Update: It’s Hump Day

Hello fellow readers, writers, bloggers, bored web-surfing aficionados…

It’s HUMP DAY!

Mid-week has come along so quickly, there is hope for the weekend to come even more quickly. Now, the tricky thing about that is, the weekend then disappoints by coming and going just as fast or even faster…boo!

So it has been some time since I have blogged. The hunt for Red October…no, no, I mean the hunt for a new laptop is still underway with no ounce of success yet to be seen, hence all the writing delays; my blogs, my book (that one stings and punches my gut)

I decided to do an update this fine Wednesday afternoon. It’s been an eventful two weeks, I will say that, but before I can continue…I need COFFEE! Um momento…

*runs to kitchen to prep homemade version of a pumpkin pie spiced latte*

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Ah, yes…all is well in the world again… *sips coffee*

So today’s blog will make more sense to probably frequent readers. It will be an update of things that have happened recently in life. (all still relevant to reading, writing, ect…)

UPDATE #1

(Let’s get the personal things out of the way first)

Yesterday was a year since my other brother suddenly passed away. The family got together to eat, sing some songs, remember, and celebrate his life.

I was dreading yesterday to say the least. I have been baffled by the black hole that has sucked up time and caused it to go by in unfathomable speeds. A year makes no sense. How has a whole year of my life already gone by? This event seemed like it happened mere months ago. All in all, it went really well. We all held up well. They had my 14 year old niece and I play some songs on guitar. We all ate, we sang, we conquered the dreaded day.

Death of a loved one, most definitely stays with you. I’m learning more and more each day that it may very well always be with me in some degree.

UPDATE #2

Writing Process

Yes, I am still whining like a child who wants and believes she “needs” her lollipop. This whole, not having my own computer thing has put me in a sort of funk. My mother’s office computer has been what’s helped provide these random blog posts recently but is not the most convenient, for many different reasons which I will not list off right now.

This is why writing has not been taking off as much or as fast as my mind is racing with ideas, scenes and dialogue. I am grateful to be a writer in this era than in the era of pen and paper though. I absolutely love the simplistic forms of the days of old, don’t get me wrong. My bestie and I own feathered pens, actual ink to dip and wax seals on parchment paper. We write letters to one another and snail mail them. Nothing like receiving letters and goodies in the mail!

Well, unfortunately I wouldn’t last in such a writer’s era due to my carpal tunnel in both wrists that flare up from time to time.

I am excited about some new plot developmental ideas that have recently sprung up. Cant wait to toss them in there and see how the story slightly shifts and evolves. I see the brilliance of first drafts and revision.

UPDATE #3

I had coffee with an author! And she is from my absolute favorite and dream publishing house!

I don’t know if they would appreciate me name dropping them publicly here so I will not release their name in case.

I remembered recently that a certain author who writes YA fiction and is well known (one of her novels was turned into a motion picture that everyone knows at the mention of it’s name) lives in my town. My niece and her daughter were in a theatre production together which I went to see. I decided to take a leap and make a bold move. You never know unless you try and ask, right? So I found her email, wrote her and asked if she’d be willing to meet for coffee.

I nervously checked my email and refreshed it a million times the first few days. Almost two weeks later, I kinda chucked it up as, “hey, at least you took the chance to ask”

Then…it came. I had mail! She wrote back and even better, she was willing to meet me! I was so excited.

We met the end of last week. She was so nice! I loved and appreciated her honesty. She provided me with such amazing information, I am still processing it all. I am very grateful to her for all her help and guidance.

Through that meeting I was able to get connected with my very first WRITING CRITIQUE GROUP! (beta-readers!)

This makes me very nervous and excited! They only accept members who are serious about publication. They will be, as a group, reading my first draft pages… *gulp*

I’ll be attending my first critique meeting the first Monday of October which is in another week and a half! These little advancements remind me how real this all is and could be; writing a novel and pursuing it for the possibility of being able to one day soon, share it with others. So I’m sure you all will be hearing monthly from me on how those go.

Side Note: How embarrassing! Before the novel writing venture began, all I ever knew was writing for screenplays and theatrical skits and plays. I had never written a novel before so being completely new to this, I did not even know the most basic rules to formatting a novel. I showed her some sample chapters to just read through and let me know in time if it’s just terrible and I should chuck this dream in the air.

I appreciate her honesty to tell me without shame that the least I could do to make my manuscript look better is…

Double-space everything and indentation for new paragraphs and dialogue

Yea…I had everything single-spaced and random points and paragraphs indented with space between them…wow…when I got home, I opened my manuscript, transferred it from Celtx to Word and did those two small adjustments…Oh dear…they were not small at all!

