So I went ahead and made myself a Facebook page, which you are free to like or not like as it pleases you. It remains to be seen how much I actually use it, but we were talking about social media and things at writing group on Monday and Sam had made one, both for himself and his (quite popular) YA online serial Darkness Girl. This blog used to link with my personal Facebook page, which is so locked down that if you were to type in the URL without being my friend, it tells you that you have no permission to view it. I don’t think it’ll increase traffic or anything, but I will prefer having it link to a public page.
I’ve also actually finally started putting some serious thoughts about a cover for A More Complicated Fairytale, which is quite exciting. Kathi Schwengel is helping me out with that and has given me some great tips on how to make a start, so I’m working on that (thank you, Kathi!). Also, speaking of Kathi and covers, check out the cover reveal for Emergence, the second in the Darkness & Light series. All being well, the book will be out on Monday, March 17. If you haven’t read the first book, First of Her Kind, now would be a good time to make a start on that.
I am beginning this post on Tuesday night while I take a break from wrestling with what should have been a very simple scene from AMCF but has proved difficult. As I’ve said before, I don’t want Felipe to appear to sympathetic right off the bat, because I want the reader to discover that at the same time as Cait. But I was going to include that scene I wrote while I was in Paris where he learns that his brother has been killed… except that would have to go right at the beginning and he’s all emotional and vulnerable at that point, so it’s fairly obvious that he’s not a complete jerkwad… so I’ve been fiddling with that but at the moment it’s not really working for me. Possibly moving it forward to Sebastian’s funeral, where he’s a bit more stoic, rather than that first moment might be a thing… Or maybe I’ll just scrap the whole idea…
Either way, for WIPpet Wednesday, here are six lines from that scene (1 + 2 + 3 [day plus month] = 6). They take place not long after the bit I posted while I was in the laundromat in Paris being a really exciting traveler. Carmen is keeping Felipe company, but not pushing him to deal with the anything immediately.
“I don’t think I’ve never seen you look so lost.”
Lost. Yes, that was the word. If Sebastian was gone, then Felipe no longer knew where he fitted in. He’d always looked up to his brother, gone to him for advice or guidance. Felipe may have had the reputation as a ladies’ man, but it had been Sebastian who gave him the push in the right direction the first time he’d seen a girl he liked the look of. Sebastian always knew exactly what to say, how to handle a situation. Felipe may have been able to give this impression, but it wasn’t always the case.
When this book is published I will probably write my own fanfiction about five-year-old Felipe and six-year-old Sebastian getting up to all kinds of princely mischief. They’re an awesome little duo, believe me!
If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date. Then link up with us here and check out what others have on offer. It’s that easy! I’m going to head off now because I slept badly last night and really need an early night tonight, I’ll catch up with you guys soon enough!
So I kind of dropped of the blogosphere last week. In fact, I kind of dropped off the Internet last week. I haven’t written anything in about a fortnight, but I plan on remedying that this week. I will make myself remedy that. We had a public holiday in Canberra today, so my writing group met up for brunch at a favourite cafe of ours, and Sam was being awfully motivational. Though between housework (I was away for the rest of the weekend, so today was all I had) and hanging out with a friend for a couple of hours this evening, I didn’t really get anything done tonight, but I will tomorrow!
Anyway, Mondays are not really about writing here on this blog, but rather about Mirth and Music Monday! In my last MMM post, I shared a Tim Minchin video and here is another entertaining musical comedian. I first saw him perform this song when the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow came to Newcastle and Sammy J was on the bill. That was back in about 2006 and I’ve loved this song ever since.
Oh, and also (apologies if I flog this a little over the next few posts), I set up an author/blog page for myself on Facebook. Click to “like” it.
To join in on MMM, simply post something like this and then share it on the linky here. Thanks to Regi McClain for hosting. I’m going to head off for now, catch you all later!
Title: Finding Esta Author: Shah Warton Genre: Paranormal romance (/sci-fi?) Format: E-book, also available in print, see further down for links. Date Read: 29/01/2014 – 18/02/2014 Rating: ★★★
I’m going to start with a confession: I’m not usually a reader of paranormal romance. There are usually too many sexy but mysterious leading men and curvacious bombshells for leading ladies. Were I more into this, I’m fairly sure Finding Esta would get more stars from me, as I’m pretty sure it ticks a lot of the right boxes for it’s genre.
Luna is an empath with a touch of psychic ability. She can read people’s auras but physical touch is usually accompanied by intense physical pain. She’s also extensively photosensitive; just a few minutes in the sun and she’s breaking out in blisters.
This all changes, however, on a trip to Cornwall to investigate the disappearance of a baby, Esta Whelan, twenty years earlier. This leads to far more than Luna ever expected, as she begins to learn of her true nature and heritage (or does she?).
