#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 09 November, 2016

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

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I was so busy last week that blogging completely slipped my mind, so my answers today reflect my last two weeks’ reading.

What have you recently finished reading?

Yikes. Two DNFs this week! At least it means I’m no longer behind on ARCs (#silverlining).

immortalwriterscoverNeither The Ill-Kept Oath by C. C. Aune nor Immortal Writers by Jill Bower managed to hold my interest. The Ill-Kept Oath had far less fantasy than the blurb promised, and the 25% that I read was just the two girls fussing over a few strange occurrences and the men they fancied. Immortal Writers spawned my first ever DNF review, as I felt I had enough to say about the first half of the book to warrant it. Basically, there were a few narrative choices that I didn’t like, and so the book just didn’t work for me.

infinityyoumecoverFortunately, The Infinity of You and Me by J. Q. Coyle proved far more enjoyable. It was one of those books where I read the first couple of paragraphs and was already thinking “Yesssssssss!” My review for that is here. If you like stories about them multiverse, I definitely recommend this one.

Today I finished Artie and the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh, which was cute, though nothing spectacular. Even within the realms of MG, it’s not really something I would read and I really only bought it because I like Richard Roxburgh’s acting work and it was an excuse to get his autograph at a signing. Having said that, it was a quick enough read and the characters were quite vibrant. And I probably would have been pretty into it when I was 12.

Oh, and I listened to the audio book of Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle, which was interesting, though I think I probably lost out with not having the illustrations, even if I did have an atmospheric soundtrack to replace it.

I also reviewed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the original book that came out in 2001, not the movie script) since my last WWW post.

What are you currently reading?

bigbanggenerationI started Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation by Gary Russel (Doctor Who in Australia! 😀 ). This is for the challenge item “a book you intended to read last year and didn’t”. It’s set on Christmas Day 2015, and my plan had been to read it on that day, but then I entirely forgot to buy it in time .

No movement on The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer, but it’s due back to the library next week, so really should get a wriggle-on. I was going to go back to it today, but I can’t deal with war and terroism after the election result, even if the book is about people doing awesome things in the face of it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am aiming to read Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction, edited by Makota Ueda. This is another challenge itme, this time for “A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with”. I picked this up by chance recently, so I have no idea what it will be like.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

wippetwednesdayThe 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.

When I last shared from the new version of Operation Sugarplum that I’m currently working on, Clara was assuring herself that the runes stopping the lock on her bedroom door from being broken were still there, despite the threats from a stranger on the other side. She’s received rather a shock when the runes glow and then disappear, leaving her vulnerable to physical attack. I’ve got 9 sentences for the 9th of November. (btw, Hanna is Clara’s ladies’ maid/companion).

She spun around and grabbed Hanna’s hand, jumping as she heard the sound of something being smashed against the lock to break it. They both ran into Hanna’s room, and Clara signalled for Hanna to hide herself under the bed. She blew out the candle and ran to Hanna’s wardrobe, flinging the doors open and stepping inside. She pulled the doors closed behind her and held her breath.

She knew she was only delaying the inevitable. She had made the mistake of speaking to General Bauer, whoever he was, so even if he hadn’t been certain at first that he had the right room, he knew now. It was impossible to escape; the windows all opened onto a fifty-foot drop. In a few months’ time, and with the proper training, Clara might have been able to buffet herself and Hanna safely to the ground, but her powers weren’t developed enough for that yet. All she was capable of at this point was startling someone with a blast of heat or light at inopportune moments.

Oh yeah… that just reminded me I need to have some sort of training montage further along where she actually does learn how to use her powers… Should probably remember that… 😉

All right, that’s all from me! See you on your blogs.

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 26 October, 2016

Sorry for not getting around to blogs this week! I’ve had a lot going on. I’m hoping I’ll do better this week! 🙂

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

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What have you recently finished reading?

I ftherookcoverinally finished The Rook! As I said in my review, I probably did myself and the book a disservice by taking so long with it and reading so many other books in between, but it is how it is.

I also read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was, to be honest, kind of ordinary, though I felt bad about being so nit-picky about it! My review will go up on Friday.

I also finally wrote a review of The Pickpocket by Celine Jeanjean this week.

