Saturday, January 30, 2010
So, here's what I'm thinking: if I were sixteen again, and on the hunt for my first car, this is probably where I'd be turning. As a teen, what would I be looking for? Would I be looking at those two-hundred dollar beaters? They "Run Graet!" Or would I be saving up for the super nice Audi that we're test-driving today (and I'm drooling over. It's red, with leather, and a sun roof, and it's is adorable, and I want it!). Driving and cars have always had at least a small part in my stories, and this has certainly gotten me thinking about some good background information, at least. There's definitely a story in this :) And if that white hearse shows up sometime, well, you will know where it came from!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open--but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.
Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability. And it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a Dream Catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd even feared...
Whoa, I'm working on making these reviews a little better! Next, I'll figure out how to get the book covers on here, but my legs hurt, so that's a project for another time. Anyhoot, the book. Ahhh, I love this series! So much fun! And Cabel, well, he's just downright yummy. Very fun to read about :) This second book in the series was a little darker than the first, and the writing was a little more bare-bones, but in a good way. The sentences are short, a lot of them fragments, which would usually annoy me, but it's done well. There are a few times I want a bit more in terms of description, but over all, it works, and works well. And, even thought this is a bit spoiler-ish, I did thing that Janine's fate was going to be a bit worse than it was. But, maybe that's just me. I can't wait for the third book, GONE, which comes out in a couple of weeks!
Favorite line: "Janie takes her hat off her head and tucks it under her arm, waiting, waiting. Waiting to be done. So she can say good-bye to this place, once and for all."
Monday, January 25, 2010
It seems that crutches have done one very impressive thing in my life so far: ensure that I am behind on everything! Argh! I do not do the whole "just let it go" thing very well. But, I am going to catch up! Too bad my legs already are throbbing this morning. Awesome.
Okay, so back to the books. A couple of days ago I finished My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, by Sidney Salter. I picked it up at the library after reading a few other reviews, but I was mainly just thinking it was one of those "research" books that really isn't to my taste. And I was wrong. Totally wrong. It was seriously funny, and after laughing my way through most of it, I cried toward the end. For most of the book, I enjoyed Jory's (the MC) narrative, but didn't actually connect with her. I'm much more of a Megan, for those of you who have read the book (with the exception of the whole drunken lunch episode). But when Jory yells at her mom about self-image? Yeah, I was totally there. My mom's the exact same way, and both my sister and I struggle with this all the time. Hit me pretty hard, actually.
Anyhow, I had to return the book, but I'll just say that I had too many favorite lines. The book was a hilarious read. Check it out!
Friday, January 22, 2010
I've never been in a wreck before. I mean, you watch them all the time in the movies, on TV, and I've seen some doozies in real life, but I've always been the lucky one not actually in the damaged car. Not so Tuesday night. DH and I were headed home after checking on the ranch and animals to make sure they hadn't floated away (holy crap have we had a lot of rain lately), and after stopping at the sign about 1.5 miles from the ranch, pulled into the intersection. Then, WHAM.
I saw the lights coming up behind my husband, knew someone was coming fast, but before I could say anything, the speeding car blew right through the stop and into us. It was really strange to watch the car swing around in a blue-green haze. It was a strange twilight that lit the car while we spun in a blurry circle, and then ended up in a ditch. Smoke filled the car as the airbags deflated (when did they deploy? I must have blinked). And then was the screaming mess of injured people, my husband being unable to breathe, the cops, fire department, and then the paramedics. They had to remove my car door to get us out. It was really odd to watch people hack away at my poor car, after all the years I've tried so hand to be nice to it!
Anyhow, after being taken to two different hospitals, Cat-Scans, and x-rays galore, we are now at home, trying to recover. We're sore, to say the least, but got away pretty lucky, with just some broken ribs (for hubby) and a broken fibula (me). I'm seriously just grateful we weren't even a foot further into the intersection, where the side panels, and hubby, would have taken the blow, and not the front axle and engine block. Still, 8 weeks on crutches is not so fun (I can't run--what am I going to DO with myself?).
