#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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“Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.” // Review of “Soulless” by Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Urban fantasy/historical fiction/humour
Date Read: 05/04/2017 – 13/04/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

This book was well-written and genuinely funny. I want to put that out there. But unfortunately I found that it was trying to do too many things to be really great at any one of them.

Alexia Tarabotti is a 26-year-old spinster with theh ability to render any supernatural power useless at her touch. When she is attacked by a vampire and accidentally kills it, she finds herself tangled up in a conspiracy where supernatural creatures are appearing and going missing at a rate of knots… not to mention, tangled up with the dashing werewofl, Lord Maccon, who is investigating by order of Queen Victoria.

I felt that the comedy of manners aspect of this book was the major player in the genre field. The steampunk and supernatural elements were almost window dressing. There was a great deal of witty banter, and that was where the laugh-out-loud moments came from. The plot itself, and the mystery contained therein, I didn’t actually find very engaging. That meant that when the comedy started wearing a bit thin, there wasn’t much left to hold my interest.

While the writing was overall strong, there were also some stylistic things that bugged me, such as the main character being referred to in the narration as Alexia in one paragraph, then Miss Tarabotti in the next.  Obviously, being the Victorian era, what the characters called each other was quite important, but when the narration was from Alexia’s point of view, it felt odd to hear her essentially refer to herself formally.

While it wasn’t for me, I do still recommend the book/series, as I know others have enjoyed it a lot more, and the genre blend will probably work for others better than it worked for me.


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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 -29 March, 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.

This will be my last week sharing from my Wizard of Oz retelling (for now). Last week, Dora and Julia were discussing the cheesy fantasy movie Dora was auditioning for. Today I’ve got 11 lilnes (2+9 for the 29th) from her audition.

“Are you ready?” asked the guy in glasses who had brought her into the room.

She nodded, trying not to lose focus.

“Princess Ruby, are you up there?” he called, only putting a small amount of expression into the line. He didn’t have a hero’s voice. It was sort of squeaky. Dora tried not to let it distract her too much.

“Yes, I’m up here!” she responded, fixing her eyes on a point on the wall about foot from the floor. She visualised the craggy rocks and the brambles that led up to the tower where the princess was being held, and imagined catching a glimpse of the hero as he fought his way past them towards her.

“Don’t move! I’m going to get you out of there!”

“Andre, watch out!” The script described a dragon appearing behind Andre, so Dora flung out one arm, pointing.

“That’s good,” said Oliver Zamik, breaking into the scene. Dora gave herself a shake to come back to herself, and then turned back to the panel. Only four lines? Was that all they needed?

Auditions are weird, y’all. I don’t know what’s weirder, that some people have to do them for a living, or that I put myself through them with no promise of a pay cheque later (I do community theatre, for those who might be new here).

I’m honestly not sure what will happen with this project. I would like to see it through, but I was having trouble even getting the scenes that were firm in my head down on paper, let alone the ones that needed teasing. I am back to working on Memories and Magic at the moment, but I will be finished the first draft of that soon, and I want to put it away for a while before I start editing (even though I am actually REALLY KEEN to start editing).

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?

A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab… in the end, I had mixed feelings about it. I think it’s time for me to stop reading V. E. Schwab books, even if I am intrigued by Vicious. I’ve read four of her books now and only liked one (ADSOM). I also DNFed one back before I really knew who she was. So. Yeah. Anyway, review up this Friday.

What are you currently reading?

I started He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly on the weekend, when I needed a physical book to read on my study breaks. It took me a while to get into, but it grabbed me properly on the way home on the bus this afternoon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Soulless is still next on my radar. Though I have bought a few books lately. And got a couple more ARCs. I’m really sucking at sticking to my “read books I already own” goal for this year. But it’s fine, the year’s only a quarter gone. Still plenty of time to catch up, right?

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 22 March, 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.

While I’m back to working on With Memories and Magic, I thought I would continue sharing from my Wizard of Oz retelling for the rest of March. In this scene, Dora is talking to Julia Lyons, a fellow actress, about auditions and particularly the one she has coming up. I’ve added 2+2+3 for seven paragraphs.

“That’s the spirit! Hey, maybe you could come along to this one I’m going for next week.”

“What is it?”

Dora fished in her handbag and pulled out a battered library book. It was called A Hero’s Mission and the cover showed a half-naked man wielding a sword.

Julia raised her eyebrows. “It’s looks terrible,” she said frankly.

“It’s… pretty terrible, yeah,” Dora agreed. “But there’s this princess that he rescues at the start, and that’s the role I’m going for. It’s being directed by Oliver Zamik -”

“Oliver Zamik who directed A Pirate Tale? Dora, this will be terrible!”

“I know! His movies are always awful. But think about it. A small role in a crap but popular fantasy movie could be my big break!”

And that’s why I’ll stick to community theatre and never bother trying it professionally. 😛

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?

Nothing finished this week, but I did DNF Adverbs by Daniel Handler. It’s not that it was bad, just one of those cases where I wasn’t really digging it and I had other books that I wanted to get to. In another time and place, I may well have read it right through.

My reviews of A Tangle of Gold (Colours of Madeleine #3) by Jaclyn Moriarty and  So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson went up this week. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

Currently reading A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab. I think this is definitely back up to the standard of the first book (I found the second one incredibly dull and it took me forever to read). Having said that, I was thinking about this series as a whole yesterday and I don’t think I’ve loved it overall as much as others have, but I am glad that I’m seeing it through. It is nice to actually tick a complete series of my TBR.

What do you think you’ll read next?

A colleague leant me the first four books of the Parasol Protectorate series ages ago, so I want to start Soulless and finally see if I like it or not. I’m generally not the biggest fan of vampires, werewolves, etc, but I understand this is quite a witty series and I am a fan of that. So we’ll see.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily