#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 19 April, 2017

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Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

I’ve finished the first draft of Memories and Magic! The last chunk is a bit haphazard, as I realised I need to fix some structural issues in the third act before I can make it run smoothly, but I sort of have a whole A – Z progression. In this scene, Clara’s memories of being a princess have just been restored after several months of her living with some false ones.

The scene didn’t change for several minutes. Finally, the blue of the rune faded and the ink on the wall disappeared, as usual. All eyes turned to Clara. She wavered on her feet for a moment.

“Huh,” she said weakly before passing out on the floor.

Yep.

My last assignment for the semester is due on June 09, so writing will go on the backburner for the next couple of months. It’s kind of a good time to finish a draft, as I’ll actually be distracted from wanting to start revisions too soon. I’ll still try to have something to share each Wednesday, even if it’s just something I’ve slapped together on the day.

Sort of on that note, a random writing observation: I realised the other day why I’ve never successfully written a contemporary. It’s because pretty much all ideas and characters I have for contemporary stories are based on my own experience, to the point where writing them in the third person feels weird and distant. Even though that’s what I write everything in, so it is kind of my default. Now that I have realised this, though, I’m going to try writing in first person and see if that helps.

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Soulless by Gail Carriger and reviewed it here. It wasn’t my favourite but it was amusing enough.  I would have preferred a bit more urban fantasy and a bit less comedy of manners in the end.

I also finished The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil. I fell in love with it on page one and stayed in love right to the end; not really a big surprise given how much I’ve enjoyed Keil’s other books. If you read YA and were ever a geek at school, you should read them. She nails it. It doesn’t read like she’s even trying, it just feels completely authentic.

Okay, I’ll stop gushing now. 😛 My review of that one will be up on Friday. If you’re interested, I also posted a review for The Man from Snowy River by Elyne Mitchell over here.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading The Asp of Ascension by B. R. Meyers, which I requested from Netgalley because I feel like there aren’t enough books that use Ancient Egyptian mythology as their basis and this one sounded fun. When I started it yesterday, I was fairly bored but I’m about halfway through now and it has grown on me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next I will be reading The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie. I have the sequel waiting for me on NetGalley, but I don’t think it’s one to read out of order. I’ve kind of hyped this series up in my head because it’s premise is lady pirates fighting genetically-engineered monsters in a dystopian future and also there’s LGBT representation, so it’s got huge potential. I just hope it lives up to it!

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 12 April, 2017

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Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

Today I have three lines (1+2) describing Max’s experience of Clara’s magic. Clara is transporting a group of Mages back to her home after a run-in with some not-so-good ones. This particular night is the first time this particular power has manifested, but she quickly got the hang of it.

Max couldn’t believe how instantaneous the transfer was. One second, he was on picnic bench in the park, the next second, in his kitchen. There was no darkness in between, no nausea like he had imagined travel at such a speed might induce. There was just nothing. It was seamless.

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Walpiri Women’s Voices: Our Lives, Our History (Oral history series) and reviewed it here. It was interesting, but somewhat hard to read since it was just transcripts of the oral histories with no embellishments or anything. I actually left it unrated because I wasn’t sure what rating to give.

I also finished The Man from Snowy River by Elyne Mitchell. This was a really fun adventure story. Even though I had never read it before, nor seen the movie, it made me feel nostalgic, I think just because I grew up surrounded by the Australian bush (even though I have no desire to move back there).

I also reviewed Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey; you can read that here.

What are you currently reading?

I am finally currently reading Soulless by Gail Carriger. It has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments due to clever writing, but I feel like there is not much plot to speak of. I imagine I will finish this over the next few days but at the moment, I’m not feeling terribly inclined to pick up the next book in the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I will probably read The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil. This was only released last week and while I don’t read a lot of contemporary YA, I was at the top of my library’s queue for this one. I will read anything this woman writes. And I just found out it has diverse characters, too! The MC is South Asian. So yay that, too!

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 05 April, 2017

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Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

I’m sharing from Memories and Magic again, and I have five paragraphs for you today. The last time I shared from this WIP was back in February; Clara was stalling for time so her friends could escape their enemies, by pretending she was giving herself up. What they don’t know is that she can transport herself places at will, as long as can visualise her destination. She had arranged to meet Max and Jana near a statue in a park that they were all familiar with.

