#ROW80 and #WIPpet Wednesday

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

[please insert your own witty subject line in the header above]

It’s nearly half-past nine here and it’s been kind of a long day, so I’ll try to keep this brief. On the writing front, there hasn’t been too much obvious action this past week, but I have been thinking about my WIPs. It occurred to me that since I pulled out of Camp NaNo, I might as well bring my August goals forward, so the other night I started re-reading what I wrote on the AMCF sequel, An Eventual Happily Ever After, during NaNo last November.

Shan mentioned in a comment on my WIPpet post last week a book called Rock Your Plot, which I decided to make the $3 investment in, and it’s given me a fair bit to think about in terms of both my WIPs (AEHEA and Unicorn Love). I think the thing that really stuck out to me is that I need to really up the stakes in the middle third and into the last third of both stories. So that’s what I’m trying to work out with both of them at the moment. I could probably have made more progress with this if I hadn’t been so lazy (and/or distracted by reading) the last couple of days (actually, last night, I was just plain exhausted; I fell asleep at 7:30, and apart from a couple of short periods of wakefulness, pretty much slept through the night).

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure when I’ll really be able to properly sit down with it again. Choir starts back tomorrow (it’s been a long two months since The Crucible finished; I’m really looking forward to working towards a performance again, even if I don’t have any kind of speaking role in this one) and on Friday I’ll be making my own birthday cake and organising other things for my birthday party, which is on Saturday. Yay birthday! I’ll be celebrating the end of my first quarter of a century. Anyway, so maybe with the new week will come some more steady writing time.
wednesdaybannerAnyways, in the interests of moving this post along, onto WIPpet Wednesday. For those not in the know, WIPpet Wednesday is when a bunch of us share an excerpt from our WIPs that somehow relate to the date and link up here. Our ranks are beginning to swell to the point where I can no longer really get around to everyone and feel a bit bad about it, but I think between us all we manage to give everyone lots of support.

Since I haven’t actually written anything this week, I’msharing 45 words from AEHEA today. My math is 45/2 =… almost 23? Basically I re-read this line the other day and liked it and so I’m sharing it so ner. You may remember a couple of months ago, I posted an excerpt in which Ginny was bemoaning the fact that everyone’s expecting her to get married and that the Royal Family had picked out an ideal guy for her. This it is from the opening scene when she’s whining to Sir Aidan, the Captain of Prince Felipe’s Guard, and also one of her good friends.

Sir Aidan sat down on the bench next to Ginny and gave her shoulder a friendly nudge with his own. “Meet with him tonight. I promise to be here to commiserate in the morning if he turns out to be as awful as you fear.”

And with that, I am off to bed. I’ll try to get around to your posts on the weekend, but as I said, it’s a bit hectic, so we’ll see! Cheers!

wordpresssig2

Book Review: Bound by Kate Sparkes

Title: Bound
Author: Kate Sparkes
Genre:
YA/Fantasy
Format: ebook. For a full list of links to the book, visit this post on Kate’s blog
Date Read: 25/06/2014 – 02/07/2014
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

bound_promoDisclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Now that that’s out of the way, I want to say upfront, the reason that this book doesn’t get five stars from me is not necessarily that I don’t think it deserves it, but simply because there are certain aspects of it that are quite popular in this genre and no doubt appeal to a lot of people, but just never quite work for me. I’ll go more into that as this review goes on.

Bound is set in the kingdom of Darmid, where magic is banned, and magic hunters will kill anyone who exhibits magical ability without a second thought. Their neighbours over the mountains use magic quite happily, and are at home with the company of other species such as dragons, griffons and merfolk, and that just makes those from Darmid more suspicious of them. When Rowan, a young woman from Darmid with a love of fairytales and a life-long plague of awful headaches, unintentionally saves the life of Aren, one of her country’s biggest enemies, everything she’s ever known is called into question and she begins to learn that there’s much more to her than she realises.

I really enjoyed the way Kate Sparkes turned some well-used fantasy tropes on their heads, particularly regarding her female characters. They were not required to be pure, medieval maidens (even strong ones), and the fact that Rowan had not yet slept with the man she was betrothed to was considered even a little odd.

Aren was a a rather typical YA hero, and to be honest, I was far more interested in Rowan’s chapters than his (the novel is written in first person split narrative). However, this is one of the aspects I mentioned earlier that I know is really popular in YA fiction, and I know the YA crowd will probably really love him. He’s just not my type. I felt his change of heart and subsequent feelings for Rowan developed a little quickly, but it’s a bit of a catch-22, since without that, there would be no plot. I did, however, enjoy learning about Aren’s magic, and how magic works in his kingdom. Kate has clearly done a lot of work on her world-building.