Okay, to tie this back into writing, there was one of those moments, when I was being strapped to a backboard and loaded onto the ambulance (just about the time they cut my jeans off...) that I thought "Well, I've never done something like this before. At least now, if I have to, I'll know how to describe it accurately in a story or something." Kind of funny, really, but other than us both surviving that crash, I reminded me how much I really love to write. It's a part of me, for better or worse, and as soon as I can figure out how to rig up my keyboard so I can keep my legs elevated and type, I'll be back at it. Until then, my mother-in-law is here to take care of us. And my house totally looks like a bomb exploded in there. Ahhhh, awesome!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
My only quibble is that toward the middle, it seemed to lose momentum. It's not like it had a lot of fluff, but I felt like it was just plodding along, and not being propelled through the intense situations going on. Maybe this is just me, but that was a little bit of a struggle.
Favorite line? (Or, at least one of them) "Great dark clouds gathered over the river, and I knew them for what they were: The End, poised to unleash some terrible wrath and sweep us all right out of the valley."
Monday, January 18, 2010
Here's to hoping that Colors Like Memories can snag the attention of a few agents!
Friday, January 15, 2010
- Today, I'm getting a gel-lackey. Someone to help me out in the lab, and can I just say that I'm really happy about this?? I've been needing an extra set of hands for ages, and I really hope this girl works out. She's a student from last year who emailed me right after I spoke with my adviser about getting someone to help out, and viola, I've got a peon.
- I'm trying to work out some volunteering time at the local library. I figure that I read enough, and that's what I really love, that I ought to be giving back a little with that "talent." I really wish they had some kind of teen group that would put all my YA reading to good use :)
- I've been biting my nails over Miss Snark's First Victim Secret Agent contest. Holy cow, do I wish the results were posted today!
- I purchased Rebel Angels by Libba Bray last night, and it's totally burning a hole in my TBR stack, er, or however that would work. At any rate, it's been shuffled to much nearer the top, right after the library books I need to return :)
- After this morning I will officially be DONE with the class I taught last quarter. I've finally giving my last final to one of the make-up people. Yay!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Dear Ms. Snow,
Thanks for the look. I think your plot sounds interesting—I’m a sucker for a time-travel story—but I found I didn’t connect with your writing. As an example (I hope this is helpful rather than annoying):
“I fought to remember why—the memories were sticky and unwilling to reveal their secrets.”
“Fought” feels a little precious to me—fighting should have a more specific foe, it seems to me—and for the “memories” to be “unwilling” is to attribute will to them, consciousness, which doesn’t make sense to me at all.
I wish you very good luck!
Sincerely,As I should be, I am extremely grateful for the personal rejection. I mean, that's great, and I'm super happy about it. But, at the same time, it totally made me scratch my head. I've gotten quite a few comments about the above line, and all of them were positive. I actually kind of love it--it shows how she's struggling to remember something that's just buried under the surface. That kind of memory like what I dreamt about just before waking. Apparently, though, that's not what's coming across. Or, my metaphor is just being trashed in translation.
So, the question is, kill my darling line here, and hunt for others like it, or just take it as a matter of taste? I'm really not sure.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
(It never hurts to get a little kudos from whomever the agent is, either. Kind of made my day. And my week.)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
(Whoa, this has got to be some kind of record for me--how many days in a row have I posted now?)
Okay, I've been thinking about this for a while and have wanted to blog about it, if only to get my thoughts in order. Granted, this may just turn into the giant jumble that's going on in my mind, but one can hope, right? So, I've been thinking a lot about what is missing in my writing. I've been playing this game a long time, and I've seen a lot of people finally hit the agent/book-deal/published writer thing, and I would like to figure out how I can somehow manage that myself (or die trying, which is looking all the more like the alternative, but whatever). Hunting through the files I have of rejection letters is about the best way to totally depress a person, but it's also supposed to be some kind of beacon that's going to tell me what I'm missing. I'm not looking for a magic-bullet here, but I need something to work on, or I'm just going to scream. And here's one of the things I think I've got to work on: my characters. They are missing something. I believe I had a rejection that said an "essential spark" (of course, this is right behind the personal rejection that said my characters were vividly drawn--can I just say this whole thing is enough to drive anyone nuts, let alone a order-obsessed scientist??). But, yeah, I can agree with this one, and I think it's something that wold make my work stronger.
