Books Read in 2011

Tessa's books-read-2011 book montage

Clockwork Angel
The Hunger Games
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer


Books Read in 2011 »

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Image: http://www.crazythemes.com/
80 posts this year! And for only half a year. That's not too bad. A little over a hundred if I include the Bookaways blog, which hasn't been active lately because of my busyness. 

Like so many other bloggers, I'm taking the time off until January 1st. 2011. I have two kids to take care of and I'm going to use the spare time for revisions. 

My January 1st post will be special. I'll take an interview with Rachael Harrie, and we'll get a little more information on our little secret project, which will be revealed soon after. It's definitely something to stay tuned on.

So I say to you, my dear friends and fellow writers: Merry Christmas and may the year 2011 bring you agents and publishing contracts :D


Finally, Luna is hosting a contest where one can win one of her top ten choices of books from 2010. See more info here.
Image: http://santa-sa.net/ask_santa.php

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's That Time Again

Image: http://brc-adidas.blogspot.com/
Yup, revision time! Finally I feel that I have enough time to dive into revisions again. I have a list of things to do before Christmas, but if I don't start revisions NOW, it will continue to nag me until I do, and I hate that internal nagging voice of mine. 

So, I've decided to start with my Icelandic project before I rewrite the first chapter of my English one. I have let the Icelandic MG sit undisturbed for two months now, so I should have very fresh eyes when I look at it today. 

I have thought about how I'm going to do this. I wondered if I should print it out and read it like that, or if I should just dive straight in and read off my screen, editing as I go. The latter is what I did with my English YA, but I'm going to use the first approach this time (I just re-read Stephen King's On Writing part about revisions). So, I'm just going to read and write comments in a notebook. 

What approach do you use when you do your first revision after you've completed a manuscript? Do you let it rest? Do you print it out? Do you have some formula you always follow?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something is Coming... (part two)

Image: http://fbspin.com/post/318675229/a-little-red
Water slushes against the empty docks, inky-black in the dark of night. A lone figure dressed in a trench coat stands near the edge, checking his watch. It's three AM.


He looks up when a pair of heels click toward him. The moon glows gently on the owner -- a tall woman with thick auburn hair, pencil skirt under a thigh-length coat, and red, red lips. She runs her half-hooded eyes over him.


"John Smith?" she asks, her voice sensual and seductive with a slight accent.


His eyes dart over the docks. This isn't Joe Stranders. "Who asks?" He takes a step backwards, ready to flee.


"Cho Sanders. You have something for me," she says with a meaningful look.


Damn. He shouldn't have hired that foreign exchange student for the summer. This wasn't the first time that imbecile mixed up the names. At least he got the location right this time.


"You have the money?" he asks. He reaches for the cream envelope tucked safely in a pocket of his trench coat.


She starts to answer, but the deep rumbling of thunder cuts her off. Purple storm clouds race toward them.


The woman throws herself into into the man's arms with a gasp. "Something is coming!"


"Yes." He breathes deeply, the scent of lavender clouding his brain. His eyes remain fixed on the heights above the small village. "Can you feel it?"

Image: http://www.illustrationsource.com/stock/ (exact link broken)

This was supposed to go up yesterday... I guess I haven't mastered the scheduled posting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Matched

Not an image of my copy...or you'd see a tiny little nibble on the margin.

I only have a hundred pages left of Matched today and I don't want it to end! And yet I can't help but turn the pages. I should be studying, but since I'm ahead of schedule, I'm indulging myself. I read some reviews saying that there was too much focus on the Society, but what I love about that is that I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen next. Two hundred and sixty pages in and I haven't figured out the ending, although I believe I have solved one of the tangles. I haven't been so engrossed in a book since Cynthia Hand's Unearthly, and it was a long time before that when I was so hooked on a book. 

I read Forest of Hands an Teeth in between and started on two galleys from Netgalley (but I'm easily distracted from both, only about three chapters in...). Nearing the ending of Forest of Hands and Teeth, I just wanted the main character to jump over the fence and be eaten by the zombies. Sheesh. But I did read the whole thing, so obviously there was something that kept up my curiosity. I'm not going to invest in the next books in the series though.

What is the last book that sucked you in so hard that you couldn't put it down?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Interview: Marieke

Marieke, the one who is plotting with the falcon.