What are you currently reading?

illkeptoathcoverI am so behind on my ARCs so today I made a concerted effort to start The Ill-Kept Oath by C. C. Aune. It’s okay at the moment but it’s early days so I’m hoping that it picks up. There’s one character who’s a particular jerk, but he’s meant to be,  so that’s okay.

It’s been a very slow week and I’ve had all sorts of distractions, such as colouring books, so there’s been little to no movement on either The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer or Artie and the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh. I’ll get back to these after powering through some ARCs.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next are the other two ARCs I need to get read by early November: The Infinity of You and Me by J. Q. Coyle and Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

wippetwednesdayThe 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.

So I concluded that it is silly to wait for arbritrary dates to start new projects, even if I am starting a mini NaNo challenge on November 1. Since the new version of Operation Sugarplum is pretty much ready to go, I went forth and started it! I didn’t outline all the way to the end, but in terms of getting the story from A to B, I know roughly what B is and I think I can wing it… and if not, I can do more brainstorming later. This is from the very first scene. Clara has started awake to find her palace under attack. Now a strange man is on the other side of her bedroom door.

“I’m waiting,” came the voice again. “You can let me in peaceably or I will force my way in.”

Clara held the candle up to the lock on her door, assuring herself that the runes that protected it from destruction were still in place. They would struggle to destroy it without help from a member of the order of Mages that set it there to begin with.

Now if you were paying attention the last couple of weeks, you might know why the lock is not such an issue… 😉

All right, that’s all from me! See you on your blogs.

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 19 October, 2016

A quick announcement, before I get onto today’s blog hops. The Kindle edition of my novel, A More Complicated Fairytale, will be free this weekend. The GoodReads page is here, if you feel inclined to add it to your TBR, and I’ll do another post here when the promo goes live, as well as remind you on my Facebook page. Just so’s you know. 😉 And now, on with the show!

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

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

realbookthiefcoverIt’s been a terrible reading week for me this week, and unfortunately, the only thing I finished was The Real Book Thief: (How To Steal an Author’s Work and Nearly Get Away With It) by Ingrid Black, which is the story of how the duo behind Ingrid Black discovered that their books were being plagiarised and published on Kindle under another author’s name. It was interesting also reading the reviews from people who had been friends with Joanne Clancy (the name the plagiarist published under) through social media and had reviewed the books, and seeing how betrayed they felt when this all came out.

I also posted my review of Mara Wilson’s memoir, Where Am I Now: Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame this week.

What are you currently reading?

therookcoverStill going with The Rook! But I’m on the downhill run now. It’s got a bit more interesting again. I am kind of tempted to ignore all responsibiliities for tonight and finish it, but if I do that, I will have no curry to take for lunch tomorrow, and that would make me sad.

badasslibrarianscoverI’ll include these as well, even though I’m only up to about page 6 on each of them: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, which is about some archivists who protected priceless manuscripts from destruction by Al Quaeda, and Artie and the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh (yes, the actor). Richard did a talk at work last night and I got my book signed. We stood in line for an hour so I started reading the book in the queue.

I’m also beta reading for two members of my writing group, which is fun!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Ifantasticbeastscover picked up Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander/J. K. Rowling from the library today. I’ve realised that I need to get a bit of a wriggle on with some of my reading challenges this year, and this is nice and short and fits the “a book that’s becoming a movie this year” prompt. And evne though it’s not like it’s the type of book where you read the book first to know the plot going into the movie, the movie does come out soon, so it’ll be good to have this under my belt.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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. This scene follows on from last week’s. General Bauer is the he in question at the start of this.  Nine sentences, which I got by adding the digits of 2016 together.

He looks down at me and he’s all smugness and smarm. I feel sick. But I don’t look away.

“We’ve got a surprise for you, haven’t we, gentlemen?”

I look around, and realise there are two men standing at his shoulders. They aren’t soldiers. They’re not his minions. They’re wearing the robes of the Aligar Mages, a group of magicians who swore to protect my family until I came of age and was trained in my powers. They look guilty.

That’s all from me! See you on your blogs.

~ Emily

#WIPpet and #WWW Wednesday – 25 May 2016

First of all, I’m excited to announce that I’m doing a giveaway! Launching a book in the middle of semester was perhaps a silly thing to do, as it meant I couldn’t properly promote it at launch time. But that’s all done with now, so here I am with two signed paperback copies of A More Complicated Fairytale to give away. It’s open to everyone, anywhere in the world, because if I restricted it to Australian entries I’d probably get maybe two. 😛 You can go here to enter. Good luck!

