#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 13 January, 2016

First on the agenda today, Rachel was suggesting last week that perhaps a Facebook group for WIPpeteers may be in order. Would people be keen? I’m happy to set one up, though I probably wouldn’t post much, except to perhaps share writing-related cat pictures. Should we do it as a “closed” group? I think that means anyone can join (I or whoever the mod was would have to approve membership), but only members can see posts.

wednesdaybannerOn that note, WIPpet Wednesday is a thing that I now run. You can (and totally should) join in by posting an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then link it up at the linky. For the 13/01, I have added 1 + 3 + 1 and have five lines of dialogue. After the conversation she had with her father in last week’s WIPpet, Princess Adelyn is starting to ask questions of her companion, Maisie.

“You’re my companion, but if my Father gave you a direct order to tell me something in particular, or try to make me think a certain way, would you do it?”

“Your Highness, I…”

“Would you?”

“I always have your best interests at heart, you know that.”

“And is it in my best interests for you to not answer my question? Or your own?”

After that, we have WWW Wednesday, which is splendidly hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. To join in, simply answer the three questions and then hop on over to Sam’s post and share your link in the comments.

  • What are you currently reading?

Mirrorfall by Grace McDermott. Once of my friends read this years ago when it was a web serial and has been recommending it ever since. It describes itself as “urban fantasy for geeks” and it definitely delivers on that, though it’s not outstanding so far. I’ve still got 75-80% to go, though, so it has plenty of time to really impress me.

I’m listening to Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French. It’s a middle-grade novel, and a companion to Jackie’s book, Hitler’s Daughter, which one of my primary school teachers read us. Maybe in Year 2 or Year 3? In this book, it’s 1939 and ten-year-old Georg is smuggled out Germany after it is discovered that his great-grandfather was a Jew, which is enough to attract the ire of the Nazis. It’s read by Humphrey Bower, whom I also listened to read the Chaos Walking series. His voice for Georg is nearly the same as the one he used for Viola, which is nearly distracting at times, but in a good way.

wwwwednesdayStill haven’t read any more Crash of Hennington. I do plan to get back to it, it’s just that I have an awfully long reading list this month and it’s not a huge priority.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I absolutely loved The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville. A lot of the plot is taken up with the titular lieutenant, Daniel Rooke, learning the local indigenous language, and in that respect, I think listening to the audio book really helped, because I could actually hear how it was supposed to sound, rather than just making a rough approximation myself. Also, Daniel is one of those characters that you want to wrap in a blanket and cuddle most of the time, and then when he starts figuring himself out, you get all proud of him. At least, that was what I found.

I also finished Lucid Dreaming by Cassandra Page and continued to get excited whenever I recognised locations (for those who missed last week’s post, this was possibly the first book I’ve ever read that’s set in my city). I enjoyed reading an urban fantasy with creatures we don’t often see (in this case, dream spirits… who have a proper name but it’s tricky to spell and I can’t be bothered going and looking it up right now :P)

Finally, More Than This by Patrick Ness came in for me at the library. I did start listening to the audio book for it, but the narrator wasn’t doing it for me, so I decided to wait for the book. I really enjoyed it. It is very easy for me to hand-wave soft sci-fi, and this book did require a bit of that, but the science is really just a tool to get the philosophy across in this book.

(I also DNFed Blade’s Edge by Virginia McClain, as it wasn’t doing anything for me. I was 25% in, and had no investment in the two characters. There was also no sign of any actual major conflict, so that was kind of a problem)

I also posted FOUR reviews this week! Here’s the link to my book reviews category because I don’t want a million pingbacks from linking to them individually.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Apart from Crash of Hennington, the last two books on my January TBR are Just a Queen by Jane Caro, a YA novel about Elizabeth I, and Chameleon In A Mirror by our very own Ruth Nestvold. I am yet to decide which order to go in just yet.

That’s it from me. I’ll see you around your own blogs! 🙂

~ Emily

 

 

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 30 December, 2015

I can’t believe this is the last Wednesday of 2015. This year has flown by even faster than previous ones have seemed to. I’ll have a post up tomorrow looking back over the year in terms of reading and writing, but for now, it’s time for WIPpet Wednesday and WWW Wednesday.

First off today, we have WWW Wednesday, 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. Click the link to share your own post.

  • What are you currently reading?

wwwwednesdayI started Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tales and so far, it is beautiful. At time of writing (which is Wednesday morning, as opposed to Wednesday evening when I will post this), I’ve read stories based on Cinderella (the Eleventh Doctor as Cinderella’s fairy godmother made me so happy), Sleeping Beauty and… I’m actually not sure what the one with Weeping Angels was based on, but it was a very nice fairytale-style story either way.

I’m still sitting at around 20% on The Crash of Hennington. The Doctor Who book is from the library, but once I finish it, I might try to give this one my full and undivided attention for a while.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I stayed up on Boxing Night to finish The Raven Boys. I’m still working out exactly what I liked and disliked about it. I liked it enough that I’ll probably continue with the series, but I’m not madly rushing off to read the next book just yet.

Boxing Day also included a re-read of a book from my childhood, The Bugalugs Bum Thief. The basic plot is that one day everyone in the charming seaside town of Bugalugs wakes up to find that their bums have been stolen. So Skeeter goes on an investigation to track down the missing bums. As I said, I first read this when I was about eight years old (and I was quickly re-reading before handing it on to my niece of that age), and it was only now that I realised it was written by Tim Winton, who is one of Australia’s most respected authors. I haven’t actually read any of his other work, but I know he’s won all the awards at one stage or another, and I just could not believe this book also came from his pen.

