Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book title reveal!!

First, I want to thank everyone for their support on my last post.  Hopefully I will hear back from the other job I interviewed for.  I would like to put those coffee servings days behind me and resume my "writing while drinking coffee and tipping days". :)

Also, I am ONE follower away from 200 and super excited!  I am planning a great celebration on July 7th for my second blog-iversary and hopefully having 200 followers!  You won't want to miss it!

I have been working on Book 2, the companion novel to "Nameless".  I've just thought up two new characters, Jessalyn and Tobias.  I'm very excited to start writing them in chapter 5 or 6.  Jessalyn is a young woman who was born deaf and Tobias is her best friend.  They are pretty sweet and different from the rest of the characters introduced so far.  I am a little nervous about writing a character like Jessalyn, but I will do my research like a good little writer.  She's definitely going to be a spunky character and a good friend for Dalia.

Today, I decided to reveal the title of Book 2 and the opening line.  Then I wouldn't have to call it Book 2 anymore. :)  I'm very happy with the name and I hope that you like it!!

Without further chatter, here is the name of the companion to "Nameless" - 




Peace wasn’t possible until he paid for the dead children and the dark blood upon his hands. 



What do you think? :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

From Your Coffee Barista

I could probably think of enough things to create a whole blog about the people I see while serving coffee and the tedious things that they request, but I will spare you.  I just wanted to do a little rant about the people wearing the aprons and stupid hats.  (Seriously, wearing a hat while working in a fast paced environment is hot and sweaty.  I hate the hats.)

Overhead at Starbucks:

"See Sarah, if you quit school, you'll end up working a crappy job like serving coffee." - Mom to daughter

Umm... Lady, that was rude.  The daughter didn't make a comment, but I heard your remark.  Despite the fact that I'm wearing an apron and stupid hat, that doesn't make me deaf. 

Excuse me, but I have a Bachelor's degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services with an English minor.  I didn't quit school.  I graduated and my grades were actually pretty good.  I was on the Dean's List my last semester.

This economy sucks.  It's hard to find a job, whether you graduated college or not.  It's even harder to find a job in your field that you like.  Some of us do get stuck serving coffee or flipping hamburgers.  That doesn't make us less human or make you better than us.  Would you tell a nurse that she was settling for a bad job because she wasn't a doctor?  No, because that would be rude.  I am never rude to people working in food service or any type of customer service.  They are humans and deserve to be treated with respect, even if they are not happy.  They could be having a bad day.  We don't know.  Follow the Golden Rule and treat others with respect.

The male cashier with the big smile and is incredibly kind, he has two Bachelor's degrees, History and Anthropology.  He plans on getting his Master's degree and becoming an archeologist.  The female supervisor on the check lanes has a degree as an Ultrasound Technician, but there are no openings.  Several others cashiers are college students, needing money for food and books.  Please, just be kind.

Your barista puts up with a lot of people; people that return drinks half drank and then complain it tastes cold, claim you didn't hear they wanted it iced or with whole milk.  People will be rude and demanding.  She might just smile, but inside what you said... Hurts.  Granted some are rude, but most are just working a job so they can eat and have a place to sleep.  Please, be kind.  Don't be ignorant and think we all want to be stuck in this job forever and that we failed at life.

Also, tips are appreciated.  We put up with rude people all day. :)

______

Rant over. Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.  Thanks for listening! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

To see the end?

Earlier this week, my entire city lost power at 3 pm in the afternoon.  Yikes.  I was sitting with two of my friends at "Snow White and the Huntsman", we were an hour and a half in.  Then the screen goes pitch black and the emergency lights come on.  We waited twenty minutes for someone to come tell us that the whole city had no power. 

After thirty minutes, we were all given rain-checks to see any movie we want.  For free.

But... I just want to see the ending of the movie.  I don't want to see Kristen Stewart's bad acting again.  I admit that I mostly went to see the movie because of this:

Chris Hemsworth *sigh*

Yummy. :D

Now, I have to decide if I want to see the ending.  (Please don't tell me if you've seen it.) 

It made me think.  If I had read the last two pages of a book would I be interested in reading the whole book or not?  I don't know.  I don't like to know how something ends before I begin.  But I do like to know the ending.  My friend's mother always reads the last page first to see if she will like a book.  Strange.

Do you read the last page of a book before the beginning?  Should I see the end of "Snow White and the Huntsman" or should I see "The Avengers" again for free?  More hot guys and less terrible acting from Kristen Stewart.  

***

Side note, I am two followers away from 200!  (squeal)  You guys are awesome!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Princess Dalia!