(If you want to know a bit more before entering, the Amazon and GoodReads links are both in the sidebar to the right)/;’

My goodness, this has been a good writing week. You can read a long ramble about the reasons for the sudden upturn in my progress in Sunday’s post, but suffice to say – you know how last Wednesday I was all like, “It’s taken me from November to now, but I’ve just reached 20k on Worlds Apart”? Well, I’ve added over 5k just this week. My aim for the ten weeks between uni semesters was to add another 10k, but I’ve upped that goal to 30k, which will bring me to a total of 50k by the time I return to uni. Fingers crossed I can keep up the momentum! I’ll still try to keep my WIPpets somewhat in sequence so as not to cause too much confusion, but at least I don’t have to worry about running out of material to share from now.

wednesdaybannerFor today’s WIPpet I have five lines, which also happen to make up two paragraphs in my Scrivener file (and it’s the 25th). Quite a lot has happened prior to this scene, but all you need to know is that Princess Adelyn and Carrie Cortain had the royal guards catch up to them while they were trying to escape. Due to circumstances that would take far too long to explain here, Carrie has been taken by the guards and Adelyn has lost all of her memories of who she is, etc., and has been left alone in a giant forest. And yes, there is a reason she thinks she may be Carrie, but again with the “too convoluted to explain” thing.

The girl wandered the forest, her hands brushing against the rough bark of trees as she passed. She jumped every time she heard a noise. The pack on her back made her shoulders ache, but she kept moving. She didn’t know if it would be safe to stop, though she didn’t know where she was going, either.

The other girl had called her Carrie. Was that her name? She assumed so, though they had seemed to be in trouble. Perhaps she had been using an alias. Why didn’t she know who she was, and why was the other girl so keen for her to get away to the point of sacrificing herself? And who was Milton Nethercote, the man she was supposed to somehow locate?

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, allow me to elaborate. It’s a blog hop where writers get together and share snippets from the WIP that somehow relate to the date (eg. my 2 paragraphs/5 lines thing for today). You can reach our link-up by clicking the blue guy in the right-hand sidebar. Please feel free to join in with us! We’d love to have you.

wwwwednesdayNow onto WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • What are you currently reading?

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal. Ive only read the first 100 pages so far, but I’ve already witnessed the marriage of a twelve-year-old girl (thankfully, despite my fears, there is no wedding night described), and the violent miscarriage of another girl not much older (it’s set in the 16th century, so basically everything is awful) yeah. It’s going to be a bit harrowing, I think.

I also made a very decent chunk in the audio version of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I got the email from my library that was available this morning, so I delayed leaving for work slightly and downloaded it. I’m already halfway through. I’m quite fussy about Alice in Wonderland retellings/adaptations, but I am actually liking this one. I think the fact that the Mad Hatter-equivalent character is not the love interest for once is helping. His connect to Alice/Alyss is entirely different. (I know that in Splintered, the Wonderland love interest was based on the Caterpillar, but I hated that book, so it doesn’t count :P)

  • What did you recently finish reading?

disclaimercoverI finished two audio book thrillers this week. The first was Disclaimer by Renee Knight, about a woman who has to confront her deepest, darkest secret when she is delivered a novel which clearly references said secret. It required a fair bit of suspension of disbelief, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It made me think. Second was Viral by Helen Fitzgerald. It’s about a girl whose worst moment ends up as a viral Internet video. It was good, and really drew attention to the woefully inadequate laws we have around video uploads and that sort of thing. But one of the two POV characters was quite unrealistic, I felt, which let it down a bit.

As Friday night was the beginning of my first weekend with no uni work, I spent it in bed reading The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood, which was a very quick read in the end. While there were some parts I didn’t especially like, the ending was really gripping!

I realised that I wasn’t going to get The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins finished by today, when it was due back to the library, so I gave up and returned it on Monday. However, I’ve put it back on my GoodReads TBR shelf rather than my DNF shelf in the hopes I’ll be able to come back to it when I’m in a better mood for it. It’s one that I do want to give a proper chance to.

I posted two new reviews this week, one for Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (3 stars) and one for World War Z by Max Brooks (3.5 stars).

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

A Gathering of Shadows FinalMy next audio book is Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill, which sounds cute and lighthearted and charming.