I took an interview with the Medieval Mastermind: Marieke (you know, the girl with the whip?). She's a fellow writer with sarcastic humour and lives, according to her, "Somewhere, not far from nowhere." 

Anywho, Marieke has been hosting her "How To" on her blog every other Thursday over the past months, taking interviews with impressive figures, like Elana Johnson (How to write an awesome query letter), Jackson Pearce (How to research a historical novel), and Kathleen Ortiz (How to read slush), just to mention a few.

1. If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on?
So much! *grin* I'd travel around the world, see all the places I've wanted to see, write and write more. I would spend money on my favorite charities too - or at least I hope I would! 

Oh, and one thing more? Buy LOADS of books. And then probably a house to, you know, make a library out of it :P 
(That's basically what I would do, too. Great masterminds think alike.)


2. What are you working on (genre, age group, main story plot - if it can be revealed)?
I'm currently revising Loving Adeline - now retitled WICK - my literary YA, with a touch of magical realism. 

Jaime, my MC, is an aspie. Her world consists of colors and Secret Garden references, but what she really wants is understanding. And to be able to escape the grief that haunts her home after her father died. 

Things happen, as they always do. I'm not yet going to share the entire plot, because mystery is a good thing. ;) (Also, I want to finish revisions first, just to keep things in the right order.) 

Let's just say it's a story about grief, love, art, imagination, and - in the end - the choice between understanding the world and living in it. 
(That sounds wonderful and new. I don't believe I have read such a story. I love the Secret Garden and can't wait to read this one.)



3. What do you eat/drink while writing?
Coffee! Sugar! Especially when I'm writing late at night, but to be honest I don't have special brain food or drinks. Or maybe I should say it depends on whatever I fancy at that moment. Iced lattes is always a safe choice! 
(It's what I've been saying! I can't write late at night because I don't drink coffee.)

Is there anything else you'd like to add? 
Yes. Something is coming... 
(Hmmm...)

Thank you, Marieke, for that. 

But Marieke isn't the only one being interviewed. Yours truly is being interviewed by cute little Rachael Harrie, who is becoming yet another impressive writer on the blogsphere. It will be later today, but I thought I'd mention it now because I'm crawling through day...oh I've lost the count...of exam studying.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cover Chomp

The good old days when Beena munched on apples...not books.

Beena, my black hamster just took a chunk out of one of my books! That little rat. I'm not even gonna say which book it was...it's just too horrible. I suppose it was my own fault though. You just shouldn't put your hamster anywhere near your favourite books. Especially those books with the lovely covers...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exam Studying, Day 3

Image: http://institutechildrenslit.net/Writers-First-Aid-blog/
I did what I could yesterday. My head was pounding after four hours straight of studying (with one potty-break). But I managed a lot. I'm continuing today, and I was fresh enough this morning to finish listening to and taking extensive notes on the lecture. Now I'm re-writing the notes (hey, I'm a writer - it's what we do, right?), and then I'm done for the day. It was a two-hour lecture, packed with important details...on Socrates, pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, etc. We're studying them in regard to their importance to today's universities and critical thinking. 

It's so funny how I'm fresh in the morning (even with a runny nose) and like a zombie in the afternoon. The problem with yesterday was that I had errands to run and appointments to attend in the morning, so I didn't start reading until 11 AM. It's the same with writing: I produce so much in the morning, and about half as much in the afternoon. 

I read about writers who write when the rest of the household has gone to bed. I kind of feel like a traitor to be fast asleep when all the other creative people are hammering at their keyboards. Maybe it's because I don't drink coffee or any other stimulant substances...except eat chocolate, but that doesn't always wake me up.

What time is best for you to write?

Task for the day: Finish re-writing the notes. Eat. And...bake more cookies! The third sort: chocolate chip.

Currently reading: Lost Voices, by Sarah Porter

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Exam Studying, Day 2


Squeeee! I just got my signed copy of Matched. I can't stop staring at it - it looks sooo pretty. Thank you so, so much, Sarah McClung, for sending it. And for the nifty business card! Do all of you writers have business cards? Is that something I should be getting?

Well, I got through yesterday's reading, AND I baked. I'm baking more later, a different sort. Or I think I am. I feel like I've been dragged through the streets and dumped into the ocean. Yup, I'm sick - and I don't mean in the dude-you're-sick way. I have a terrible head cold, runny nose, soar throat, and the whole deal. I'm still determined to do today's planned reading, even though it will most probably take me longer. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Exam Distractions

Image: www.yummy-coffee-and-food.com

Isn't it funny how when you're studying for exams, you suddenly get all interested in writing, housework, blogging, and baking? That's me today!