Jana had been anxious from the moment Clara walked away with the other Mages, though Max had managed to calm her somewhat by explaining the plan Clara had outlined to him via her telepathy. They had taken seats at the picnic table near the sculpture in the park, and Jana drummed her fingers impatiently on the wood, her lips pressed grimly together.

The moment Clara appeared took them both by surprise, but Max all the more so, since she landed in his lap. He flailed slightly, nearly tipping off the back of the seat as his centre of gravity was displaced. Clara yelped as she realised what had happened, and grabbed the edge of the table with one hand and Max’s arm with the other, pulling him upright again.

Once there was no danger of anyone being injured, Clara scrambled from his lap as best she could in the cramped space between the bench and the table. She sat down next to Max with her hand over her mouth, but he could see the corners of her mouth quirking upwards on either side.

“I’m really sorry,” she said, lowering the hand slightly. One giggle burst out of her throat, which in turn made the same happen to Max. Before they knew it, they were in fits. Clara had her hand on his knee and he had his on her shoulder and they doubled over, until Jana noisily cleared her throat. Clara wiped her eyes and straightened up. Max forced his expression into something serious. Jana’s expression was kind but stern. 

“Don’t you think we should all be leaving?” she asked.

I had forgotten about this scene until I went hunting for something to share. I really love it. I think it’s a good demonstration of Max and Clara’s friendship. For a bit of context, Max and Clara are both in their early 20s. Jana is Max’s aunt, so obviously a bit older (it’s never specified, but I imagine her mid-50s).

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly and it reminded me both how I really enjoy thrillers and how some aspects of the genre really annoy me. But the pages of this one did fly by. My review is here.

I also listened to the Australian cult classic Puberty Blues by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. I can certainly see why some aspects of this book have remained controversial since its publication in 1979. There is a lot of underage sex and really casual talk of gang rape and things like that, which were uncomfortable. However, the authors really captured the Australian vernacular, which I really enjoyed, particularly as the narrator also had the perfect accent for the time and place as well. Review goes up Friday.

I also reviewed A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab this week (unpopular opinion alert!). Click the title to read the review.

What are you currently reading?

I started Walpiri Women’s Voices: Our Lives, Our History (Oral history series) recently because I wanted to increase my reading of Indigenous Australian authors (even though this is an oral history so slightly different). I also started The Man From Snowy River by Elyne Mitchell on audio. Two Australian classics in a row! And here was me not signing up for the classics aspect of this year’s Australian Women Writers Challenge.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is the third week in a row that Soulless by Gail Carriger is my answer to this. I’ll actually try to get to it this time. I may even start it tonight if I have time for some reading before bed. I also posted my April – June TBR the other day. We’ll see how that goes.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 22 February, 2017

bookcrossinglogoSo quick question. Does anyone here do Bookcrossing? It’s that thing where you register a book and it gets a unique ID which you write on a little bookplate and then you leave it in a public place and hopefully the person who picks it up will register it and you get to see where your book travels.

I’ve known about it for ages but I’ve only just joined. I “released” my first few books this morning to an “official” crossing zone, so a place where other users actively look. It looks like my state, for all its tiny-ness, has a very active Bookcrossing community, which is quite exciting. I did make a pact with myself though, that I would release a few books before I go about capturing any and giving myself more books to read.

Anyway, that turned into a bit more than a quick question. But let me know if you’ve ever done it! On with the blog hops!

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Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

I haven’t written much so far this week, as I’ve become stuck on a slow scene. I am tempted to just leave it for Future Emily to finish/fix in revisions. Future Emily won’t be too happy but that’s also Future Emily’s problem.

I have four paragraphs following on from last week’s snippet. Clara is letting the bad guys think she’s going with them, in order to let Max and Jana (Max’s aunt, and to Clara’s knowledge at this point, her godmother) get away. Max knows this is the plan because they were able to communicate telepathically, but Jana doesn’t.

She looked at the four strangers. “I get the feeling that even if we got away from you now, you would keep coming after me,” she said. “So I decided to come with you. After all, in the first words you spoke to me, you told me more about where I come from than these guys ever have.” She jerked her head towards Max and Jana and saw Conrad smirk at the dig. Max kept his expression neutral, but Jana began to open her mouth to argue.

“It’s fine, Aunt Jana,” she said. “I know it was ‘for my protection’” – she did air quotes as she spoke the last few words – “but I’m tired of not knowing anything. And if this does all fall apart, I can magic myself back to you, right?”