I am so very excited to participate in Jaycee and Victoria's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Blog-HopThe idea is to interview the heroine from your manuscript, WIP, or novel.  Your featured heroine can be interviewed by her best friend, a heroine from another one of your written works, a sister, the opportunities are endless!

My interview features Liora and Princess Dalia, the two ladies from my novel, "Nameless".  Though I am currently working on Princess Dalia's shining moments in the second book of the series, you get to meet the girl that gave up everything to help the healers.  Our heroine has a lot of hard changes in her life, but she's a unique character.  The novel is written from Edom's perspective, but we get to read Dalia's perspective in the second book.  (I haven't revealed the title yet, so it will just be referred to as Book Two.)  

Hello, my name is Liora and I am Edom's little sister. Today, I will be interviewing Princess Dalia - the spoiled princess that changed the life of my brother and she made me think differently about the people living in the shelter of the capital.  She's stubborn, but she's innately kind, despite everything.

How I imagine Dalia looks, source
Thank you Liora.  That's too nice, but I'll take it.  My name is Princess Dalia Genevieve, daughter of King Alined and Queen Marisa.  I used to live in the palace, but I made a choice to help a boy and it changed everything.  

You're right.  I'm sorry.  Let's start with the first question.  How would you describe your hero?

My hero... would be Edom, your brother.  Although ironically, I tried to save him and he kidnapped me for helping him.  It wasn't the best beginning, but there was something about Edom.  Granted, he is more stubborn than me and he doesn't smile.  I deceived him and... Edom forgave me.  I've hated him and fought with him, but he hasn't given up on me.  I don't deserve his grace, letting me live with the healers and taking care of me.  He's... a secret angel.

That was a little awkward for me, but Edom is a great big brother.  Next question; What's the best date 
you've ever had?

I've actually only been on one date.  When you're the daughter of a monster, there's not exactly a line of guys waiting for you.  Edom took me on my first date.  He made me jump into freezing cold water from behind a waterfall and we laid in the sun, just talking.  It was perfect.

What is one thing you believe can tell a lot about a person?

Edom, source
Eyes.  They can't really lie to you.  I've seen my father's eyes when he orders a child to die and his eyes are cold.  Edom is different.   His eyes... the color of the sky before a storm, grey.  You can see that he's passionate about protecting his people and he loves his baby sister.  When he looks at you... you know that Edom is speaking to your heart and he means everything he says.  

(Liora smiles)  He looks at you the same way.  Anyway, next question is boxers or briefs?

Umm... I'm not really sure what that means... is that a type of fighting?  I'm familiar with blades and bows, but not with boxers and briefs.

I have no idea what that means either.  Hmm.  The last question is, what can the readers expect to see from you in Book Two? 

Oo, great question.  I can't reveal much about Book Two, but I can tell you that it's the second book after "Nameless" and it's written from my perspective.  So, you get to find out a little bit more about the spoiled princess that became a little more vocal.  My heart goes through some pretty big challenges; there's a big secret that I have to deal with and it won't be easy.  I become more than a princess.  I even get to kick butt some.  At the same time, Book Two is a little darker and I am even flogged in the first chapter, but I do go through a lot of growth. 

Awesome!  Thanks for letting me interview you, Dalia!

You're welcome! 

So, you've now met my lovely heroine, Princess Dalia and Edom's sweet little sister, Liora.  Here's her song:


A special thanks to Jaycee and Victoria for hosting this blog-hop!  It was a lot of fun! :)  Thanks for visiting my blog!

And I do have to say that Edom is quite attractive. :D

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Divergent: A Review

I'm a little late, but I finally got around to reading "Divergent" by Veronica Roth!!  I absolutely loved it!!  (Don't worry; no spoilers.) :D

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: Paperback Edition (February 28, 2012) 


Genre: Dystopia
Plot: First, here is the summary of "Divergent" from Amazon - In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.  During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


I read this book in about seven hours and I only stopped because I had to sleep and go to work, but I continued reading in the break room.  I would have read while driving if it were possible.  (Maybe someday.)  I'd heard of this book, but I'd never thought much about it.  I am not always interested in books that are extremely popular because people talk about them constantly and it annoys me a little.  Not because it is doing so well, but because people give away things. 