It’s not so much a case of reading next, but getting back to reading. The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel  and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab have both been sitting, started but not completed, on my Kindle, waiting for me to get back to them once I got rid of all my library books. Kingdom of Little Wounds is the last of my library haul for the moment, so I will actually be able to return to these.

Whew this was a long post! If you’ve made it all this way, you have my thanks. I’ll sign off now, and go and catch some of you on your owns blogs!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 18 May, 2016

Once again, I have failed at keeping up with everyone’s blogs! However, on the brighter side, I handed in my final two assignments for the semester this week, and now I am free for ten glorious weeks! My aim is actually to get a lot of writing done in that time, but it will mean increased blogging time, too, I hope.

Anyway, now is time for WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog (though I’m posting quite early, so if the post isn’t there yet, check back later).
wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

lastdaysofmagiccoverThe Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins. It’s not exactly wowing me and the writing feels a bit clunky, but it’s early days so I’m not writing it off just yet.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

rebelofthesandscoverRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I actually realised about two thirds of the way through that there was no indication from the book that some of the things I had been expecting would be there, so I guess I did a bit of a disservice to myself and the book by having unfounded expectations. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I might have otherwise. My review goes up on Friday.

I also finished World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which I was listening to on audio. My review will go up on Monday. I enjoyed it, though my mind wasn’t blown.

I  posted my review of Rivers of London by Aaronovitch on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

kingdomlittlewoundscoverThe Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal, which I mostly picked up because of the stunning cover (seriously, go check it out), and The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood are the last two of my library books. I will probably read the Poison Diaries first because it’s shorter, and hopefully I’ll get through it before the due date, though I’m actually keener to read The Kingdom of Little Wounds.

Now for WIPpet Wednesday. My WIPpet maths this week is such – it’s the eighteenth, and so I have a nine-line paragraph because I added the two digits together. Carrie is getting Princess Adelyn out of the city, but they have to go on foot, and they’re getting into the dodgier parts of town.

Princess Adelyn kept her hood raised as they walked. It was still dark outside, but the street lamps lit their way. She wasn’t sure how much longer that would remain the case, though, as they headed into the poorer parts of the city. Once they reached the forest Jasper had mentioned, she didn’t know what they would do to see their way. Carrie seemed to know what she was doing though. She walked confidently through the streets. Adelyn was surprised that a young woman from the part of town where the Cortains lived would know her way out of the city by this road so easily.

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, it’s a blog hop that I coordinate, wherein us writer types share an snippet from our current WIP (hence, WIPpet) that somehow relates to the date. The date correlation can be as tenuous as you like; we enjoy creativity in that respect. 😉 You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right. 🙂

On the subject of this WIP, I am very close to hitting 20k on it! Which isn’t a lot given I started it November, but I’ve had some rough patches lately, writing-wise, so I’m getting excited at any and all milestones.

Now that I’m done with uni for a while, I’m hoping to do some proper promo and marketing for A More Complicated Fairytale. Some people actually bought it despite my lack of marketing! But I’d like to see a few more! (If you’re keen, you might like to use the link in the sidebar to buy your own copy, but I am going to hopefully have a giveaway up and going in a week or so, so you might like to hold off until then).

Well, I’d best be off now. I’m going to the circus tonight! 😀 Hopefully this week I’ll actually manage to get around to a lot of your blogs. Until then!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 11 May, 2016

I’m sorry I haven’t been a great blogging friend/colleague lately!  Time has been of the essence and while it’s one thing to put a post up, actually getting around to the rest of you guys and interacting is a whole other story. I’ll try my best this week and hopefully once I get uni out of the way for the semester next week, I’ll be able to hang out with you guys a bit more.

Anyway, now is time for WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog (though I’m posting quite early, so if the post isn’t there yet, check back later).
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  • What are you currently reading?

Technically, The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel  and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab, but they are both still on hold while I get through my pile of library books.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton is the next book from my library haul! It’s received mixed reviews but I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it. I have been craving something else with djinn since reading The Golem and the Djinni last year. At time of writing this post, I’ve read 14 pages, but I did like them! It feels a bit like a Western, except with an Arabic-inspired setting.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch just this morning. It was due back to the library yesterday, but they generally give you a couple of days’ grace before fining you, so I think I have got away with no fees. I wasn’t too fussed on it and don’t intend to continue with the series. I’ll write a full review to go up on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins, as it is the next one due back at the library, and also the only one of those that I had on my TBR, rather than just randomly picking up.

