Books Read in 2011

Tessa's books-read-2011 book montage

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

Books Read in 2011 »

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's That Time Again

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)

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: (exact link broken)

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

Monday, December 6, 2010


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... 

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'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

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.