Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bunnicula - Reading Challenge

Don't forget to check out my giveaway!

For March's The Books that Made Me Love Reading Challenge, I read Bunnicula.  I haven't picked up this book since the fourth grade, and even then I was reading it for a challenge.  But I actually loved it so much, that I became determined to read the rest of the books in the challenge.  I must have holed-up in the backroom for ages.  When I finished my math early (and believe me, I finished early.  I was a math whiz even though I hated it), I was able to sit in my teacher's huge massive walk in closet with a blanket and read.  Talk about a Neverending Story kind of moment.  My childhood mind was delighted.

New Cover
What I thought then:
I always felt bad for the bunny, even though he did scare me a little bit.  Because Chester was right on some level - what if vegetables weren't enough for the little herbivore?  What if he decided he needed something more than tomatoes and carrots.

What I think now:
Old Cover
So steak versus stake didn't actually register with me when I was younger.  I thought Chester was actually trying to stake the bunny - but just wasn't strong enough. I almost cried when I was little because I was imagining the scene so horrid.  But now, I think it is hugely funny, because Chester makes the same steak vs stake mistake that I made all those years ago.  It's still a very cute story, but the cover has since gotten a lot more horrifying. 

I mean - just look at the new cover!  Giant bunny, horrible red eyes, huge shadow looming behind him.  He looks downright menacing.  The old cover, he looks cute, a little scary, but mostly cute.  And the new font!  The new font is enough to make my nine year old self crawl under the covers and cry.

Regardless, I still adore this book.  This was definitely a good March read.  April's read is going to be All the Money in the World by Bill Brittain.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life Update

Don't forget to check out my giveaway!

I was inspired by 1000th.monkey to do an update on just my life (and goals, I suppose).

My husband and I are gearing up for our Honeymoon! On April 21st, I know it is still awhile away, we will be leaving for a bit. Destination: Hawaii. I’m pretty excited about it. Neither my husband or I have ever been, and it is about time that we go on a proper vacation. We’ve saved for so long (we got married in July last year), just so that we could take this trip without worry about going into debt.

And it’s finally right around the corner!

In the meantime, we both really want to fix up our yard. We came to the conclusion that we can’t purchase chickens… And I wanted to own my own chickens – so much! But you have to have their coop 20’ away from your own house AND 35’ away from the neighbors. While I don’t think anyone would report us, we still don’t have enough proper room for them. Maybe someday, when we get a bigger yard…

We finally sat down and did our taxes – yay refund! Which is awesome since we’ll be able to fix the car and get new tires.

I got a new job. I’m now working as a Communications Editor. It is actually the perfect position for me. It is enough creative work that makes my mind move every day, and enough logical work that I am focused. I actually am in love with this position.  And something additional amazing?  My cohort at Adorning Schemes also got a position at the same company, different department!

In other news, we are planning a trip down to San Diego to visit a good friend and finally see the city. I’ve never been to any other major city in California, so I’m really excited to go urban-exploring. Also, we’re trying to plan a mini-vacation for my birthday (the 25th!  It's my "golden birthday"). We are thinking of just spending one night cozy-ed away in a hotel and seeing Charlie Brown Farms the next day (which is ridiculously kitschy, but should be really fun).

As far as writerly things go, I posted a recent update on that as well, but here's another one. Rioss passed the 50k mark. I’ve made a plan for myself, which seems easy enough. Once Rioss is done (compliments to WIP500 for helping me through this), I will edit at least a chapter a day of Ruhe, then Soul Therapy, then come back to Rioss. I’ll find beta readers for Ruhe, and then secondary readers as well. Same goes for Soul Therapy.

If anyone wants to volunteer. I’m not looking for you to “rate” my writing – but I am looking for honest and critical feedback. They are all YA stories, so if you aren’t interested in YA, you probably shouldn’t volunteer ;)

I know what 1000th.monkey is up to, but what about the rest of you? It is actually rare that I see updates from the blogs that I follow – and I’m curious to see how everyone else is doing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Unanswerable

Don't forget to check out my March Giveaway!  Ends March 31st!

