Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Hundred to Two

Darci Cole is hosting a flash fiction contest on her blog to celebrate 100 followers. Check out the link for more details, but the basics are these: 300-500 words, must use the number ‘one hundred’, and the prompt is a response to the picture below.  And here’s my entry...

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There were only two survivors.  There had been one hundred in the camp, but even the rain couldn’t stop the flames.  They were all dead.  Poppy walked down the dirt road, not caring as she stepped in the puddles.  Her bare feet were black and she was dressed only in a simple nightgown.  Malik walked beside her, keeping his wings pressed against his back.  It was the reason they’d been hunted.  Faeries were freaks.

“Where do we go?” Poppy asked, shivering.

“I don’t know.”

“But they are all dead!” she cried.

“Poppy, you have to stay calm!” Malik answered, grabbing her shoulders and keeping her still.

“My mom, my dad, and my baby sister…”

Tears ran down Poppy’s cheeks as she gasped, trying to breath evenly.

“I’m sorry.”  Malik put his hands on her cheeks.  “My family is gone too.  But we have to be strong.  We have to move on or their deaths will be in vain.”

“I don’t know how –”

“I don’t know either,” Malik interrupted.

After a moment, Poppy managed to compose herself.  She took a deep breath and nodded to her best friend. 

“I guess I can try,” Poppy whispered.

“Good, that’s a start.  We’ll take the rest one step at a time.”  Malik released pulled her into a quick embrace.  “Do you still have it?”

Poppy smiled as her hand went into her nightgown pocket.  Her fingers slowly opened to reveal the beautiful deep blue jewel, shaped like a rain drop and glimmering in the emerging sunlight.  The light appeared to make the jewel glow.  It cast a blue tint to Poppy’s palm.  Malik closed his hand over hers; his grin mirrored. 

“So much pain for something so small,” Poppy murmured.

“At least we can use it to find the others.  Shall we?”

Poppy took Malik’s hand and walked towards the sunrise.  They only had the day to bequeath the night’s horrors as memories.

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Congratulations to Darci on 100 followers!  Be sure to check out her blog! :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest

Today is the "Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest" put on by Mark Koopmans, Elise Fallson, and C.M. Brown, and Stephen Tremp

2012 was an amazing year as so many new authors, writers, poets, musicians, and people with something to share such as recipes and movie reviews joined the blogging community. We visit other blogger’s sites and they visit us. But many new bloggers and the more established ones often don't really know much about each other. 

So, today I am going to be sharing a small snippet about me in exactly 100 words!

I’m a writer who really loves “Star Trek”.  I’m a geek.  I love fantasy and I write epic fantasy and urban fantasy.  I’m terrified of cotton balls. I love jelly beans (my blog used to be called “The Jelly Beans of Writing”).  I’m secretly in love with Viggo Mortensen and I absolutely loved him as Aragorn!  I would love to have a beagle someday and name him Porthos.  My best friend tells me my autobiography (when I get an interesting life) will be called “Man or Beagle?” Because I can’t decide between the two if I could only have one.   

Whew!  100 words about me!  So, in a nutshell - that's me, Krista!  

Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments so I can get to know you! :)

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ten Things NOT to say to a writer

Do you ever just wanna get to that point?  You just want to forget about the hours of editing, carafes of coffee, bags of peanut butter M&M's - and be published already.  I know I don't want anything but my best published.  I self-published a book last year and it wasn't high quality.  I only kept it up for a few months.  I want to show my best writing and share it with readers.

But... some days I just want to be published.  I get tired of... all the stupid comments.  So, I've made a list of my top --

"Ten Things NOT to Say to a Writer"

1.  Why are you not published yet?
Seriously, I hate this question.  Never ask me.  It takes quite a bit of time and work to have a finished and revised novel which is ready for querying.  Then there's finding an agent and publishing house and more revisions.  It's not like baking a cake.  Put cake in, back at 350 and done.  Nope.

2.  Why haven't I read your book anywhere?
See question one.

3.  How long does it take to write a book/think I could write one with you?
It really depends on the book and the writer and no thanks, I'm not much on collabs, especially if you don't have any previous writing background.

4.  Do you make a lot of money on your book like J.K. Rowling?
Not typical and writing books isn't about the money for most of us.  It's about writing the story, one we think is our story to tell and no one can write it in the same way.  We love stories.

5.  Will you write my biography?
Simply no.

6.  Will your book be made into a movie?
I don't know.  See question one.

7.  Oh you write!  Do you know J.K. Rowling (or another famous author)?
Sorry, I don't know her personally.  We have writing in common.  It doesn't mean we all know each other.

8.  Is your book on Oprah's book list?
See question one.

9.  Are you actually writing or wasting time?
I do waste some time when I'm supposed to be writing by looking at Pinterest for writing ideas or a few cat videos on youtube.  Again, writing takes a lot of time and energy.  Also, lots of coffee.

10.  Are there vampires in your book like "Twilight"?
No.  Never.  That's not quality writing.  Sorry for those of you who like it.  I'm not a fan.

That awkward hug moment...
Do you have any comments which you would add to the list?  What are things that people say to you which annoy you?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend - A Review

This book was recommended to me by one of my blogging friends and I just had to read it! 