Excitingly, I am also making a return to WIPpet Wednesday! Hurray! I know how much you all missed me. 😛 I didn’t have the best writing month in April, because I was stressing about how I really didn’t know where nay of my three WIPs were going. However, I have returned to Worlds Apart, which is the one I actually have outlined right to the end, even if the world-building isn’t complete yet. My plan is to just finish the damn first draft and then fix things. If you are new, you can read previous excerpts from Worlds Apart by going to the relevant blog category.

This scene follows on from previous ones I’ve shared, where Jasper Cortain and his wife, Helena, are being questioned about the Princess’ disappearance by Captain Eli Masden. Masden is using his mind control magic on Helena in order to get information out of Jasper. Jasper tries to go to her. The two words mentioned in the first sentence are just “No, stop.” I’m sharing 2 paragraphs because it’s the 11th and 1+1=2.

As Masden spoke the words, Jasper something inside his head. It was like a worm was crawling around in there, preventing his normal brain function and instead making him do as Masden instructed. He froze mid-step.

Jasper grimaced, and tried to move his legs. The worm in his head resisted, but he could feel it give. He summoned up the magic he used to drive out ailments in others, but instead of letting it blast out through his hands and into another affected person, he directed it at the spot in his own head where he could feel Masden’s magic setting in. The force of the blast took him by surprise, and Masden as well, by the looks of it. While Jasper staggered a few steps backward, he saw the other magician get thrown roughly into the back of his chair.

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, it’s a blog hop that I coordinate, wherein us writer types share an snippet from our current WIP (hence, WIPpet) that somehow relates to the date. The date correlation can be as tenuous as you like; we enjoy creativity in that respect. 😉 You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right. 🙂

Well, I’d best be off now. I’ll try to catch you all soon!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 23 December 2015

So I drove up to my parents’ place yesterday, and they have very minimal phone reception, not to mention, my phone battery was basically dead by the time I arrived. Which meant we nearly had a WIPpet Wednesday disaster, because I didn’t see the reminder to update the linky for this week until I was putting my phone on the charger just before bed. Luckily, this is one of those times when being Australian comes in handy, because it meant that 7am this morning was only just midnight in the UK and still only 2pm American EST, and all crises were averted in plenty of time.

seanbeanwippetAs my Christmas present to you all, I thought I would actually share a WIPpet this week. For those unfamiliar with this blog hop, it’s one in which writers share excerpts from their current works in progress that somehow relate to the date. Today’s the 23rd, so I’ve added 2 and 3 together, and have five short paragraphs for you. Then I’ve added an extra line because it’s Christmas (and because it worked better to end it there). If you would like to join in, simply write up a post and then follow the little blue link in the top right to link up with us.

I finished plotting and started writing the first draft of my new WIP, tentatively titled Worlds Apart, a couple of weeks ago, and so far have just under 4000 words. I’m writing at least 200 words a day. Sometimes it’s sitting just at that total, though I’ve had a few good days of 750-1000 words. This scene is right at the beginning of the book. Princess Adelyn has been dragged back to the palace after it was discovered she was sneaking out and associating with some fairly shady commoners She’s trying to (quite justifiably) wriggle out of her punishment.

“I know what you’ve done. I was starting to piece it together and my friends in the city figured the rest out.” She moved further up the bed away from him, but Captain Masden simply moved around to the side of it and caught up to her. 

“A princess doesn’t have friends in the city, your Highness.” 

“Please don’t take away my memories again. You can tell my father that you did, and I’ll never mention anything about it to him. I’ll feign complete ignorance.” 

She saw him beckon to her companion, Maisie, who had been standing at the head of the bed, and she flinched as Maisie took her by the shoulders to hold her still. Captain Masden placed his fingers to her temples, paying no attention to her pleas. 

“I’m afraid I can’t risk you letting something slip, your Highness. These are your father’s orders. Now, please listen closely.” He ignored the small whimper she let out. “You were never in the city yesterday. You never met any healers, or their children, and you certainly weren’t about to let them lead you off to the shadier edges of town, where illegal magic is rife. You spent yesterday reading your favourite book, and sewing when the fancy took you. Your father came by and discussed plans for your mother’s anniversary next week. Do you remember?” 