I started the morning by organizing my reading. I have eight days to study not-so-much material, but very-heavy-to-read material. We're talking John Stuart Mill-heavy. I organized it so that I do such and such per day, no more and no less. That's what works best for me.

Today, I'm reading and taking notes on the least heavy subject. I'm about 3/4th through, but it's soooo difficult to get the last 1/4th done. Maybe because I just took a lunch break and lost that trans-like focus I get. All I can think about now is blogging, critiquing, rewriting my first chapter, and baking Christmas cookies. Which I'm totally doing after I've completed my 1/4th. 

It's so hard to get to it, but it's easy going once I'm there. Since I'm a fairly disciplined person, I will get this done today.

When I get like this, I organize myself via time. For example, I will start reading again at one PM, take a break at one thirty and such. Unless I'm in a trans...then I just continue. Okay! Enough procrastination. It's almost one PM!

What distracts you when you're studying for exams/trying to complete a project?

Task for the day: Study about DIY, make easier notes from the easy notes, listen to the online lecture, finish my creative writing portfolio, pick up the kids, and bake!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Something is Coming...

Image: http://fireflyforest.net/firefly on 15 April 2007

It is a dark and stormy night. The wind on the moors is wuthering. A dark stirs in the East. Over the horizon, in the distance, something approaches fast.

Can you see it?

Something is coming...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scariest contract EVER


Jeeze, guys. You should check this out:

Ramblings and What Not: Scariest contract EVER: "I saw this over at Glass Cases and had, had to take a look at this. It is a new publication company started by controversial author, James ..."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brain Fried!

Egg image found on so many sites that I don't know which is the original!

November is often the busiest month for people in school, when all the teachers decide to throw all sorts of essays, projects, and exams to freak out the students and kill a few braincells just before finals. This week, I turned in a very thorough essay in a course on how to write essays (so it had to be perfect - not just because I'm a perfectionist); I've been catching up on my syntax course...of which there is an exam next Tuesday; I have to read 10 short stories and have ready reviews on each before Friday's creative writing class; AND the creative writing portfolio was due by the end of next week, but the teacher was kind enough to push it back three days. I'm only taking 20 units instead of 30 units (75% instead of 100%). I'm so glad I didn't continue with the 30 units! 

And they host NaNo in November? What are they thinking?? There's Christmas shopping and preparation for people who aren't in school. That's a huge task as well, which people usually have to do after work, meaning less time to write. Is there an online plea somewhere to have NaNo moved to September or October? I really want to take part next year, but I don't see how I can.

Anyway, since I fell behind on the syntax class (that essay really HAD to be perfect - I expect no less than 9 out of 10), I'm watching the online presentations now and taking extensive notes. Which fries my brain like bacon on a barbecue.  

So I freaked out a little this morning, but then I took out my organizer and organized what I had to do, and I feel a lot better now. I set myself goals for each day and do nothing more and nothing less. That's how I cope.

How do you cope with November??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Belated Ghost Story


Since my computer was declared dead on Halloween, I was unable to post it on my blog. I was fortunate enough to get my data back and a spunky new computer, so I decided to share the story I had already written. This was for Quinn's Boo-Fest.