Title: Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend
Author: Becca Ann
Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: January 7, 2013

Genre: Young Adult Humor/Contemporary Romance
Plot: First, here is the summary of "Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend" from Amazon - It's stupid to fall for your brother's ex. It's even worse to enlist another's help to win the ex over. But Brody is desperate and Hayley, his partner in American Sign Language, is more than willing to lend him a few tips. She’s the school’s ‘matchmaker’, and with her bizarre and positive personality, Brody finds her easy to talk too, even about the most awkward situations. Hayley’s tips seem to be working, but as Brody learns more about his matchmaker, he starts finding reasons to spend time with her, and not the girl he thought he was in love with.  But Hayley isn’t ready to fall for anyone. Labeled the “Funny Fat Friend” within her group, her self image makes it impossible for Brody to share his feelings without Hayley shrugging it off as a joke.  Convincing her Brody can, and did, fall for the “Funny Fat Friend” turns out to be a lot harder than simply falling in love.

Brody thinks he is in love with Quynn, but it turns out he really can't be.  Hayley is nothing he would have thought he wanted, but she's everything at the same time.  But she has her secrets and isn't willing to give them up - to be loved.  Brody definitely has a rough task ahead of him to convince his matchmaker he wants her and not the skinny girl.

The relationship between Brody and Hayley is hilarious and intense, with a smidgen of steaminess.  Brody starts off as the typical male, though he does have chivalry, which is working on his side.  Hayley is full of quirkiness and has a very unique personality.  The two don't seem to fit at first, but as the story progresses, the reader seriously despises Quynn and her "I'm pretty so all guys want me" facade.  I was rooting for Brody and Hayley!  The romantic scene got a little steamy for me, but it was tastefully done and definitely hot.  Counting his six pack, awesomesauce.  It never felt like the relationship was forced, but it was natural.

Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend was a great read!  I loved Brody's reasons as the title of each chapter and how they fit so perfectly with the budding relationship.  I admit I was a bit skeptical of the book when the first chapter had Brody adjusting his... ahem, because it was hot and ahem... awkward.  I didn't know if I liked it.  I quickly changed my mind!  Hayley and Brody balanced each other out.  I know a lot of women have felt like the funny fat friend before and I understood Hayley's feelings.  Brody loved her for who she is and that's just awesome.  I found myself laughing out loud and angry and sad.  If I had to say something constructive, I would say it probably rained a bit much for those dramatic scenes, but I am okay with it!

I highly recommend this book to others!!  It's definitely awesomesauce, which is the new word I will be using from now on. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What Are Your 18 Things? Blogfest

I decided to join in on the What Are Your 18 Things? Blogfest because it sounded like fun!!  Jamie Ayers is hosting this event to celebrate the upcoming release of her book 18 Things.

The idea is straightforward.  Sometime between January 17th-24th, blog about your bucket list.  Don't have one?  Then why not write one?  A bucket list can be a good source of motivation.  It helps you organize priorities and focus on what's important.
 
Here's a few items from my list:  (I currently have 44 things on my bucket list with 13 crossed off) - These are not in any specific order!
 
1.  Marry the love of my life - I just haven't met him yet
2.  Go to New Zealand
3.  Get a tattoo
4.  Attend a Star Trek Convention
5.  Swim with dolphins
6.  Adopt a child
7.  Donate bone marrow/stem cells - I am on the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry
8.  Meet Viggo Mortensen
9.  Visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame
10.  Be a surrogate mother
11.  Traditionally publish a novel I've written
12.  Run barefoot on a beach at sunset

13.  Watch "The Bucket List" (February 2, 2011)
14.  Ride a roller coaster twice in a row (September 13, 2009 - rode the Dragon 3 times!)
15.  Have a "Lord of the Rings" marathon (August 17, 2011)
16.  Ride a motorcycle  (April 3, 2012)
17.  Take a cruise (Nov. 24 - 30th, 2012)
18.  Make a cross-stitch quilt for my first born  (June 16, 2010)


Yes, I do have Watch "The Bucket List" on my bucket list.  The last ones are a few I have already completed!  

Congrats to Jamie on her book!

What is on your bucket list? 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Son - A Review

First, let me tell you how much I love "The Giver"!  It was one of my favorite childhood books and I actually just bought it for a friend for Christmas last year since he'd never read it.  I also really liked "Gathering Blue".  I was very excited to learn Lois Lowry wrote a conclusion to the story!

Title: Son
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2012



Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Plot: First, here is the summary of "Son" from Amazon - They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

The story is split into three different parts and tells the story of Gabe's mother from "The Giver".  Her name is Claire and she was a Birthmother, but something went wrong with his birth and she was let go, forced into the Hatchery.  Claire cannot get the newchild out of her mind and she knows it is her son.  Her mind is overwhelmed by love for him when no one else feels love.  I really enjoyed the first part of the story and getting to see parts of the original story from another viewpoint.  The reader gets to see more of Jonas's father and some others in the community.  Claire has a great point of view!  I became very invested in her emotional journey to discover her son's name and believed her desperate day dreams of saving him. 