Bound ends with a nice set-up for Book 2. There is still plenty that Rowan needs to learn, plenty of danger still lurking, and some interesting new characters we don’t know too much about. Kate is certainly a talented writer and I look forward to reading more! :D

#WIPpet Wednesday –

row80-2So I did a thing on Sunday night. I deleted my July 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo story from the site (obviously I kept the words). There is so much about the story that I need to figure out before I can continue with it, and I would rather not write waffle for three weeks and then fix it. I would prefer to research it and plan it properly, and then sit down to write it, knowing exactly what I am doing.

With that in mind, I’m returning to my old ROW80 goal of working on WIPs in theory for one hour, two nights a week. Sometimes it ends up being more than that on several nights a week, sometimes it’s four half-hour periods over the week, sometimes it’s something else… I don’t really mind as long as I feel I’m doing some solid work each week.

I was on the info desk at work yesterday morning, but everyone seemed to pretty much know what they were doing, so I brainstormed a few things that need considering for Unicorn Love (the title of which is likely to change now that the story has, but I’ll keep referring to it as that until I come up with a replacement) and I actually ended up with something resembling a plan. Well, the first part of a plan. There are still some aspects I need to work out. But yay, plan!

In other writing-related news, I’ve finally got Edy proofreading A More Complicated Fairytale for me! Okay, so he’s only done three pages so far, but he’s being very ruthless (I was a little horrified at first by the amount of red on page 2), so I’m rolling with that. I shall continue to be a naggy girlfriend of the “Oh, you’re beading? You could read some more. Oh, you’re knitting a beanie? Why don’t you read another chapter?” variety [yes, he does both these things], until it’s finished, but at least a start has been made. He tells me that as he is not working Friday, he will do a blitz then.

wednesdaybannerI think that’s about it for a ROW80 check-in, so onto WIPpet Wednesday. You may remember the square-jawed lad mentioned in last week’s excerpt. He and Lexie, my MC, well, neither of them will admit any feelings for the other, so there’s that, but they are also the two oldest in a group of street urchins living on Sydney’s streets in the 1890s. When David is arrested after an alleged robbery, Lexie lies to save herself from also getting in trouble, and David ends up with a prison sentence. (This will probably change slightly, as in my new plan, she’s not actually at the trial and he’s pissed at her for other reasons, but this is what I have written for now).

In this scene, she’s sneaked into the police station where he’s being held overnight (the desk sergeant is old and drunk and thus asleep) to apologise for not being there for him.

Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the dim light but she still grasped the handrail and took her time on the stairs. There was no use ending up with broken bones from a nasty fall. That would help no one.

She reached the cells, and cast the lamp light over the nearest couple. They were empty.

“Who’s there?” David’s voice came to Lexie from the third cell down.

“It’s me,” she said, walking the rest of the way.

David was standing up in the middle of the cell, about a foot away from the door.

“Oh,” he said, and Lexie stopped when she heard the disappointment in his voice. “Come to get your knife back, then?”

“My what?”

“The one you stabbed in my back.”

“What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, yes, your Honour, I was there, I was his accomplice?

“You could have thought of something that helped me as well as you!”

Poor Davey… If it makes you feel better, she’s going to attempt to change the course of history so you don’t end up in prison for six months…? Aphrodite is still hanging about in the new version of the story, though I’ve switched to calling her Venus, because for some reason in my head, Aphrodite = vain and vacuous but Venus = glamorous and elegant, and that’s what I need now.

Anyways, this post has taken me way too long to type. I’m going to head off now, finish my glass of Baileys and try to have an early night. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (today mine was 16 sentences for the 16th) and then link up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. ROW80 (the writing challenge that knows you have a life) is the brainchild of Kait Nolan and you can read more about, and link up with fellow paricipants, here.

Goodnight!

wordpresssig2

#MirthMusicMon – Who Loves You?

I went to see the Jersey Boys movie the other night, and while it was nowhere near as good as the show (which I saw on  New Year’s Day in London after an awesome day at Greenwich geeking out over 300-year-old clockwork; I was still buzzing long after I got back to my hotel), it was a pretty good adaptation. Hence I have been listening to the Original Broadway Cast recording for the last couple of days, and watching clips on YouTube where I could find them. So of course I’m going to force one of those on you for Mirth and Music Monday. The guy singing in this is the same guy who plays Frankie Valli in the movie, though the other three from the movie didn’t do the show on Broadway, I believe.