A new excerpt from a new project The Unanswerable.  I really really need to stop coming up with new projects and focus on my old ones.  This may be the last excerpt from this for awhile, but hey, it's fun stuff.  Also, my idea for a cover is below as well.  Fun times :)  I love designing, it's a really good way to pass the time.

Here's a project update (you can look at my WIP bar on the left hand side too!):
  • Rioss - just passed the 43k mark.  Working towards 70k, then onto editing and possibly book two.  Though, I might pause on book two and go back to it a bit later.
  • Ruhe - I really need to finish editing this piece.  Someone kick me in the butt until I get this done, please?  This is on the back-burner, as I focus on Soul Therapy.
  • Soul Therapy - currently in two contests.  Waiting for the finalist announcement on Brenda Drake's blog, and waiting for the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest quarter finalist list.  Still need to do some serious editing here too, but it's still written.
  • The Unanswerable - new project, post-apocalyptic story.  See below for cover concept and an excerpt!  Just started the brainstorming process.  Possibly an adult novel.
  • Kingdom of Obsession - put on hold
  • Good Criminal Heart- put on hold
  • 2042 - put on hold

Dark clouds rolled across the sky in the abandoned town. The windows were boarded up in the small convenience store that we took shelter in, but the windows were shattered. It was going to be a long night.

Alisha came up behind me, running her fingers along my back. She nestled herself into the crook in my shoulder. “What’s going to happen?”

I sighed and looked at her. Her eyes refracted the darkness of the sky, I could see the clouds rolling over her eyes. A lightning bolt shot down from the sky in the direction we had come from. We had gotten out just in time. Thunder shook the air and a cold gust of wind picked up.

“We go inside, for now. We wait.” I turned and walked in the door. We had found a lot of supplies from an Army Surplus store only a few blocks away. Most people had taken all they could carry. We were probably the last of the crowd heading south. We hadn’t seen anyone yet, but since there were no cars and no food left, we had to assume we weren’t the only survivors.

She shut the door and locked the latch. The whole place smelled of rotten wood. The whole town was like this, but the convenience store had the most solid roof. We weren’t far from the city, far from the explosions. That’s why almost everything was destroyed. Everything had collapsed.

Alisha settled down on her sleeping bag and hugged her knees, burying her face in her hands. She sobbed slightly. I squeezed my eyes shut. If I ignored her for long enough, she would get over it. She would come out of it.

But as another wave of thunder ran over us, shaking the whole building, her wailing only increased. I sighed. Verity would have my head if she knew I was letting a girl cry like this. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t… for her.

I sat down next to Alisha, and she immediately curled her body into mine. As tears rolled down her face, the rain started to pound the side of the store. Little sprays of water got inside the cracks in the boarded up windows and shot onto the floor.

“I just can’t believe they are all gone… my mum…” I didn’t want her to continue. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted to grieve just as much as Alisha did, but we had to get out, we had to survive. I couldn’t stop to think about her, not yet. “My dad, Adam…” She took several shaky breaths before letting another wave of hysteria creep into her. She shook and pounded on my chest with her fist. “Why us? Why me? Why you? Why now?!”

I grabbed her wrists and pulled her face close to mine. I could smell the salt of her tears, I could taste the cherry gloss that she had applied to her lips. “Stop asking. It is us, it is me and you, and there is no other reason. You understand?”

She nodded a little, her dark brown hair fell into her face. She sat up and looked down at the floor, refusing to look at me again. I leaned my head against the wall with a thud.

“I don’t want to blame you, Alisha… but I do.” I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to look at her, because I needed to say this. I needed to tell her otherwise it was going to eat me up. “If I didn’t help you… I might have been able-“

Her hand touched my cheek. I opened my eyes, and she was an inch from my face. “I’m sorry, Matthew. I’m so so sorry.” Tears welled in the corner of her eyes. “I was so scared… and…” She sat back on her heels. “I’m grateful you did. I don’t mean to seem like I’m not. I’m still scared.” She shook her head.

I took her hand and grit my teeth. It was easier than crying, to feel my teeth pressed so hard against each other that they might shatter out of my skull. I loosened my jaw for a moment and said, “It’s us now, okay? It’s just us, and we both have to learn to live with that. No more whys. I can’t deal with any more whys.”