“I remember,” the Princess repeated, her voice a monotone.

Oooh. 

wwwwednesdayI’m almost hesitant to go on to WWW Wednesday, because it’s been such a slow reading week for me. But on I shall go. WWW Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World of Words, in which we answer three questions about the books we’ve been reading this week. You can join in by leaving your link over on Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading? 

Very little movement on The Crash of Hennington by Patrick Ness or  The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis. I ended up having my dad in the car with my yesterday, so I didn’t actually get to listen to the audio books I had planned to on my way home. Otherwise I would be well and truly finished Magician’s Nephew at least. I also started The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, because even though it’s three years old, I feel like everyone is reading it right now. I’m only around page 50, but I’m not minding it so far. I quite like Gansey.

  • What did you recently finish reading? 

I spent Saturday doing absolutely nothing but reading Melophobia by James Morris. James got in touch with me on GoodReads to ask if I would like a review copy, and as I had heard good things, of course I said yes. There was one particular character whom I really didn’t like and that pulled me up a bit, but the alternate history was good. It’d been a while since I’d read an alternate history as opposed to a straight dystopia.

  • What do you think you’ll read next? 

I’m hoping I’ll manage to finish The Magician’s Nephew while I’m home, then I can just pop on The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror  for my entire drive home next Tuesday. I won’t finish it on the drive, but I’ll make a fairly decent hole. Time Lord Fairy Tales also came in for me at the library after ages on hold, so that will probably be my next print book. I’m at 72 books for 2015 at the moment; I’m hoping I will reach 75 before the year is out.

This will be my last post before Christmas. I’ll be back for WWW/WIPpet Wednesday next week, but my next book reviews won’t be up until January 8. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, whether you are Christian, of another faith, or secular. I’ll see you all on the other side!

~ Emily

A belated WIPpet Wednesday

Ohai, WIPpeteers. It’s been a little while. Uni work has been eating up my time, and sadly, leaving very little for writing. Boooo. I had expected to have time to write this post last night, but unfortunately, Easter hymn practice at my church went at least an hour longer than expected, and it was after 10 when I finally got home. After a stressful day at work, I wasn’t doing anything apart from falling into bed. However, it’s still Wednesday in some parts of the world, so here I am.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I have finally finished Unicorn Love. Actually, when I was writing that post, I had only mostly finished it, as I still had a couple of final paragraphs to perfect. I think it’s there now, though. So, in light of that, I can totally still count it as a WIP for WIPpet Wedneday. Yesterday was the first, so I have one line of dialogue. This is Aphrodite is speaking to Lydia.

“Oh, forget about the silly deal. I can always find another cupid. You, on the other hand, will only get one second chance [at love*].”

*I added those last two words, just for some context. Aphrodite is encouraging Lydia to stop worrying so much and go for it.

I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo in an attempt to properly plan what started as last year’s November NaNoWriMo. I don’t know how much of it is actually going to remain the same. So far, there have been mostly changes, with the exceptions two of the main characters staying the same. If/when bits of the actual story come to me, I intend to write them, so hopefully I’ll be able to return to WIPpet Wednesday full time soon.

In other news, I know we’re between ROW80 rounds right now, but I wanted to tick off this week’s goals anyway, and write some for the next week. This is what I intended to do last week:

  • Write review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – started, but not completed.
  • Write review of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – done, at about 10:30 on Friday night when I realised it was review day and nothing had gone up yet.
  • Write review of Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park. – not done, and I might not worry about this, since I have read a few more recent books in the last week
  • Type up the end of Unicorn Love and send it out to my writing group for their consideration before submitting. – did the typing, am yet to send it out
  • Spend an hour continuing to format AMCF and compare two files with text-to-speech software. – don’t think it would have been an hour, but I have done this up to the end of chapter 10. I hope to have the rest done over the Easter break.
  • Research and write Module 3 750-word response for HIST8015 – done. It wasn’t amazing, but it’s only worth 5% of my grade, so…
  • Research and write Module 5 750-word response for HIST8015 – not done, as Module 3 took longer than I expected. Also, I decided to do Module 6 rather than 5.
  • Decide which essay questions I will use before meeting with lecturer on Monday (also HIST8015) – done. I think I’ve even thought of an angle for the essay.
  • Decide on an object to use for my significance report (MUSC8017) – not done, as there are far too many options and I am yet to narrow it down.