Edy and I have been watching old Sesame Street episodes (Edy more so than me, since he is the Jim Henson aficionado in our house), so my mirthful part of MMM is a Sesame Street clip. Y’all know I can’t really go past a Neil Patrick Harris appearance and there’s not much that’s more adorable than and NPH and Elmo dance break (and I’m not even a big Elmo fan). Also, his Pajama Song.

I’m going to go now, because I spent a stupid amount of time watching videos and deciding which ones to actually post, so typing this up has taken far longer than it should. If I’m clever, I’ll get the rest of my blog posts for this week written tonight, and I’ll be able to chill for the rest of the week. Please feel free to join us in Mirth and Music Monday by linking here.

wordpresssig2

#WIPpet Wednesday – Plot twist

On the left is a picture of my yesterday evening. I am a bit poor now, but I can confirm at least that the Bailey’s was a good life choice, and I expect the Pratchett collection will be, too. When I first started reading Discworld, I was really a bit young to understand the satire, and as such enjoyed them on a superficial level, but still found them a bit hard-going. I think now is a good time to get back into it.

Anyway, you know how last Wednesday it was July 2 and I had plunged into Camp NaNoWriMo the day before without really any idea what I was writing, but the story was promising to be a fun, light-hearted thing with Greek Gods and romance and fun times? Suddenly on Monday it found something of a plot and has suddenly taken a turn for the dramatically romantic. Also there is now time travel. And after Camp, this may end up being quite a different story. Possibly no Greek gods. Possibly steampunk. But I’ve gotten quite attached to my romantic leads now, so at this stage I’ll be sticking with it post-July.

So onto WIPpet Wednesday. Today is the 9th, and 9 is a multiple of 3, so I’m going to give you three sentences from Unicorn Love (title is also probably going to change when the story does). In this scene… well, Aphrodite is basically messing with Alex’s head. The third sentence refers to the fact that Alex hailed from Sydney before Aphrodite recruited her as a cupid, a bit over a hundred years ago.

Aphrodite’s gaze wandered around the food court before settling on a man a few tables away. At first, Alex thought the goddess was eyeing him for herself, but then she actually took in his features and felt her stomach drop for the second time in as many hours. She recognised the short brown hair and the square jaw all too well, and for a moment she was seventeen again and back in the Sydney she used to know.

I’ll admit I’m a fair bit behind on Camp NaNo, as I’ve only been getting about 250 words written a day than 500. However, I am focusing on the positive: 250 is better than none at all, particularly when I’m not entirely sure where my story is going and playing it by ear. I also spent most of the weekend cleaning my house because I had guests arrive on Sunday, and they are hear until Saturday. Since one of them is a friend of mine who has now moved to England and the other is his girlfriend, I’m actually spending time with them rather than writing. Since at the moment he thinks the next time he’s likely to be in Australia is October of next year, I’m not feeling too guilty about not writing. They are seeing How To Train Your Dragon 2 tonight, but I opted out, so I’ll get a bit more done tonight, hopefully.

On that note, I might leave off. Edy needs the computer to do some work stuff, and I might indulge in some more Baileys, and write some more, or figure out which of the books in that photo to start reading. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates (however loosely) to the date, and then join us at the linky. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. The paragraph above is essentially my ROW80 check-in. You can read more about that (“the writing challenge that knows you have a life”) and sign up here. Now I shall be off!

wordpresssig2

EBOOK FRAUD: Spread The Word

Emily Witt:

Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me that this happens, but let’s do what we can to shut it down!

Originally posted on A Round of Words in 80 Days:

So we can all agree that book piracy sucks.  Know what sucks even more?  People trying to illegally SELL our work.  Courtesy of Google Alerts, I found out about 45 minutes ago that Red and Forsaken By Shadow are both illegally listed at Bkspc.com.  So are my friend Susan Bischoff’s books and a whole lot of others.  It’s not limited to just self published books either.  I’ve seen books by Carina Press, Penguin and other publishers on this site.

The site is hosted through GoDaddy, so it is important that you, as author, check to see if your books are listed, and then follow the directions below to file a complaint in order to see that the domain is suspended and have GoDaddy cancel this asswipe’s hosting.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.

B. Copyright Claims (from GoDaddy’s Legal Dept.)

1. If the Complaining Party would like to submit a copyright claim…

View original 543 more words