Being the first in the Supes series, there is a lot of world-building and exposition going on. There are several supernatural races and their respective mythologies to introduce. It did take a little while for the story to get started, and I only really thought the plot started to get going around 70% of the way through, when Luna leaves the house where she’s been the past several weeks and starts learning that maybe things up until then had been a bit too good to be true. While there’s probably no way to do it with cutting out a lot of the aforementioned world-building and character introductions, I felt this part of the plot should have happened much earlier.
I thought Luna was a pretty decent character and I enjoyed learning of her true nature along with her. However, her constant lusting after the two the love interests got a bit annoying after a while (like I said, not really a PR reader). Abby, the first of these, is sweet and well-meaning enough, but his gushing got old pretty quickly, and I usually wanted Luna to shove him off the bed when he frequently said insensitive things (like I said, he was well-meaning, but that doesn’t excuse it…). The second guy was a bit more my type; while Luna is still very attracted to him, they start out on a much more friendly basis. My favourite character was Flo, the Shadow who mostly lives in Luna’s head, she was really snarky and fun and I would hope that we get to see more of her in the sequels.
I did find it interesting the way the author blended the fantasy elements with some sci-fi, though sometimes it did make me wonder what genre I was reading. Spoiler [highlight text to view]:Alien vampires with magical abilities? Not something you see every day. Having said that, kudos to the author for trying it. The idea grew on me, actually, and they stop mentioning their spaceship and things after a while, so it becomes just a fact at the back of your mind that the Mimicanes are this alien species stranded on earth.
Conclusion: while I felt that the story could probably be tighter, I didn’t dislike it. I think now that the main series arc has been established, the rest of the series will probably be more engaging. Here is what others have to say (people who are probably more into this genre than I).
“The true source of her empathy is mind-blowing.” By Book Reviewer: Wandalyn Thomas
“It’s a great tale that’s part Nancy Drew, part Harry Dresden, and part Underworld, with a dash of Weapon X thrown in for good measure.” By Author: Tom Winship
“Be ready for things you will not expect.” By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite
“Finding Esta is an urban fantasy tale with a riveting plot that hooked me from the very first page. It is the firs installment of Shah Wharton’s Supes series and cleverly weaves both mystery novel and supernatural tale together. By Valerie S. Fowler: Book Reviewer
“Can’t wait for the next one. Truly amazing story best book I’ve read in a long time I hope the next one comes soon.” By Wrainbeau: Book Reviewer
I once again haven’t written too much this week; my weekend was rather busy and I have only had a few nights at home, on which I’ve been stupidly tired. I think I finally did combat this last night by going to bed at 8:30ish and apart from a couple of incidents, basically sleeping though until my alarm went off at 6 this morning. It was glorious. I’m blaming the exhaustion on the fact that Crucible rehearsals have now started and there’s basically no way to play Abigail Williams without being exhausted at the end of it… Last Thursday we were doing the part where Abigail is threatening the other girls into keeping quiet about their potentially witchcraft-y activities, which requires a lot of simmering fear and hysteria under the surface, which we’ve got to convey. And then on Monday we were doing the scene with Abigail and John Proctor, which required me to go from flirtatious to pleading to angry to mocking to passionate to devastated all within about three pages of script. And we ran it many times. Sleep was difficult on Monday night because it actually took me quite a while to relax afterwards. On the upside, since they kept running through my head, I now know ALL my lines for that scene.
Anyway, what writing I have done in the past week has mostly involved combining bits and pieces from the two versions of Operation: Sugarplum that I had sitting there. In the first one, Max and Clara were complete strangers, in the second they’d known each other all their lives. In this combined version, they’ve known each other a month or so, and I think I’ve finally struck the right balance. I still don’t really know where to take the story after what I’ve already got written, though I did find some notes I made back when I first started which might help…
For WIPpet Wednesday, I’m giving you 26 words because today is the 26th. Max is pretty sure that if they took Clara to see their own kingdom and ran into some of the bad guys, he and Drosselmeier would be able to handle it. Drosselmeier is not so convinced.
“Don’t start getting ahead of yourself, Max. You only defeated one of them last night, and from what you tell me, it was with Clara’s help.”
And now I am going to set up my new bedside lamp on my bedside chest and read for a little while before having another nice, early night. I’ll catch you all later! Check back here on Friday, though, as my post in Shah Wharton‘s Finding Esta will be going up. There are ten copies up for grabs!
I missed Mirth and Music Monday last week, and I’m so determined to ensure it doesn’t happen again this week that I am writing this post on Sunday. I saw this song posted on someone else’s blog around Valentine’s Day and was reminded how much I loved it. I love quite a lot of Tim Minchin’s music, though not all of it. He is worth checking out in more detail, though. This song, titled “You Grew On Me”, is about the “creepy-uppy kind of love” as opposed to love at first sight.
If you want to check out more Tim Minchin, I recommend “Dark Side”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd”, “Not Perfect” and “Canvas Bags”. “White Wine in the Sun” is also very pretty, but not one of his comedy songs. I haven’t actually listened to them all recently, but blanket warning for bad language, there’s definitely some in Dark Side and the others may very well have some, too.