Have I seen a ghost? My cousin says I have. I hardly remember it, which is kind of freaky.
She and I were staying in Bournemouth, England, and shared a studio room with two beds. I was so freaked out by insects, that I insisted we always kept the windows shut, and we planted b-vitamin pills everywhere + we had a mosquito sound repellant and an electricity thingy to keep them away. What can I say? I‘m from Iceland.
Does that have anything to do with the ghost? Absolutely not, but it made the air stuffy in the room that night. My cousin, Thora (yes, female for “Thor”), told me the morning after that I’d freaked out in the night, and she’s not one to make something like this up. Apparently it went something like this:
The bedcovers lay heavily on my chest as I slept. I dreamt of the wolf in the green hill behind my parents’ house…where there is no actual green hill. Not to mention that there are no wolves in Iceland. Anyway. The wolf just looked at me, as always, and then walked away.
I stirred in my sleep, kicking the covers loose. I turned to the side and my eyes opened a crack. A teenage girl sat on the edge of Thora’s bed. She wore a grey, sleeveless dress; it looked like it was made of wool. Her white shirt underneath shone in the moonlight behind her. She stared straight at me with her moon-like face.
I bolted up in my bed. She just sat there with no particular expression. What was she doing in our room?
“Thora,” I whined. My heart thudded against my chest. It couldn’t be a ghost! I didn’t want to see a ghost! I’d always been so afraid to see one!
“Thora, Thora, Thora!” I called when she didn’t wake up.
Thora jerked awake and raised herself up. “What is it?”
“There’s a girl over there!” I said, pointing at the girl, who just sat and watched me. “Go away!” I whined.
“What are you talking about,” Thora said, turning to see. “There’s no one there.”
I looked at Thora. She didn’t look scared, she just looked tired, her voice all sleepy. I looked back at the end of her bed to prove her wrong, but the girl was gone.
I don’t remember at what point I fell asleep again. When I woke in the morning, I just barely remembered the girl.
I hardly remember her at all today. In fact, I’d forgotten all about her until I saw her again last night.

Okay, I didn’t see her again last night, but you have to end a story with a punch. I’d really forgotten all about her until my cousin mentioned that I’d seen a ghost when we were talking about ghosts (Icelanders do that a lot). And yes, she’s absolutely sure that I was awake and not sleep-seeing/walking.

Freaky? Absolutely!

I just had to add one more thing. I was such a chicken when it came to finding a photo for this. I scrolled down once when I looked up the word "ghost" and then there were pictures of ghosts from horror movies that I never watch. Ugh. Now I can't get this one picture out of my mind. I ended up x-ing the browser and found an innocent picture of Jennifer Love Hewitt. Enjoy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Interview


Guys! My first interview has been posted. It's so exciting. Lovely Michelle Merrill (a mother of twins as well) took the interview last Monday and posted it today. I did reveal a bit of an embarrassing secret I never tell new people I meet. I guess it may not be so bad overseas, but here people would laugh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back in Style


Alrighty! I'm up and running again with a spiffy new computer. I decided on Asus Eee 1201PN (yeah, those are just letters and numbers to me, too) so that I won't have to travel with a lump of a computer to the university or library. Sure it takes time to get used to the much-smaller keyboard, but I have small fingertips, so I should adjust. But yeah, as a sticker on my little netbook says, now I can "go anywhere in style." 

I'm just writing this to let me buddies know I'm back in the game, though I will be busy over the next three weeks (what last three weeks of school aren't?), but I will blog.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review: Unearthed



Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

Official summary:
Clara has known she was part-angel ever since she turned fourteen two years ago. But now she is finally getting visions of what her Purpose-a rite of passage for every part-angel-is to be, and it happens to involve a gorgeous guy. Of course, there is the raging forest fire surrounding them, too. When Clara's Purpose leads her family to Wyoming, Clara finds the boy of her visions, Christian, but complicating her mission are her growing feelings for another guy, Tucker. As the day in her visions draws closer, Clara discovers that her Purpose may play into a larger struggle between angels and Black Wings-fallen angels who spread sadnessand misery wherever they go. But when the fire erupts and both Christian and Tucker are in danger, who will she choose to save?

From debut novelist Cynthia Hand comes a riveting tale full of supernatural powers, forbidden romance, and the choice between fulfilling your destiny or following your heart.

My summary:
Clara Gardner has just learned that she’s part angel who was put on earth to fulfil one specific purpose. She moves with her mother and brother to Jackson Hole in Wyoming, where she has to attend a new school, find friends, and try to get to know her drop-dead gorgeous purpose target, Christian Prescott. None of that is easy with peeled carrot-orange hair.

Clara knows from her visions that she and Christian belong together. Only he has a girlfriend. And she’s in love with another guy.

Learning how to fly, figuring out the vision, and keeping secrets are the least of her problems on the day of her mission.

My review:
I applied for a number of YA books from HerperCollins when they joined NetGalley. I was a little disappointed when the only one they assigned to me was an angel story. Angel stories have always been my least favourite in the paranormal genre. But boy did Cynthia Hand change my mind! I was sceptical during the very short first chapter, curious by the first half of the second chapter, and completely engrossed from there on out. What a ride.