I then finished listening to The Magician’s Nephew on the drive home yesterday. I’m a Christian myself, so Lewis’ rather heavy-handed parallels to Christianity did not bother me, though even I was at times thinking, “Wow, this is so very not subtle.” But I actually really loved the story of the creation of Narnia.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I  joined Netgalley last night and got my first approval this morning, for Somewhere In Between by Katie Li. The plot sounds really intriguing and I’m quite looking forward to it.

wippetwednesdayNext up is WIPpet Wednesday. 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 30th, so I’ve added 3 and 0 and have three paragraphs. 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. Princess Adelyn has just learned that people convicted of magic use are hanged in front of the palace as an example.

Adelyn felt a knot forming in her stomach. “Why have I never seen this before?”

Maisie kept her eyes lowered. “Your father generally likes to keep this sort of thing from you. It’s not the sort of thing a princess should have to witness.”

“But I didn’t even know.” Her eyes widened. “Oh, no. It’s not… you don’t think… and there I was, saying how good it was I wasn’t forgetting things anymore.”

She’s probably onto something there.

I’ve just realised that it’s 9:35pm and I’m yet to do any writing today. And I’ve been on a really good streak lately and I don’t plan on breaking it, so I’m going to go and do that. Until next week!

~ 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

#WIPpet Wednesday and #WWW Wednesday – September 2, 2015

Hello friends! It’s good to be hanging out with you again. Things that have happened since I last wrote a proper post:

  • Edy gave Unicorn Love a good edit (he says he only stuck to the basics, but the ten page document was covered in red strike-outs, additions and comments), and then I submitted it to a short story contest. Eep!
  • The winter session uni course I was doing is over, which is why I’m back to blogging. My course for second semester is a writing course, so I should be much more at home with it.
  • The contemporary romance that I started and talked about in my last WIPpet Wednesday post lasted all of a week and a half, until a better idea came along. Said better idea features a gay princess and the girl who wants to rescue from her evil father, and adventures brought on by mind-altering magic used irresponsibly.

So I guess having said all that, I should give you a WIPpet. This is very first draft-y, half of it hasn’t even made its way from notebook to computer yet, and I’m constantly thinking of things that will need to change and putting memos in my phone (my new phone can put memos into categories, I am so excited!). But that is generally how I write first drafts, so I’m not worried.

wippetwednesdayWhat you need to know for this scene: Magic is illegal, but some people use it in secret, including most of the main characters. In this scene, Nell is going to visit her foster-father/guardian/mentor/teacher/I-haven’t-quite-figured-this-out-yet, Jasper Cortain, to try to persuade him to help her with Plot-Related Matters. She arrives just in time to see Jasper leaving, visibly distressed, and learns from the butler that Jasper’s secret magic use has been found out. Since Jasper wasn’t home when the King’s men came for him, they’ve taken his wife instead.

“Don’t lecture me, Nell.” He started walking again, but Nell kept pace.

“Do you have a plan?” she pressed. “Are you just going to march up to the King and demand he release her? What good are you going to be to Helena if you get thrown in prison, too? The King will already have it in for you; you’re going to have to make a mighty good case to him for him to not throw you in the dungeons as well.”

Yeah, my paragraph of context was longer than the excerpt. Sorry.

Fun fact: I set out to write Jasper as morally grey, but he ended up stupidly noble instead, damn him.

If you want to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. I did two paragraphs for 2nd September. Then link up here. It’s lots of fun!

And now for WWW Wednesday, a reading meme hosted by Sam. All you need to do is answer the three questions, and leave a comment on the appropriate post on Sam’s blog. wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

I started A Darker Shade of Magic a couple of nights ago. Enjoying it so far. I’ve got three GR friends who have read it; one gave it 5 stars, another 4 and the third, 3. So it’ll be interesting to see where it falls for me. I really like the writing style so far, though. This is one of V. E. Schwab’s adult books; I tried reading one of her YA books, and didn’t finish it, but this is promising so far.

Also technically reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making but I’m not very far into it yet, and I don’t actually know how far I’ll go. It has awesome reviews but the narration style is one I only enjoy in certain books.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

After dropping Throne of Glass, I started reading Crewel, but gave up on it fairly quickly. I thought it was fantasy, but it was actually dystopian, and I don’t really enjoy plots where you know it’s dystopian because of the way women are treated. I’m all about the equal subjugation of men and women in my dystopian futures. Also dropped Hot Lead, Cold Iron, because apparently hard-boiled detective stories about 1930s Chicago mobsters aren’t for me, even when the detective also happens to be a Fey prince. And Gin O’Clock, because I should have read it when it came out, and now the jokes are really dated.

On the other hand, I finished The Viper and the Urchin and absolutely adored it. My review is here.

I also finished Balanced on a Blade’s Edge and Deathmaker, the first two books in the Dragon’s Blood series. I thought the first was better than the second, but both were really enjoyable. The characters and the world-building were really interesting, and after a slew of young adult books, it was nice reading something with adult characters.

Oh, and I also took Persuasion of my currently-reading shelf, not because I’ve abandoned it, but because my iPod still isn’t working, and even if it gets fixed, it’s likely the audio book won’t remember where I was up to. So I’ll probably just grab the physical book at some point and read that instead.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I… have absolutely no idea. I have five things on hold at the library, but I don’t think any of them are going to come in too soon. A colleague did tell me about The Gone-Away World and asked if I would be interested in it, mostly because he really liked it and wants someone to talk about it with. So if he brings that in, I’ll get onto it next in the interests of not having it for too long. Oh, and Blood Charge, the third Dragon’s Blood book, will be my listening to at work option.

Well, that’s me for this week. It’s only 8:35 but I was just falling asleep on the sofa, so it’s an early night for me. I’ll catch up with you all soon!
~ Emily