She tried to give her godmother a reassuring look. Locking eyes with her, she sent her thoughts through to her.

This is part of my plan. But do feel free to object out loud.

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

traitortothethronecoverI finished Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton and while I figured out the twist right at the end before it was revealed, it was nonetheless a really fun book! Usually I’m not one for in depth political intrigue, but there was just enough in this one. And very little romance, which also worked for me.

I posted my Traitor to the Throne review here and you can also read my review of The Mesmerist by Ronald J. Smith here.

What are you currently reading?

fearlesstravelersguidecoverI have started The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler. It’s quite slow-going and while I am liking it, I’m not sure it would keep an actual middle-grade reader interested. My reading speed also slows right down when I’m reading something slower-paced, so it might take me a little while to finish.

cornerofwhitecoverI also began A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty on audio yesterday. This has been on my Australian Women Writers Challenge TBR for a while, so when I saw it available on Overdrive, I picked it up. It has various narrators, but one of them is Fiona Hardingham, who I just recently listened to narrating The Dark Unwinding.  She’s got a lovely, silky voice that’s really easy to listen to.

What do you think you’ll read next?

adverbscoverI’ve got a couple of ARCs still pending but one of them has been on NetGalley for a year after its publication and the other is not published until  the end of April, so I feel I can let them both sit for a while. After 3 ebooks, I’m rather hanging out for a physical book. I think it untoldcoverwill either be Untold, the second book in the Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan or Adverbs by Daniel Handler. They’re the two things I’ve currently got out from the library, so it would be good to get through them and then return to working through things I own.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 15 February, 2017

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I thought I might mix it up this week and put WIPpet Wednesday at the top of my post. I knoooow. I live on the edge like that.

WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up. It’s the 15th, so I’m sharing six paragraphs. Clara is testing out her newly-developed telepathic and teleport-y powers to create a distraction.

I didn’t quite make it around to all of you last week, but I will try to do better this week! (I seem to say that a lot.)

~*~

Max? she thought. Jana? Can you hear me?

She sent the same thought out several times in a row. She had no way of knowing whether or not they had heard her, but she kept her mind trained on thoughts of them, open to a response. When there had been no voices inside her head for a while, she tried again, and with relief, heard Max’s voice in reply.

Clara? Where are you?

I’m a block away, she replied. I’m getting the hang of this ability. I’m going to appear with you guys again in a moment, and pretend I’m giving myself up and going with them. That will give you and Jana a chance to get away. Go back to the park and meet me by the sculpture.

Okay, Max’s voice replied inside her head. Be careful.

I will.

~*~

She then proceeds to be pretty kickass if I do say so myself.

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

chooseautobiocovverI read Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris over the weekend. As you can tell from the title, it is in choose your own adventure form, though after a while I was ending up faced with a choice between three paths I’d already read. At that point, I just started going through from beginning to end and reading the pages I hadn’t read yet. It was cute and fun and not especially memorable, but it was interesting hearing some behind-the-scenes stories about the performances I’ve really enjoyed him in.

themesmeristcoverI also finished The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith. This improved a bit in the last 25%, but I was underwhelmed. I do think 10-12-year-old me would have enjoyed it, so it’s probably a bit of a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.  This was an ARC and the official release was last week, so I hope to have the review up this Friday.

I also posted my review of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Click the title to read it.

What are you currently reading?

traitortothethronecoverI’m finally getting through Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton. I think I was not in the mood for it when I started it, and I missed some vital information, which left me confused, but now that I’ve figured out the info I missed, and am also getting into the action, I’m really enjoying it more than the first book! I know a lot of people have been disappointed by the lack of Jin in this one, but I’m actually appreciating that it is really Amani’s story, and not Amani+Jin’s story. Also Rahim for Sultan, y/n?

scarletlettercoverI’m also listening to The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne on audio. My plan is to use Overdrive to get through a few classics I’ve never read before, though to be honest, I’m probably not devoting my full attention to it. I do admire Hester Prynne, though. But apart from often staring at the letter, everyone seems to treat her pretty much as normal? Which seems odd?