"Divergent" had me from the beginning!  There's no info dumps or anything that stops the reader.  The reader is left guessing as they discover things about the society and each section.  Tris is an amazing character!  She goes through so many changes in the book and she's a great character to connect with.  I really enjoyed getting to read her story and it made me wonder which section I would belong too. 
I felt like this about Four :)

Romantic Element:  I am in love with Four.  He's... so wonderful.  (fangirl squeal)  The first love between Tris and Four is beautifully written.  I always feel like I want to find a guy like that after reading about such a great romance.  Of course, Four has his flaws - but they make him a stronger person.  I seriously can't get over how much I love this couple. 

Overall:  I literally couldn't wait to read the next book in the trilogy!  I wanted to wait until "Insurgent" came out in paperback, so I have them the same, but I am not that patience.  I waited an hour and ran to the store to buy milk, Captain America, and "Insurgent".  I think I scared the cashier because I was so excited to read the book.  I am giving myself a little time before I start it, but I'm super excited!  Roth created a world full of mystery and choices that change the course of the future.  You won't put his book down!  I definitely recommend it to everyone!  I might even write it on my forehead in Sharpie.  "READ DIVERGENT"

Remember to turn back in tomorrow for my entry in the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Blog Hop!  You'll get to meet my heroine, Princess Dalia!  And I reveal what my hero, Edom looks like.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Booker Award

I got an award from the lovely Katie, over at The Fiction Dairies - her blog is adorable, you should all go check it out! :)  She is super close to 100 followers! 


The rules of the award:

*  This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blog must be at least 50% about books (Reading or writing is okay)
*  Along with receiving this award, you must also share your top five favorite books you have ever read.
*  You must give this award to 5-10 other lucky book blogs you adore.


Krista's Top Five Favorite Books (Not in any order)

1.  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien - of course! :)
2.  Wild Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce
3.   Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
4.  The Giver by Lois Lowry
5.  Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marillier

So many choices, it is hard to narrow them down but I think these have to be my top favorite books.  Obviously, I like fantasy books.  Which makes sense because my current novel is fantasy. :) 

Here's the five bloggers I'd like to pass the award on to:

Dana at The Daily Dose
Laura at Writing Off the Edge
Jenna at Finding the Write Way
Laura at My Baffling Brain
Leslie at Leslie Pugh - One word at a time

Congratulations ladies! :) 

_________

As an update, I did not receive the job I interview for two weeks ago, but they did call me back for an interview at the same place, but a different position.  I hope that means they liked me.  I probably won't find out for another week or two since I was the first they interviewed.  *crosses fingers*

Also, if you haven't signed up for Jaycee and Victoria's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Blog Hop! - you definitely should and there's still time!  On Friday, June 22nd, you'll get to meet my Princess Dalia from my novel, "Nameless".  It's bound to be fun! It's a blog hop all about heroines!  You also get to find out if Edom wears boxers or briefs. ;)

I'm so close to 200 followers and my two year blog-iversary on July 7th!  I'm hoping I can get 200 and have an awesome giveaway with lots of prizes! :)

Off to finish reading "Divergent" by Veronica Roth! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Prologues in Movies VS. Prologues in Books

We have all heard it.  Agents hate prologues.

I bet it is true.  A prologue is an introduction scene in a novel that usually doesn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the story and may introduce a character or a scene which isn't relevant until later in the book.  In my opinion, a lot of writers use a prologue to info-dump the reader.  (Trust me, I'm not immune - I'm cutting the info-dump of a prologue from my current project.)  Most readers will skip a prologue.  If they were intrigued by the back cover of a book, they don't want anything that will ruin the story for them later on.  A prologue might enhance the story, if the readers cares to read it, but it shouldn't be vital to the plot.  The first chapter is what should be extremely important.  Prologues can be used for dramatic effect, such as getting the point-of-view of the bad guy in a crime novel.  Those sometimes work well.

Ah, but what about prologues in movies?  Those aren't terrible. 

Prologues in movies are usually more accepted.  With a book, the reader can get a sense of the world by reading the back-story as it is spread throughout the story.  That can be harder to do with a movie, though I can think of two examples of prologues that are my favorite.  Some movies will start with a prologue that explains some of the timeline, such as "National Treasure" where the grandfather explains to the boy about the history of the treasure.  It fits. 

Here is an example of two prologues that work very well:  (My favorites!)





(Sorry about the subtitles, it was the only one I could find.  I love this!  It gives us a great background, letting the audience see a map of Middle Earth and it's got some wonderful lines!) 

I think a book can have a beneficial prologue, but if the information is so very important to the plot, it can probably be written into the story in a nice way.  Honestly, I will probably skip a prologue and just start reading the story. 

Can you think of a book/movie where the prologue worked or didn't work?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

In honor of Elana Johnson's Surrender book launch, she is hosting the Never Surrender Blogfest, June 11-15th.