Great. Now what?
I've done the back-story thing. I've done the interview my characters thing. I've hunted around in google-images (my favorite thing on the web, btw) for pictures and other stuff to get me really into my character's head. And I've come to a conclusion: I just don't get people, let alone people on paper. I have a feeling this might explain my job choice to work with the dead. This is a problem. How am I supposed to create characters that grab someones attention and make them want to buy my books if I can't create a character that sits up on the page and pulls readers in? How can I "get" a character when I just don't get real, live people I'm around every day?
It goes beyond this. I've been thinking about it more, and I really think part of the problem is that I don't understand myself, and therefore understanding everyone else is just a bigger mess that leaves me smiling-and-nodding. I'm going to be turning an age that's a little too close to thirty than I want to admit, and I honestly know very little about myself. I've spent way too much of my time being what everyone else wants me to be, and too little time being the me I want to be. I'm not one of those "let's be introspective and feel sorry for ourselves" kind of people, so I'm not whining here, but it's the truth. And I think my writing is suffering for it.
This sounds even crazier than I it did in my head, which is not generally a good sign :)
I'm not sure how to fix it. I'm not even sure this is a good argument. But I do know that I'm going to be working on both things--being the real me, even when that means I want to sing really loud in the lab when people can hear me in the hallway (er, yeah, guilty). I'm also going to be looking hard at my characters and attempting to infuse them with life. I hope.
And now, I'm going to go get the stupid mirror I taped to the wall to stick, if it's the last thing I do!
Monday, January 11, 2010
This morning I managed to sneak a few minutes to finish Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors. What a cute read! As I'd hoped, things did improve as the book went on, and after the slow start, I settled right in. It was a funny, charming book, that I would have loved as a teen. I really liked Katrina, and was rooting for her. Her change of heart, or realization that she didn't want to be some kind of damsel in distress was a bit of an about-face, but I liked the change.
The only thing that kind of irked me was the treatment of the "everyone has a talent" trope. Okay, I really actually don't have a problem with this concept, for the most part, but I hate that it's always used because, let's be honest here, it's not true. It kind of annoys the bejeebus out of me, as it makes people think that there really is something out there that they're going to excel at without any practice, etc. Not that I don't think people should search for something they enjoy doing, but it's extremely rare to find something to be innately talented at.
Anyhoot, rant over, and here's one of my favorite lines: "I don't know what laws of physics are involved, but if you fill a gym with teenagers and tell them to stare at one object, heat is actually produced. I half expected to spontaneously combust."
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Anyhow, my favorite line from the book? "I fear I will always have to chase the things I want. I'll always have to wonder whether I'm truly wanted or whether I've just been settled for." Reading it again makes me want to cry all over again. Honestly, I'm 27, married, the whole nine yards, and I still feel like this! Yeah, good line, good book.
I'm currently in the middle of Coffeehouse Angel and kinda liking it. Hopefully it gets better, because I think the premise is super fun.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
At any rate, I have made my list, and it's looking good. I've got my writing goals, and my academic goals. For the first time ever, I've added "start looking for jobs for Ryan and I" to that list. Like, real, grown-up jobs. Yikes! It would be nice to, you know, finally have one of those, though part of me realizes they're very overrated. At any rate, I'd like to be close enough to my degree by the end of this year so that I can actually have some prospects lined up. Can I just say that that scares me spit-less?
Anyhow, I'm going to go revise for a while. I've read six or more books (was it more?) this break, and despite enjoying them, it just made me want to write something better. So, onward ho! 2010, I hope you are a better year!