Now I’m off to work on some writing before I head off to the movies later today. Catch y’all later!
Gaaah, I’ve been so lazy this week. Just as well I wrote enough of the scene I shared an excerpt from last week that I can share some more today. I have figured out the timeline for AMCF, though (I had way more time to play with than I realised), so I’m quite please about that. I’m also trying to make a start on learning my lines for the Crucible, which is going to take up a fair bit of my time over the next few months. Apparently Abigail has a lot to say. I’ve learned the first two pages so far. Hopefully by the weekend I’ll have enough in my head I can run a chunk of it with another person, which is far preferable to reading the line then closing your eyes and repeating it a few times to commit it to memory.
Anyway! In last week’s WIPpet, Prince Felipe was showing Cait a very old and valuable copy of one of their main religious texts. The following couple of weeks, he takes her on tours of the palace, and then the week after that they venture outside. My WIPpet maths is as follows: 1+8+2 (day plus month) = 11 lines.
After that, Prince Felipe introduced her to the gardens, but not the ones out the front, which she had seen through the carriage window before. The gardens at the back of the palace, only ever seen by the royal family and their guests, were far more elaborate. The stairs led down to a lake, beyond which lay flower beds in geometric patterns surrounding and enormous, immaculate hedge maze. At the entrance, Prince Felipe challenged Cait to find her way to the centre. Thinking it couldn’t be all that hard, Cait accepted. She was fairly certain she got at least halfway before having to admit she was lost. She wandered a few more pathways before concluding that her best option was to sit down and wait for someone who knew the maze better than she did to come and find her.
Prince Felipe and Carmen found her half an hour later and the prince led her easily to the centre to show her how it was done, before walking out of it again without a single incorrect turn. Cait swore before she left that afternoon that she would not be going near any hedges again any time soon.
Felipe, stop showing off. Poor Cait. I got lost in a tiny hedge maze in Chantilly last year. It shouldn’t have been that hard; it was designed for kids and the hedges didn’t even come up to my shoulder, but apparently my sense of direction is just that bad. But in the centre, they had a sign with the recipe for Chantilly cream, so it was totally worth it.
Do come and join us for WIPpet Wednesday, we don’t bite! In fact, the WIPpeteers are a wonderful bunch! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your current WIP, or the beginning of a new one that somehow correlates to the date (eg. my 11 lines from adding the day’s digits). Then join us at the linky. Many thanks, as always, to our fearless leader, K. L. Schwengel.
I’m going to love you and all and leave you now, as I’m typing on Tuesday night; I’m hosting my writer’s group tomorrow night and hope to get out of my lazy slump and do some writing! So blogging will not be on the agenda. Goodnight, and I will see you all soon!
Title: The Eight Doctors Author: Terrance Dicks Genre: Science fiction (Doctor Who) Format: E-book, also available in paperback from Amazon DateRead: 24/11/2013 – 18/12/2013 Rating: ★★
It is no secret that I love Doctor Who. And the summary for this book on Wikipedia made it sound awesome! But… well, it wasn’t. I described it to people on more than one occasion as “a sequel to the 1996 movie and of about the same quality”. I started reading it at the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary event in London while I was queuing to get into one of the theatre shows, and then sort of felt like I had to finish it just to see where it went.
The book does pick up where the 1996 movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor leaves off. The Master has left one last trap waiting for the Doctor in his TARDIS, and it causes the Doctor to lose all his memories. The Doctor then travels through his own timeline, meeting his former selves. They are able to top his memories up to their own point in time, and meanwhile he assists with whatever predicament the past Doctor is in at that moment.
The thing was, though, that many of the adventures that the Eighth Doctor appeared in the middle of were ones that any fan of classic Doctor Who has probably seen, and while the book extended them beyond what happened in the episodes, I still felt like I was reading descriptions of things I’d watched before. This issue was exacerbated by the fact that Dicks is clearly a better screenwriter than novelist; while in a TV script you can say things like “Character X feels smug after that incredibly sexist comment” (almost a direct quote, though I’m going from memory, so probably not quite), simply stating this as part of the story felt odd to me.
I did enjoy the several chapters based around the Sixth Doctor serial “Trial of a Time Lord”, as they added a whole other level to the original story, but in most cases, the additions just felt like a bit of a fanfiction-y sequel (not to diss all fanfiction; there is definitely some amazing fic out there) without much effort having been out in. It wasn’t clear exactly how wiping the Doctor’s memories benefited the Master, and the new companion introduced in the novel had no effect on the plot whatsoever. In fact, she only appeared in the first and last chapters and it felt like she was only there because Terrance Dicks was told he needed to introduce her.
I know there are plenty of good Doctor Who novels out there; I’ve read a few before. I’m clearly just going to have to be a bit more discerning in future and not assume that a multi-Doctor adventure equally means an awesome one.