Friday, December 9, 2011

Can We Guess Your Character's Age Contest Entry

Brenda Drake is holding another awesome blogfest contest.  With your comment below, remember to try to guess my character's age as well!

I'm still unsure of this as a beginning -- the first chapter always seems to be the hardest for me.  Though I think it is "getting there."  Any comments/helpful insights would be very welcomed :)  I always love constructive feedback!
           My father dropped the last bag with a huff and looked over the long winding sidewalk up to the main set of brownstones xxxxxxxxx.  "Are you sure you don't want us to come in with you?"
            I shook my head.
            My mother arched her eyebrow.  She looked at the measly two bags that I had packed.  "We could come back with more of your stuff, you know.  It's not a far drive."
            I shook my head.  I didn't want anything else.  Everything that had been left at home was there for a reason.  The old jacket from Ched, the worn out skirt that was too small that had been to one too many parties... everything was a reminder of who I used to be.  This was a fresh start, or it was supposed to be.  Though, I didn't know how much of a fresh start I could get here.
            My mother wrapped her arms around me and held me in a hug for a little too long.  I was used to this, after everything I had put them through.  I patted her on the shoulder, attempting to let my thoughts cross into her head.  It would be fine, I wanted to convince her.
            My father hugged me for just a moment before he pulled away and took a hesitant step toward the car.  "We should at least bring your bags up, kiddo.  What if they start asking too many questions?"
            I held up the pad of paper and tried to smile convincingly. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Soul Therapy Excerpt

            She shed her clothes in the hallways, after making sure that no one else was home.  Steam from the hot water of the bath slowly circled, filling the room.  She eased her breathing and pressed down on her legs.  They were still shaking furiously from the dream.  The icy feeling had stayed with her, even though the images of the thunderous sky overhead had long since disappeared.  A layer of ice formed on the window, cracked and spreading outward in fingerlike spindles.  Jess rested her fingertips on it as she waited.  It didn’t feel cold, but she did.  Her bones ached, her muscles were strained from the intense walk that she had felt.  It wasn’t real, but she felt it.  It was impossible, but it had happened.
            Her fingers ruffled through her hair one more time.  Jess tried to convince herself that she wasn’t soaking wet, that it was all a dream.  The hollow feeling that had carved itself inside of her seemed unwilling to let go.  She tested the water with her toes, then slowly lowered herself in.  The heat prickled on her skin, almost scalding hot at first.  Jess curled up in the water, feeling it floating across her skin.  Her breathing steadied further as warmth spread through the rest of her body. 
            She closed her eyes, but for a moment too long and was back in the field, staring up at an angry, darkened sky.  She pried her eyes open and gasped.  The force of her breath knocked her back into reality.  Jess stared at the running water, her hazel eyes intense, wide.  She tested her eyes, blinking for moments too long and felt herself falling into the other reality, into the dream.  Jess stretched out her legs in front of her and turned the water off.  How long could she go without sleep?  

Slowly, I am getting better at editing.  I start to see the patterns in my own writing, and I try to pry them back.  Forcing my words, my sentences to be more open, fluid, and less repetitive.  This excites me, actually.  For once, I think the prospect of editing my work is fantastic.  Being able to recreate the flow, craft each sentence into being full and complete.  This particular descriptive passage I liked the first time around, but with one sweep of editing, I like it even more.  I still remain enthusiastic over this piece, and I hope I can find an agent out there that feels the same.

Winter Wishlist - Week One!

I am really excited to take part in Read Now Sleep Later's Winter Wishlist.

It is such a beautiful idea.  The first week is where you post the things that you would like - books and such to read.  The second week, you post things you would love to gift to other people.  The third week, you write about a non-profit for bookish things.  I think it's lovely, and since it is winter, and it is even cold where I live (it's almost never cold here), I figured this would be a great way to warm my bones.

The Books

Apparently, the holidays for me is a time to read really creeptastic books.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is a place where everyone can hear everyone's thoughts?  This is already caked in drama from the start, but then your main character starts getting pursued by trackers.  Oh great, now where could he possibly hide?

The Road - talk about your worst nightmare.  Trying to protect your son in a post apocalyptic world?  Horrendous.  I hear things about this book, snippets and pieces that always intrigue me... And I really want it.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - you had me at labyrinth and possibly murderous.  Possibly murderous?  Really?  "Possibly?"  This means I have to read it just to know if they are murderous or not, forget the rest of the plot line ;)

Carrier of the Mark - I have seen this book everywhere, I feel... except in the Los Angeles libraries.  (Really, Los Angeles?  Really?!)  I've seen so many posts about it, that I just have to read it.  And besides, I'm a sucker for supernatural romance.

As far as bookish things go, I'm not really in need of anything anymore - since I have a feeling that my husband has finally gotten sick of me using our flashlight as a book light.  ^_^

But after blog hopping and looking at the other lovelies things, I remembered the super awesome nerdiness that is book ends.  Specifically these book ends ( likes to squeeze every penny from my wallet... *sigh*):
If you would like to join in the fun, simply jump in below and visit the original blog (Read Now Sleep Later) for all the details!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Giveaway Winner & NaNo Reflections

Congratulations goes to:
I will be in touch on G+ for your address :)  The winner was chosen by

Thank you all for participating and following my blog.  I promise now that I am no longer suffering from bronchitis, I will have more time to update.  Like now!

I just finished NaNo.  This was my first attempt and a successful one at that.  It excites me, because my goal is to have three finished manuscripts (not polished, but finished) and three awesome query letters by the New Year.  Once the New Year hits and the agents have had a week or two to sift through their inboxes, I am going to send my query letters.

I have this feeling.  It's a lightness that I haven't felt in a long time.  I think most people call this "optimism," but I'm going to call it "success."  I feel like there is success ahead.  I know life is a roller coast, but I'm going to try to stay at the top as long as I possibly can.

NaNo has given me a nasty habit of wanting to write every night.  I say nasty because I could be spending time with my loving husband.  But in reality, I couldn't be happier with this new habit.  I wrote 1,100 yesterday, and although that is not close to the numbers that I reached during NaNo, it is still something.  It is still writing, and it was by choice.  I don't have a NaNo deadline hanging over my head.  This was my decision.  
I don't think I was this excited about writing and reading since fourth grade.

In fourth grade, I was only excited about it because my teacher had this awesome closet with some pillows in it.  If you finished your work early, like I always did (yes, I was a huge, tiny-faced overachiever), you could sit in there and read quietly.  I always snuck away whenever I could.

It's hard to imagine my bookwormy little self.  I had no self-confidence.  And thinking back on it, I didn't really need it.  My friends were all characters in those books that I read.  I was surrounded by mythical creatures, talking pigs, fake wars, vampire bunnies... you name it.

And when I think about the few human interactions that happened when I was younger, I start to see myself through another set of eyes.  The girl that hiccuped every time she stood in front of the class.  The girl that sat next to the same boy on the bus and never spoke.  The girl that chose to read news articles that dealt with questions and answers on how parents should raise their kids (e.g., if my son/daughter has an obsession with eating worms, what should I do?).  The girl that spent time in a closet and read by choice, by choice.  Yeah, that girl was weird.

And that girl brings you these words today.  There's nothing wrong with being a bookworm, there's nothing wrong with a love of writing.  There's also nothing wrong with a little social interaction every once and awhile.  ;)