The entire book is written in present tense, which I had to get used to. It is also written in relatively short scenes where the author jumps to the next without linking. It bothered me at first. But I later appreciated it because it made the story, which covers eight months, move so fast that I almost arrived late to my Creative Writing class one morning. In other words, it‘s impossible to put it down.

The story takes place in a small and charming Wyoming mountain town, with snow, greens, and forest fires. . I think what did it for me were the amazing characters the modest (and fun!) descriptions, the fast pace, the continuous guessing, the embarrassing things that Clara had to go through, and of course the amazing love interest, Tucker, from his very introduction (swoon). The characters are deep, funny, and teenage! Language and all.

I thought I had the plot and vision all figured out when I was 65% into the book. I kept thinking about it during my Creative Writing class, and it just came to me. But I only got a part of if right. And yet so totally wrong. I love it when I haven’t figured out the ending until the end.

Cynthia Hand’s writing is fantastic. The book is pact with teenage voice, from conversation to descriptions. Not once did that voice change or switch point of view. I must say that the cover doesn’t do the book a justice. It looks like a book for adults – some cheap romance. I would never have picked that book up at a bookshop. I only read it because it was assigned to me, and I’m ever so grateful because I can’t wait to read the next book. The angel factor is not the biggest factor in the story, although it’s a basic part of the plot. The funny, embarrassing teenage life and romance is where the main focus is.

I read the Kindle version. I hope HarperCollins has it fixed before it hits the market. The letters sometimes ran together, which made it almost impossible to read. 

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading YA novels. I also encourage other people who don’t enjoy angel books to read this one. I can almost guarantee that you’ll love it.

My stars:
Cover: 2/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
The overall reading experience: 5/5

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNo or WIP?

Image: www.thefamilygroove.com/iokuok.htm
Gha! What to do?

NaNo has just started and I planned to take part in it with a story idea and all, but then I've started rewriting my manuscript after months away from it (from scratch, save a couple of scenes), and I'm really on a roll with that one. Which do I do? I don't have the time to do both since my computer is busted...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back!


Image: www.hotelmorgana.com

I'm back after three days of intensive shopping. We shopped until 3 AM on Saturday (we ended up in Wallmart), so our feet were literally crying by the time we got back to the airplane. Everything was absolutely lovely, from all those polite, easy-going Americans, fabulous stores, and to the amazing food. I'd probably be four times my size if I lived in America! We ate breakfast twice at the Ihop - the first day (Saturday) we ate there at eight o'clock (four strips of bacon, scrambled eggs, hash brown, two pancakes, and a huge glass of orange juice), and we weren't hungry for the rest of the day. I think we ate again around 10 PM or so, some yucky food at Wallmart that I sort of just nibbled at. 

So yeah, we started out in the outlets, which may have been a mistake. The day after, we went to Target where the clothes were soooo cheap (I bought, like, 12 pajamas for my sons, each on $5 (pajamas here never go below $25)), and there were these cute little jogging pants for $7 and such. I'd bought some for $10 at the outlets, but that didn't stop me from buying more at Target! I know that the quality is better from Carters and such, but my boys grow so fast that it's pointless to buy expensive clothes for them. 

I did shop for myself as well. I bought three Levi's for $100! You can get one pair here in Iceland for no less than $160. So you see how the price difference is and why I literally lost it over there. I also bought four pairs of shoes, two purses, a wallet, loads of shirts and sweaters, belts, underwear, and anything I could get my hands on that's seriously overpriced in Iceland (Mascara for $5! It never goes below $20 in Iceland). 

We went to bookshops on the final morning. I didn't get a chance to go to Barnes & Noble (pout), but I did go to Boarders and some half-price bookshop. I bought these at Boarders: The First Five PagesWriting Dialogue, and The Copyeditor's Handbook, which I'm really excited about. I bought these at the Half-Price Books: Building Believable Characters and Comma Sense (for a dollar). I know that these books are a lot cheaper on Amazon, but since I was only staying for 3 days, I didn't want to chance having them sent to the hotel in case I'd miss them. They're also cheaper the way I bought them, because the tax in Iceland is very high (not to mention the shipping).

Anyway! When I got home, I learned that the my PC had died for no apparent reason! I turn it on and it stays on for like five seconds and then just dies. I took it to the shop that sold it to me and they're having a look. I'm so dead if the data is ruined! All my Creative Writing assignments, and a years worth of pictures of my boys! ...I should call them and make sure they don't swipe the memory clean...