"All you have to do is blog about a time you didn't surrender. Trained for a marathon? Queried agents? Had to study for an entrance exam? I'm looking for inspirational stories that you have experienced. Hard things you've accomplished because you didn't give up. I want to be inspired by you!"

I've never trained for a marathon or climbed a mountain.  I did conquer my fear of roller coasters, but that's not what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about never surrendering, trying to finish a book after the death of a very close friend.

If you've followed my blog for a while, you've probably heard me talk about Chris.  He was my high school band teacher and like a second dad to me.  We shared a love of music, Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings.  We actually saw the new Star Trek movie twice together in theaters and he didn't even laugh at me when I cried during the beginning... twice.  Chris was always there for me.  I can remember hiding in his office after my grandma died because I didn't want to face the world.  He sat with me and didn't ask any questions.  It was comfortable.  (If you could see me, thinking about him still makes me cry, but that's okay.) 

I started writing "Nameless" in August of 2011 and I was very excited about it.  But in September, I found out that Chris wasn't going to make it to Christmas.  I'd known that he had a brain tumor for a few years and it had been betting better, but it stopped getting better.  This took everything from me.  I didn't want to write anymore.  He passed in November.  I couldn't write "Nameless" and everything I tried to write was terrible; it was lifeless.  I didn't want to read or write.  Granted, I was probably depressed.

But Chris always told me to never give up and that I could be whoever I wanted to be.  It took until the end of January before I started to write again.  At first, everything was still terrible.  But I didn't surrender.  I finished "Nameless" in April.  I love it, more than anything I've ever written.

I dedicated "Nameless" to Chris.  I will probably still miss him for a long time, but I didn't surrender.  And I won't because he believed in me.  He taught me not to surrender.

You should all go check out Elana's blog and buy her new book! :)


Do you have someone in your life that tells you to never give up?

Monday, June 11, 2012

On Writer's Reviewing Books


 As writers, I know that a lot of us like to read books and since reading expands our knowledge of what others are reading and our vocabulary, we read.  I love to read.  I also like to review books.  But, I am curious what to do when you come across a book that isn't written very well?

I know it's not appropriate to write a review like this:   

Your book sucks and there's no plot.  I hate the characters.  You should never write again.  I hope in your next life you don't have thumbs. 

Ouch.  That's definitely not the way to review a book.  It's hurtful and it attacks the author.  It should never be right to attack the author if a book isn't your taste.  Writers typically write nicer reviews because we know what it is like to be stung with a negative review.  It hurts.  We don't want to inflict that pain on others.  Another writer might sugar coat something because they are very sensitive.

I think that honesty and constructive criticism are best for a book review.  Don't be extremely negative towards the author.  Talk about the writing.  Was there something missing that could help the author?  If it's an indie author they can fix a part and re-upload a book with little effort.   I recently came across a book that had a very good premise and was interesting to me, but it was filled with POV switches and info-dumps, which made the book difficult to enjoy.  A little more time just needed spent on revisions.  I had to make a choice to review the book or not.  I decided to review the book, but I made sure that I complimented what I liked about the book and a few things that needed adjusted to make the book better.

My advice; if you do write a review for a book that isn't very well written, make sure to offer honest and kind suggestions.  Even if the book is terrible, be constructive to help the author. 

What do you do when you come across a book that you didn't enjoy?  Do you review the book or simply move on? 

_______________________

As a side note, I am getting closer to 200 hundred followers and it's getting closer to my 200 give-away!  Which, I promise will be pretty awesome. :)

Hope you had a great Monday!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quitter: A Review


"The goal of this book is to get you to do what you love, with the life you already have."

 "When you ask the question, 'What do I want to do with my life?' you should feel at least a little overwhelmed.  There are a million possible answers to that question."

"Don't buy into the nothing lie.  You wound yourself when someone compliments your gift and you reply, 'Oh, that's nothing.'  Your gift is never nothing.  Regardless of what it can be, it is always something.  And something is the perfect place to start."

"I want us to be a generation of finishers.  I want us to be a generation of people who follow through and sew the last stitch or give the final keynote or write the last chapter.  And in order to get there, we have to murder perfectionism.  I was going to write, 'put perfectionism to bed', but that sounded too tender for this particular monster.  Murder feels right."

"Regret not following your dream."

"Pitting your dream against someone else's is a fantastic way to get discouraged and depressed.  Nothing good comes from measuring your dream against your competition."