What a difference. I was tempted to immediately email her the same sample chapters I gave her but in the less eye-sore version for her to stomach. My friend told me not to, that it was fine. So I lifted my pointer finger from the mouse’s clicker, and backed away from the send button.

UPDATE #4

Reading

What am I reading this week?

Well, I am finally taking a dive into the C.J. Redwine world (her brain) and soaking up DEFIANCE!

DEFIANCE

I must say, I have been very excited to read this book! I had watched an author interview (Live Chat) through Epic Reads (of course) last month and was introduced for the first time to C.J. Redwine and her book series. Being fairly new to YA literature still, I am catching up here on known authors and books. I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVED. HER! Even more so, after the interview chat, I read a blog she posted for Epic Reads. It was 10 things you may not know about her. I was peeing on myself laughing so hard, cradled on the floor. I knew right then and there, with that personality, I HAD to read her book. I purchased it but had to wait. I had a couple books in line before this one.

Side Note: Doesn’t Rachel look B.A. on that cover?

So finally, I started this book this week and am loving it! I love the storyline, I love the plot so far and if there is something I really appreciate from an author, is their ability to write character development well, especially when it comes to the two characters who are clearly the love interests here. Logan and Rachel’s slow but tense relational development is amazing! No INSTA-LOVE here which I whole-heartedly appreciate.

Today I just found out, that this series is a trilogy! I knew there was a second book after this one (Deception) but I did not know there was a third! Very exciting. I will review on it more when I finish it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

“While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.”

UPDATE #5

Banned Book Week

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This week is Banned Book Week.

There are different and interesting emotions tied to this week. So as I wrote previously, this topic became heated when a group of parents fought and got a book banned in an entire county.

Eleanor & Park.

That’s a heavy reality. They got a young adult fiction novel…banned.

This weekend I played “Mommy” for my niece and nephew while my sister and her husband went away for the weekend to a marriage couple retreat. Samantha (my 14 year old niece) told me she read the sample chapters of Eleanor & Park. Her mom then read them too and decided this was not a book Samantha would be reading till later when she gets older, if she’s still interested.

I read the sample chapters. It was difficult to get through the first chapter. The reason is just due to personality differences. Sure, I let out the occasional swear word here and there but I’m not a huge sailor. My other bestie is from New York and has the NY vocab which means the F*Bomb is apart of every sentence structure. I laugh because my New York family who like in Florida are the same way, so I’m used to it but personally, I just never cared for the word or in-your-face crude sexual references. Again, it’s just my personality hence my preferences are different than others, which is okay. It’s the beauty of humans, we’re all different.

After reading the first couple of chapters, I understood my sister’s decision and agreed with her. I do not want my 14-year old niece reading this book yet. Not at this age. I’d re-visit the topic when she’s seventeen or eighteen. Here’s the thing also, my niece is one of those rare precious gems of her generation. She is wise beyond her years and is not into what typical teenagers her age are into. She loves the simplistic innocence of life, fangirling, animation, books and gaming. She is not sheltered or oblivious what-so-ever to the world around her, but just chooses to live her life according to her own personal convictions and not going along the much traveled tide.

Anyway, now that I have flattered my niece enough, (I admire her & love singing her praises) the best part of the decision made is that they (mother & daughter) discussed it together, hence causing Samantha to understand and accept her mother’s wishes to not read this book.

I will say, I am still curious about the story, because I am told it’s a sweet story that leaves a slight tear (slit) in your heart.

To reiterate, if you do not agree with a certain book in regard to your teen’s reading, discuss it together.

Banning books just leads to all sorts of negative outcomes. It makes you fear, “What’s next”? We’re banning fiction novels today, what’s up for banning tomorrow?

Looking at some of the banned books of the past, which some are now classic literature read in High School English classes, has to make people pause & wonder if this was the best course of action.

What book are you reading for Banned Book Week?

I am still currently finding one. My pockets are currently empty. I can’t buy new books yet but once I can, I will add a banned book to my list to read.

A cool reference Epic Reads made correlating with this week is Lauren Oliver’s Delirum book series. In the story, a dystopian society view love as disease and have even found a cure for it. Due to this development and new livelihood, books have been banned within the society, especially books encouraging, demonstrating the destructive, and emotionally unstable symptoms of “love”. Interesting huh? Check it out!

UPDATE #6

Last…

IT’S TEA TIME *BOOK SHIMMY* WEDNESDAY!

It’s Wednesday which means, at 3:45EST Epic Reads gals will be chatting live for Tea Time bookish nerdy talk. I’m sure they will be chatting about Banned Book Week. Also, there’s a giveaway during the chat of Mindy McGinnis’ Not A Drop to Drink YA book!

Crossing my fingers for a win. I would LOVE to get my hands on this story.

Well there you all go! My update from the last two weeks.

Hope everyone’s having a brilliant day!

<3, Des

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