got it! I got it!

I would kidnap a celebrity (Max Irons, or Theo James, or Chris Hemsworth–but he’s married so that feels wrong, or Jeremy Irvine) and make them (For the record, I’d only pick ONE guys-sheesh!) make them my love slave on a vacation spot away for a month! Done. Next question! haha.

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7. What is one thing you would want to change about the world? (It could be an event that happened in the past that set off a chain reaction of events)

There’s too many things, past, present and future. I think of events from the past that clearly, most people would be happy to wipe from our history but when you think of that good ol’ phrase, “Everything happens for a reason,” one must take into account how it has molded our present. How injustices from our past that were overcome, gave a certain frame of mind to many in society today who hold strongly to certain ideals and values because of these past events. Unfortunately, I believe human nature with or without these events would still make other selfish mistakes that would effect us now and our future generations. History also teaches us to learn from our mistakes. I have a couple cases in mind I would change but I don’t want to ensue a debate on the blog. Gosh, just thinking of examples…

I want there to be no foreign tensions.

I want there to be no hunger for anyone, especially children.

I want cures for diseases.

I want human trafficking not to exist. I want every participant who has taken, manipulated, abused and forced little girls and boys to become sexual objects, to get their privates slowly burned off and for them to rot in the least accommodating jail for all their days.

I want many things to change about our world. I couldn’t possibly pick one…Hmm…I want…world peace?

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8. What is your favorite form of entertainment? i.e. music, movies, etc…

First, BOOKS!

Second, Movies!

Third, Music!

9. What animal best expresses your personality?

A baby sloth?

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I mean…yeah. Makes sense. Moving on.

10. If you could be anything in this life, what would that be?

Oh man…really? That’s a HARD question…*scoffs* how many times have I said that in this post? Too many, I’m sure.

In a ‘perfect’ world, I would be a Broadway Music Theatre artist AND an author on the side. I’ve always wanted to pursue Musical Theatre. In it, I get to explore and enjoy three loves of my life–Acting, Singing and Dancing. And of course, I’ve always written. I’ve written plays, screenplays, and music for years. That would always be a part of me–storytelling.

11. If you had one more sentence to utter before leaving this world, what would it be?

“I left an inheritance of millions in the…” And I die. No, I kid. I promised the bestie I wouldn’t use that one. I had seen a meme that said something like that and I thought it was cruel and hilarious.

Man, Heather. What’s with all the thought-provoking questions, dang it?

One sentence. I’m not that deep. LOL. Okay. I’m gonna go for the cheese factor. If the love of my life were by my bedside or on the corner of some damaged, paved road during the apocalypse (assuming, I got shot or a zombie bit me)…I’d look them in the eye when I felt myself going, raise a hand to their cheek and say,

“I’ll always love you.”

Done.

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Holy Crapola! This post took me over a week to freaking write! Who knew, eleven silly (in Heather’s case, not so silly) questions would be so hard to answer. I think the case also lies with the fact that I’d be sharing these ‘thought-provoking’ answers with all of you. Extra pressure, ya know?

Well, there you have it! The Liebster Award Q & A. Hope you enjoy the ridiculousness that is me!

Till next time.