"The most dramatic stories, the inspirations that move our hearts and our minds, are not born from people who mechanically followed the orchestrated steps of a plan.  All too often, the stories that grip us are the lives where someone lived with passion long before they lived with a plan."


That's just a taste of some of the quotes that you can find in Quitter by Jon Acuff.  (I take no credit for those words, they are all Jon.)  I've never been one for reading non-fiction.  "It's boring" I say or "Why do I want to listen to someone talk about real life?"   I changed my mind.  I've been wrestling with who I am and how I can follow my dream when I'm stuck serving coffee to ungrateful and impatient people.  During parts of this book, Jon uses the example of a Starbucks barista.  Umm... that's me.  I can't tell you how many times I thought... "Does Jon Acuff know that I'm this person he describes?  I'm a quitter." 

Acuff writes one of the most convicting books of our time.  He speaks to the depths of our "quitter" hearts and why our generation is so eager to demonize our day jobs and focus on quitting so we can get that dream job.  It won't work.  We have to "like" our day jobs to be able to love our dream jobs.  Don't get it?  Pick up the book! 

I won't quit.  I've learned so much from this book, and it has helped me realize that my dream isn't something that I can just pick up everyone once in a while.  I have to work for my dream and that doesn't mean I quit my day job when I'm not ready.  I will be ready.  Someday.  But for now, I have to make $8.50 an hour - serving others at a place that isn't my dream job, but it's a stepping stone towards my dream job.

Seriously, I give this book a 6 out of 5 stars.  It's... incredible and inspiring, convicting and humorous.  I highly recommend this book to everyone!  Start passing out copies (of course, ones that you purchased) in the bathroom at work or the bathroom at the mall, or maybe even in a classy place.  We don't have to be quitters.  Acuff stopped me from being a quitter and I hope I can someday say "Thank you".

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hi, my name is Krista and I have insecurities about writing.

Hello, Krista.  (group mumbles in unison)

And today, I'm finally joining Alex Cavanaugh's: The Insecure Writer's Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month.  Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Whew, I am here!

My first visit to the Insecure Writer's Support Group will be about.... (creepy music).... lack of support with writing.

My family has never really been supportive of my writing.  When I said that I wanted to be a writer as a child, it was always - "Hmm... why not be a doctor or a teacher?"  Why not?  Because I don't wanna be a teacher or a doctor.  I want to write books and be an author.  It's my passion.  My older sister has always told me to go for it, but my parents... never.  As a little girl, I was always writing stories in notebooks and constantly had my nose in a book, reading and learning more about what makes a good story.  I read the whole series of "The Lord of the Rings" when I was eleven.  Not exactly light reading for an eleven-year-old.

I was born to be a writer, an author, a dreamer. 

It's just hard not to have my family supporting me, but I've slowly realized that I have a writing community who has the same struggles and my friends and followers are behind me, believing in me and helping me grow as a writer.  I have friends that are always jumping to read what I've written and give me constructive criticism.  That makes me feel a little better, but there's always that nagging thought of my family.  Oh well.  I will be a writer, whether they support me or not. 

I will not quit writing.

Does your family support your dream of writing and being an author? 

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Goals

Whew, another month is over!  It does not feel like June, but June has finally arrived.  Time for s'mores, swimming, unbearably hot weather, and more revising!  First revisions of "Nameless" are going well.  I am currently tackling the word "that".  I used it 781 times.  It was definitely overused.  So far I have managed to get it down to 629 "that"s, but it is still quite too many.  My first priority is to lessen the number to at least under 200. 

Here were my goals from May:
*  Write out a plan for revisions of "Nameless" - This is going very well! :) 
*  Read "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller
I haven't gotten around to finishing this one yet.
*  Find 2-3 critique partners for "Nameless" revisions
I found 3 wonderful critique partners who have been very helpful!  I am excited to keep working with them!
* Write a rough outline for Book 2 
I am still working on this one, but I think that I will save writing this book until November for NaNoWriMo, so I have more time to focus on revising "Nameless". 
 

I only finished 2 of 4 goals, but that's not bad.  At least I completed something. :)


Goals for June:

*  Continue revisions of "Nameless"
Lessen the word "that" to under 200 times, continue rough edit with suggestions from critique partners

*  Read "Quitter" by Jon Acuff
I am almost finished with his book and it is very convicting, I love it so far!  I will definitely be doing a review of it once I am finished.  Wow, it is just incredible.

Have a successful interview on June 4th
I would appreciate your prayers and well-wishes for this.  I hopefully will receive a job, but my fingers are crossed.


What are your goals for June?  How did you do with your goals for May?