A lot of the not done stuff is due to motivation, and the fact that I spent a lot of the time when I wasn’t doing uni work just reading. I really just have to push myself to actually do the things I need to do. I have not only the four-day Easter weekend, but also Tuesday and Wednesday of next week off, so I want to be as productive as possible while still having a relaxing time off. I have a bunch of church services to prepare for/attend, as well as catching up with some friends, and that sort of thing. So, goals for the next week:

  • Read 1 hour a day and finish A Wicked Thing
  • Complete text-to-speech run-through of AMCF (8 chapters, so maybe 2 a day?)
  • Finish review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Write review of Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • Write review of A Wicked Thing once finished reading
  • Make a list of books in uni libraries that may be useful for history essay
  • Spend an hour each day doing uni readings
  • Try to dot-point an essay plan
  • Remain on target for Camp NaNoWriMo (approx. 334 words a day = 2333 words by the end of Tuesday)

I think that’s about it for this week. I’ll hopefully also have time to catch up with you all on your blogs and see how your WIPs are going. Happy Easter to all, whether it’s of religious significance to you, or just an excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate guilt-free. I’ll see you next Wednesday!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Update and #WIPpet Wednesday – “I screwed up”

Arrrrgh! I had an awesome ROW80 post that I had typed up on my breaks at work today, and then I just opened the email where I thought I had emailed it to myself, and there was nothing there! Noooo! This is what I get for copying things at 4pm when I’ve been at work since 7:45. All right, time to start the memory test.

row80I’ve decided to revise the way I do my goals for ROW80. Not only will I have my round-long goals, but I’m going to start setting goals for the following week every check-in. I’ve seen a few people do this and I think it will be really beneficial for me, particularly now that I’m studying again.

Last week I didn’t do any writing. Instead, I was getting settled into online study and trying to get my head around that. I’m doing two courses this semester: Colonial Australia in an Imperial World and Museums and Collections: Key Concepts and Practices. While the Museums one is actually relevant to my degree (Museums and Cultural Heritage), I’m currently finding the history elective more interesting. This may change, though.

I’ve already written 250 words of 1500 for the critical exhibition review I have due on the 11th of March. So I’m pretty happy with that. I’ve responded to one forum discussion for the history course. I have to respond to at least three over the course of the semester, so I’m trying to get them out of the way early so that when I’m writing major essays, I don’t need to worry. One of said major essays is due smack-bang in the middle of My Fair Lady performances, so I’m really going to need to try to get that completed a week or so early.

So now, some goals for the week of Wednesday 25 February through to Tuesday March 3:

  • Complete readings for critical exhibition review for MUSC8017
  • Get first draft of critical exhibition review up to 750/1500 words for MUSC8017
  • Complete Module 2 forum discussion response for HIST8015
  • Do 50% of readings for Module 2 online exercise (HIST8015)
  • Write a review of Cinder to go up on here on Friday
  • Finish second draft of Unicorn Love.
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs and at least 50% of the WIPpet Wednesday blogs

Rough plan for doing this:

  • Write Cinder review after this post, because I’m not home tomorrow and I’ll probably forget on Friday
  • Spend an hour on Friday night and Tuesday night finishing Unicorn Love. That is all it should take; I’m really close! Then someone will have to read it.
  • Spend an hour on uni work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Depending on how long I am out for on Saturday, and on what is needed, add a second hour on Saturday.
  • Spend an hour Saturday and an hour Sunday visiting blogs, unless I have managed to already fit some of this in elsewhere.

I do love a good list. I’m actually feeling fluttery excitement in my belly at the thought of getting stuck into these so I can strike them out in next Wednesday’s post.

wippetwednesdayOnto WIPpet Wednesday. I’ve revamped Unicorn Love a bit. I’ve taken all the time travel out, as well as some other material, and made it a lot more concise. Where the first draft was nearly 9000 words, I think this will be under 4k.  I’m really hoping that will be the case, because then I can enter into the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story Competition. Anyway, today is the 25th, so I’ve added 2+5 and have seven paragraphs to share. The scene I’m sharing comes a little after the one I shared last week.

“Would you prefer to have never cried the tears you cried over David?”