Anyway, I'll blog less until I've gotten my computer back.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bye!

Image: www.alaska-in-pictures.com

I'm going to the USA tomorrow! The plan has changed and I'm going to Seattle. I'm so going to raid Barnes & Noble (if you see headlines in the newspapers - that'll be me!).

I'm not taking my computer with me, so that means that I won't be blogging or reading blogs for a few days. I'll be busy shopping my head off (I wanted to scream when I saw the price difference! Sometimes living in Iceland just sucks). And who knows, maybe I'll see that space thingy in the picture.

Anyway! Have a great weekend, and see you next week!

Tess

(I apologize for the excessive use of exclamation marks - but I'm going to the USA!!!!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Joke


13 year old kid: My mom thinks LOL means Lots of Love, so I got a text message from her one day saying "Your grandma died this morning, LOL!"

Yeah, okay, I actually laughed more at the picture than at the joke ^.^

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Clichés

Image: http://www.jeanjullien.com/

You know you've got a cliché when you see the exact same line in another book.

I was reading a free first chapter of  A Better Place, by Mark A Roeder, when I came across this sentence: "Every girl wanted to be his girlfriend and every boy wanted to be him." (Roeder, Kindle locations: 54-58). Yeah, I know, I've heard this sentence before, in a movie or somewhere, but it just really shouted at me when I saw it in print. Luckily, I had already cut that sentence from my manuscript.

Have you seen a cliché sentence in a book you've read that you recognized from your own manuscript?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hillarious Harry Potter Trailer

For you Harry Potter fans out there, you have got to watch this!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Write what You Like!



Write what you know, is something most of you have already heard. This seems to be a popular saying in the industry. I can understand that if you dive into a new culture and decide to write about it, or from it's PoV, things can get a little askew. But I still think that shouldn't top a person from doing it! Heck, it could shine some light on new and interesting perspectives. And the author would never do it unless he/she's researched it to bits. Any sensible author, that is. The "write what you know" just sounds restrictive and boring.

Write what you like! Heck yeah! There's no point in not writing something because you're afraid to "offend" someone, just because you got a fact or two wrong. So what? Most people read for the sake of a good story. And if you really like what you write, it will shine through.

Write what you read! I both like to write light fantasy and paranormal, because that's what I read. I'm trying to broaden my reading though, because I can well picture myself writing historical one day, dystopia, and even a sweet YA gay (I have an idea for a unique and fantastic one!). I even have an idea for a second contemporary (the gay one would be contemp. too), so I'm going to have to read some contemporary books in each genre to see if I like it enough to write it ;) 

So, don't just write what you know - write what you like and write what you read :)

Picture source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2007/10/pumpkin.jpg

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sold!


Mid-term exams are over! I got 9 out of 10 for the one I took today (it was online multiple choice only, which is why I already know the outcome). Not bad for phonetics ^.^

Anyway, I wanted to know if any of you have bought a book for the sake of the cover? I'm seriously considering buying Matched, if I don't win it. I've heard the story itself is so-and-so, but the cover itself is art! I'm even considering buying the hard cover and place it front-out on my book shelf.

I don't think I've ever done this before. The covers of House of Night, Sookie Stackhouse Novels, and Vampire Academy are just...bleh (except for the NEW Sookie novels, which features the cast of True Blood - drooooools over Eric). Eragon I bought for the story, although the covers are nice. The Harry Potter covers are also just bleh, although a little fun, I suppose. 

Oh! And I'm going to shamelessy plug Sara's ARCs giveaway, because one of the books being given is a signed Matched! The other one I want is A Tale Dark and Grim. That cover also looks nice, though not nice enough to buy just for the sake of the cover.


So, have you ever bought a book for the sake of the cover, even if you've heard the book is only so-and-so?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

NaNo and Award

*

First - Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? I am! I even have an idea of what I'll write about (my first contemporary with zero magic). I'm TessaQuin there if you want to add me as a buddy. 

Second - Lovely, amazingly funny Melissa Gill awarded me the Cherry on Top Award a few days ago. Thank you so much, Melissa. I would award this to you if I you hadn't already awarded it to me! The name and image remind me of you because your blogs bring a smile to my face.




There are three things I must do now:

1. Thank the one who awarded it in (check!)
2. Answer a question: If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?

My answer: I would have gotten into writing much, much earlier. Although I believe that my life has shaped and matured me into the woman I am today, I wish I had decided to become a writer back in 2003 when I moved to Denmark. I had time back then, but I used it on computer games! I believe those games have enriched my imagination, and also shaped me, but still, I could have played a lot less and written a lot more.

3. Choose up to 6 people to pass on the award to! This one's going to be tough! There are so many bloggers who deserve this, but here goes:

1. Rachael Harrie! Because she's adorable and a funny little pygmy-puff (you don't have to write these after the names - I just like to).
2. Marieke! Because she's the girl with the whip! And she's on a mission.
3. Lisa Potts! She's fantastic and I love reading her blogs and get insight into American life! Seriously, this has nothing to do with all three of them being in my critique group! But I should probably move on to prove my case.
4. Quinn! Yeah, the first boy to make my list! We're new buddies, but his blog is so fantastic and unique that he deserves this and then some. And this has nothing to do with me winning his contest! Seriously! Just read his one-of-a-kind blog and that'll prove my case ^.^
5. Elana Johnson! *Gasp* Yes, I'm venturing into celebrity land now! But how can I not award her? Her blogs are amongst the first I go to check each morning, and although I'm totally intimidated by her, still - despite all the kind emails she's sent me - she's so nice.
6. Carolina Valdez Miller! Another one with over 1000 followers! Seriously, these people must be super busy! I hardly dare interrupt them with blog awards (not that blog awards are not something worthy of interrupting someone with!). Carol is a super nice, super beautiful woman. I love her blog!

Now, it's completely up to you if you pass these along, stick them on your wall, or do nothing. This is just me saying that I appreciate you, with a cherry on top ;)

So there! Oh...and I probably have to let them know. Add that as nr. 4! Comment on their blogs to let them know they've won a super cool award!

I'm all exclamationed out and need to get back to my exam studies >.<



Image borrowed from: http://stlucie.ifas.ufl.edu

Friday, October 8, 2010

Riddle


I have a little game for you!

Rearrange the letters "New Door" into one word.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crusader Challenge I


I sat down to write the other day and...Veronica Mars called me. She sounded a little nasal when she asked me if I had time to go over some puzzling notes for her new mystery case. You know, the one about the love fountain in Rome. I told her I had to study for next week's exam. Yes. Two exams, two days in a row. She understood, and then she sneezed "quidditch!" 

"Bless you," I said, holding my phone between my cheek and shoulder.

She thanked me, and then blew her nose as loudly as an elephant warning its heard of incoming landslide. 

"Are you coming down with a cold?" I asked while flipping through my notes on phonetics. Allophones? Fortis and Lenis?

"Yeah- Quidditch!" She blew her nose again. "Sorry, how about I come by on Wednesday?"

"See yah then. It'll give us chance to go over some gossip." I hung up the phone. 

Poor girl. Ever since Sylar set her on fire in Heroes, her clever mind just hasn't been the same.

---

Yeah, I know it's LAME. But I don't have time to write a proper story. I still wanted to take part. I seriously AM studying for two exams. One is on Monday, and the other on Tuesday. And then I have to turn in a short story for creative writing tomorrow. Talk about teacher collaboration! 

This is the first challenge of the Crusaders (a group of people working towards building an online platform - new members are welcome and should visit Rach's site to sign up: Writers' Platform-Building Crusade).

The bonus words were: Mars, quidditch, and elephant.


The prize this round is an interview with Rach, which will be the first with a Crusader of Rach's Insider Scoop Interviews. Which is, of course, a great way to get online coverage. (She has already interviewed Jody Hedlund and Caitie Flum).


Oh, and of course I know what quidditch is - I just decided to use it this way.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You can't...

Image borrowed from: http://thekexperience.okeiweb.com/

You can't smile a sentence...
You can't laugh a sentence...
You can't sneer a sentence...
You can't glare a sentence...

That's what I learned in my creative writing class today. I was like, but...but...but... Yeah, I use "blah blah blah," he smiled/laughed/grinned/[insert anything here] a lot. 

I also learned that you can't write "Get out," he hissed. Because there's no s-sound at the end of out! I never even thought of that. 

I've finally managed to edit out all my "and's" and adverbs (see how I used an adverb at the beginning of the sentence?). I'm working on my repetitions. Now I'll have to check my dialogs to see if someone's doing something that's not possible. 

Anyone else guilty of the above, or some other no-no's?