What do you think you’ll read next?

fearlesstravelersguidecoverI think probably The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler. I can aspire to have one ARC review up before the book’s release date, at least! It’s another middle-grade one like The Mesmerist, but it’s got some really good reviews so far so I’m hoping I like it. I also have a couple of library books out that I want to get to soon.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#FictFBFeb17 Days 6, 9-12

Fictional Flashback February is hosted by Faith Rivens. It is mostly running on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #FictFBFeb17, but I’m also linking it here. My blog posts are also someitmes including an extra story to go along wtih the image. . See the bottom of the post for the whole months’ worth of prompts.

Today I’m playing catch-up, as I’ve missed a few days, and we’re nearly halfway through the month, so it seemed as good a time as any.

Day 6: “Fade”

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Day 9: “Fear”

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Day 10: “Friendship”

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 NB: Max is the other protagonist in With Memories and Magic. Sometimes I think he has a crush on Clara, but if he does, he’s not talking about it, and is pretending they’re just friends anyway. 😛
Day 11: “Found”
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Day 12: “Four”
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It’s now past my bedtime and I have to get up and go to work tomorrow, so I’ll leave this here and post the images to Instagram tomorrow. In the meantime, here are the other prompts.
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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 08 February, 2017

Guys, guys! Did you see that GoodReads has finally added a re-read feature? There are no words for how excited I am! They are rolling it out gradually but it is already showing up for my account. I don’t even reread much, but it’s good to know I can now revisit a series before the new installment is released, for example, and still have it count towards my yearly reading challenge. I am a slave to the GoodReads Reading Challenge.

Anyway.

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

thereptileroomcoverI finishedThe Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket, book 2 in the Series of Unfortunate Events. It wasn’t quite as good as the first, but I still want to keep going and get into all the mystery stuff that I remember from the later books.

I also finished Beauty Queens by Libba Bray just this beautyqueenscoverevening, and it was my first five star read of the year! 😀 The audio book is incredible and if you have the time to commit to 14 hours of it, I really recommend it. I ended up downloading the ebook and splitting my time between the two because I was only four hours into it and it was due back tomorrow.

I only posted on review this week, of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve been flitting between things over the past week, so I’ve got a couple of things on the go at the moment.

traitortothethronecoverI started the ARC of Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton, with the hopes of finishing it in time for the release date last Thursday, but that came and went and I’m still going. I was having trouble reading off my tablet over the weekend because my eyes were aching, so that put a bit of a dent in my reading plans.

themesmeristcoverI also started The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith, another ARC (the book was released yesterday). It’s cute so far but some of the writing feels a bit clunky. Still, it’s fairly short, so I should get through it fairly quickly.

What do you think you’ll read next?

heartofbrasscoverWell, there’s Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks, which I have on hold and really should pick up again. There’s also The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler, which I would like to try to review sometime around the release date of March 1. I probably should also review The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias before too long.

adverbscoverNot to mention Adverbs by Daniel Handler and Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris are both waiting for me to pick them up from the library tomorrow. Oh, and I still havethe four books of the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carringer on loan from a colleague, and another colleague today brought me in the rest of the Series of Unfortunate Events books.

So, um, yeah. It’ll be one of those, I guess.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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The
other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

Before I go any further, I wanted to announce that I have finally settled on a new title for the story-that-was-until-last-Thursday-known-as Operation: Sugarplum. This WIP is now known as With Memories and Magic, which is way more fitting now that the plot has completely diverged from its original form as a retelling of The Nutcracker.

My maths is easy this week: two paragraphs for the second month. This actually follows on from the WIPpet I shared a few weeks ago. Max has now arrived and is confronting the people pursuing Clara. He’s also brought back-up.

“I see you have two traitors with you.”

“You mean Derek and Ivo?” Max motioned to each man as he spoke his name. “They’re not the ones trying to persuade the Queen to return home so she can be enslaved by a dictator.”

Boy has a point.

I’m on the downhill run with the first draft of With Memories and Magic, and my subconscious has decided to go and get all antsy about it. I’m not getting down anywhere near the number of words I was each night a couple of weeks ago, and I’m far more angsty about the words I am getting down. I’m still hoping to finish this draft by the end of February, though. Cross your fingers for me!

I’ve been continuing with Fictional Flashback February. I’m hoping to write a few more little stories to go with my pictures like I did on the first few days, but some days it has just been easier to do one sentence with an image.

That’s it from me this week. I’m off to do my nightly writing and beta readings, and I’ll catch you all soon.

~ Emily