“What? Of course not.”

“You said that if I didn’t meddle, many tears could be avoided. You and David didn’t come together by chance, you know. Would you have preferred to have never known him, and never cried over him when he left you?”

“You mean, you…”

“That’s right.”

Lydia looked down at her hands. “And then I screwed it up.”

To her credit, Aphrodite did pause before answering, trying to find a tactful way of agreeing. “Well,” she said finally, “yes, you did.”

For the record, Lydia screwed it up by getting drunk and making out with another guy in a bar. At least, she tells herself she was drunk. It may have had more to do with the fact that she and David had had a fight the night before and she was feeling reckless and spiteful, than with her level of alcohol consumption.

Y’all should join in on WIPpet Wednesday, or ROW80 or both! WIPpet Wednesday just requires that you post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then you link up here. All the chocolate and coffee to our fearless host, K. L. Schwengel. ROW80, or A Round of Words in 80 Days, is an awesome system for sorting your writing goals and having some accountability. It’s a bit more complicated, but you can check out the website for more info.

I’m going to go now and try to get my Cinder review before I fall asleep on my keyboard. See you all over the next few days!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and#ROW80 Update: Drastic Measures

I’m unexpectedly at home today, after falling off my bike halfway to work. I think I’m okay, though I have two rather large bruises on my right thigh. Earlier, my ankle was also causing me grief and my head was swimming when I walked, but that seems to have cleared up. The lovely folks at work have told me in no uncertain terms to not come back tomorrow unless I am feeling completely 100%, so we’ll see how I’m going.

I finished the first draft of Unicorn Love on Saturday. It only needed another 300 words or so, which goes to show just how lazy I had been in the week and a half prior. But anyway. Somewhat fitting that a story in which the main character is a cupid, and which explores the idea of true love, was finished on Valentine’s Day. That was the only Valentine’s Day-related thing that happened on Saturday, since the partner and I tend to ignore the day usually (though it is also International Give A Book day, which is something I can get behind).

The first draft ended up being just under 9000 words. However… I am not entirely sure if I am going to keep more than the first 2700-odd. It works really well up until the time travel happens, at which point it practically becomes a different story. At first, I was just trying to figure out ways to bring in aspects from the first part and tie it all together better, but my other problem was that I was having trouble coming up with an ending that was neither too easy nor too unrealistic (both of which were the case in the first version). I was driving a friend home after a theatre outing on Saturday evening and bounced some ideas off him. He has given me something to work with, though it will require deleting some stuff I’m quite partial to… I’ll have to see if I can work that in elsewhere. Either way, just as with AMCF, it sounds like the second draft of Unicorn Love will be drastically different to the first.

cupidOnto WIPpet Wednesday, and this scene follows the one I posted three weeks ago. Lydia is surprised that the Chinese boy and the girl in the bookstore are already together when she and Aphrodite spot them the next morning.

Lydia narrowed her eyes at Aphrodite. “Did you do something?”

“Lydia! I’m surprised you’d even suggest such a thing!” Lydia arched an eyebrow. “All right, maybe I gave them a little push.”

“I knew it.”

“But look at the boy! He’s beaming! And she is clearly smitten.”

“And how much of that is thanks to you?”

“Lydia, you’re not thinking about this in the right way. No wonder you’ve become disillusioned.” Aphrodite motioned for Lydia to follow and they continued past shops towards a crowded food court. “We are partly responsible for so many couples being brought together. Does that make their love any less legitimate?”

“I guess not. But why can’t you let it run its own course, once we’ve set it on its way?”

“Well, after today, I will. But while your job is simply to give prospective couples the push they need to come together, mine is far more complicated than that. I have to make decisions about which relationships should continue and which ones should end. I intervene a lot more than you know. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the work that couple does to stay together isn’t any less important, or that the tears that are cried when it doesn’t work out are less justified, just because I nudged it in one direction or another.”

“But the tears might have been avoided if you didn’t meddle.”

I realised while reading through the whole thing the other day that Lydia does an awful lot of eyebrow-arching. Something else for the second draft.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K. L. Schwengel and you can find out linky here. To participate, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. I posted 9 paragraphs because I added together the one and the eight from the eighteenth. A Round of Words in 80 Days is hosted by Kait Nolan, and you can check out the blog for more info. Now I’m off to do some uni work!

~ Emily