The second part was different.  It was harder for me to get into.  There was an overly long description of a physical scene where Claire is climbing.  It took several chapters and I really found myself starting to skim pages.  And by the third part, some of the story was lost for me.  I found myself skimming a lot and wanting the reunion Claire so desperately wanted when she left the Community.  It wasn't what I expected.

Overall, I found the book to be oddly unsatisfying.  Some books don't need sequels and I think it would have been okay to leave the ending of "The Giver" without adding this book.  It just... wasn't what I expected or at all what I hoped.  I did like the first part of the book, but I was unhappy with the seemingly rushed ending.  If you would like to read it, you can.  Just don't have too high of expectations. 


As a side note - I finally joined Goodreads (yay!)  You are welcome to be friends with me over there.  Here's my link!  Thanks! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Writing "The End"

I finished yesterday!  I finally got to type "The End" on my novel, "Nameless" (which is also called "Unless" since they are one book and I still can't pick the title I like best).  The final word count is 101,393!  It's my longest book to date.  I'm now the proud author of six novels!!

Now, to wait a full two weeks to start editing.  Though I was looking for a short passage to share with you, and I realized that in the first part Dalia goes swimming with Edom and in the second part, she almost drowns because she can't swim.  *FACEPALM* Oh well, that is what revisions are for!  It can wait two weeks. :)

Here's a little snippet to interest your tastebuds:


 She looked at him, studying his face.  “Do you think you’ll ever fall in love and get married, have a few kids?”

Aaron shrugged.  “I’d like to get married and have a little Aaron Junior, but I’m not sure.  I’ve seen a lot of death of little children.  I would fear for my own, but if the world changes and if this massacre ends I’d like to fall in love and get married.  Maybe I’d have a little girl and name her Ariela, after my sister.  Do you wanna marry and have kids?”

“I’m not sure anymore.  When I was a little girl, all I dreamed about was finding my prince and running off.  Sometimes it wasn’t even a prince.  I dreamed about running away with the young boy in the stables.”

Her friend broke out in laughter, grabbing his sides.  Dalia blushed, hanging her head.

“Princess Dalia, you dreamed about running away with a stable boy?  I don’t believe you!” he chuckled.

“It’s true.  His name was Pierre and he was very handsome,” Dalia murmured.

“What happened to him?  Did the flame of your love burn out?”

Dalia’s eyes darkened and she didn’t answer.  “His father insulted my father one day.  Actually it was about me, always being kept inside and a few other things.  His father was killed.  Pierre and his mother left the capital the next day and I never saw them again.”

Aaron put a hand on her shoulder.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to bring up painful memories.”

“Life is one painful memory buried in another; they can’t be separated anymore.  Anyway, it was a long time ago and I assume he’s still alive.  He was three years old than me.  Pierre is probably married now and has a child or two.  He was very good with the colts.  He had shoulder length blond hair and green eyes, a handsome boy.”

“I bet he’s happy.”  Aaron sat up straight, gently bumping her shoulder.  “I don’t have any old girlfriends, just a string of broken hearts everywhere I go.”

It was Dalia’s turn to laugh hysterically.  “I doubt it!”

“Maybe.  Someday, I’ll have the chance to break a few hearts or at least find a girl who will love me.”


----------


What do you do while waiting to edit a book?  How do you celebrate the completion of a novel? 

I am off to finish reading "Son" by Lois Lowry - so far it is very good! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beginnings Blogfest

Laura's site!
In celebration of L.G. Keltner's celebration of her first blog-anniversary, she is hosting the "Beginnings Blogfest"!  As writers, we can appreciate how important beginnings are.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  Everything brilliant was inspired by some specific turn of events.  In celebration of her first year, Laura is giving everyone a chance to write about a beginning that is important to them!  It's a great idea!

I have decided to write about how I started writing and where my love began.  

Little Light Reading On the Can

It all began as all stories do.  On the toiletYep, but it wasn't one of those awkward moments.  My sister, Stephanie, is two years old than me and my best friend growing up.  I found her notebook on the bathroom floor; the one I was never allowed to read because she said I couldn't.  Like a good sister, I read it anyway.  But secretly.  It was an interesting story about her husband and their eighteen children.  All boys.  (Which is ironic because she only wants one child nowadays - eighteen is crazy!) 

I wanted to be like my big sister.  I went into my room and dug out my favorite notebook, writing in the front cover that no one was allowed to read it.   My first story was awful.  It was called "Rosemary's Child" and about an orphan from Maine who moved to Iowa and lived with a bad foster family.  She ended up living with the doctor who saved her from pneumonia.  Yep, it was bad.  But it was my beginning.

I kept writing and slowly, I think my stories have become better.  I try not to swipe ideas from bathroom stalls anymore, but sometimes the motivation hits.  Also, turns out Stephanie wasn't mad.  She likes to read my stories and I highly value her opinion to this day with what I write.  She's never afraid of a little tough love. 
Me and my big sis (I am the small pudgy one)
Where did you begin?  Was your first story that awful?  

Remember, this is a blogfest! Feel free to "shop" around to the other beginnings and congratulate Laura on her very successful first year! :)