Monday, October 31, 2011

So I've Been Thinking...

1. I've  wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo since I started writing, but I've always been in the middle of a WiP when November rolls around. And wouldn't you know it, same thing has happened this year. So since I have no desire to put this WiP aside to start another one, I'm doing a modified version, kind of like NaNoFinMo (ya know, to finish a novel). My goal is to finish the draft by the end of the month. Easier said than done. Currently I'm at 42,000 words in my WiP and I haven't even reached the midpoint. Yep, this is gonna be a long one. *sigh*

2. I watched the movie Donnie Darko last night, and I can't stop thinking about it. It was released in 2001, but for some reason I'd never heard of it until recently. Anyway, it was REALLY weird, especially the "rabbit" named Frank. I liked it even though I spent most of the movie trying to figure out what was going on, and as a bonus, it made me boohoo at the end. Here's a clip of the trailer so you can glimpse the freaky awesomeness that is this movie;) 

3. And it's Halloween! I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday. I love/hate the fact that we're about to get an obscene amount of candy. I love watching my kids dress up in cute costumes, but I hate dragging them around the neighborhood for Trick or Treating. Then there's the sugar high that everyone will be on for the next few days. Yay. #sarcasm

So...anything you want to share? Are you participating in NaNo? Have you watched any good movies lately, especially ones that make you cry? And are you looking forward to ALL THE CANDY?!?!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Evil "P" Word

So you know you have something to do. You don't do it right away. You procrastinate. Why do that? Why put off doing things only to end up scrambling to get them finished, especially if you have a deadline? I don't have the answer, but I do know that I am a huge procrastinator. HUGE I tell ya!

For me, I always procrastinate when I don't want to do something. Laundry piling up? Procrastinate! House need cleaning? Procrastinate! Child's school project due tomorrow? Procrastinate! (And that last one happened to me this week)

I also procrastinate when it comes to writing. Weird because I LOVE writing! I've tried to figure out why I procrastinate so much, and I think it comes down to getting stuck. I know when I'm on a roll, it's easy to open the word document and start typing. Instant love, y'all. But when I'm not sure what comes next, or if I know something isn't working, I'll goof off on the Internet for a looooong time. Check email. Check facebook. Check Twitter. Check blogs. Repeat. It's a deadly cycle!

So do you know any ways to beat procrastination? What are some tricks you use?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Giving Up on a Book Series

Now before I begin, I'm not going to name any book series in this post. Call it bad karma or whatever, but I don't want to trash any author or the books he/she wrote. No matter how much you may dislike someone's books, that person put in a lot of time and effort to write them, and I think they deserve to be respected for that because writing a book is NOT easy.

Aside from that, it's perfectly fine to not like everything you read. Everyone has certain tastes in the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and how they spend their time. Reading choices fall in there. Not everyone is going to like what I like to read, just like I know not everyone is going to like what I write.

I've read a lot of books over the years. Some books I've loved enough to read several times (Hunger Games anyone?). But I've come across a few that I struggled to finish. There are two fairly recent book series in which I liked the first book, but then I could barely get through the second one. I have no desire to read any more books in those series. Also, I've read two books that were the beginning of a series. They're both bestsellers, but I didn't like them. One I managed to finish, the other I gave up on halfway through it. 

There were several reasons I gave up on those series. For the ones in which I read the first book but didn't like the second, I found the characters had evolved in a way that really irritated me. I actually got to the point where I wanted the bad guys to win. For the other two books (the ones I didn't make past book one in the series), I just couldn't connect with the characters or the writing styles. One was really beautifully written, but I was bored while reading it. And the other, well I was shocked to find it was a New York Times bestseller. I couldn't figure out exactly why I didn't like it when I read it (this was a few years ago, before I started writing), but I read a review of that same book today that expressed exactly what was wrong with it. Basically, the main character is a Mary Sue and she bugged the hell out of me, and the whole plot was full of cliches.

So have you ever given up on a book or a book series? If so, what made you quit reading them? 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Books I Love - Glow

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publish Date: September 2011

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

I finished GLOW about a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I was prepared to really like it (sci-fi nerd here), but I was absolutely blown away by this story. To begin with, the description above doesn't do the book justice. Sure it's sci-fi, but it deals with so much more. Issues relating to morality, religion, loyalty, and just how far you are willing to go to survive are woven throughout the book in a way that made me tear through the pages, eager to discover what was going to happen to the characters.

**Minor spoilers below**
The story begins on the spaceship Empyrean. They departed from Earth about a year behind the spaceship New Horizon on a mission to colonize a new planet to ensure the survival of the human race. We meet 15-year-old Waverly and her boyfriend, 16-year-old Kieran, who is supposed to become the next captain of the Empyrean. They were the first of several hundred children conceived in deep space and born on the ship, and they're feeling pressure from the adults to marry and start producing the next generation of children, the ones who will actually live to colonize the new planet. Then the New Horizon shows up and their world is shattered. A crew from the New Horizon forces it's way aboard the Empyrean, kills most of the adults on board, tries to destroy the ship, and then departs with all of the young girls. The girls are told that they've been rescued from the Empyrean because of some catastrophe that happened on board, but Waverly and a few of the other older girls are suspicious. Then Waverly learns the truth--the women of the New Horizon have been unable to conceive children and they need the girls from the Empyrean to help create their new generation. The book then alternates sections from Waverly's point of view on the New Horizon and Kieran's point of View on the Empyrean. Oh, the things those poor characters had to go through!
**End of spoilers**

As for the characters...I haven't read a book in a while in which the characters are painted in so many shades of gray. One minute, you think you know exactly who the bad guy is, then the next you can see how/why they do the things they do. You might not agree with what they're doing, but you understand why they did those things. And sometimes you feel sympathy for them. That's a huge plus to me when an author can pull that off.  I can honestly say I can't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series!

Have you read any good books lately? Please share in the comments...I'm always looking for great new books to read:)