Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How I Enjoy Bad TV

Okay, sort of a provocative title. I guess what I mean to say by it is that I watch shows that more discerning viewers like to tear apart in comments and reviews. To put it in perspective, some of my favorite (recent) shows to date are: Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Doctor Who, Agents of SHIELD, and Sherlock.

Every single one of these shows has been ripped to shreds in one way or anther. Appropriation of fandoms in unrealistic ways/bad portrayal of geeks -- Big Bang Theory. Ruining the entire path of the story to meet the mother we waited 8 years for -- How I Met Your Mother. Moffat -- Doctor Who. Moffat -- Sherlock. Slow plot -- Agents of SHIELD. It's one in the morning as I write this so I apologize to everyone out there for forgetting other criticisms of these shows.

And I can see the validity of all these arguments against these shows. As a book lover I do the same sort of thing with novels on a regular basis. I wouldn't be an editor if I didn't. I really try not to do it with books I read for fun because I don't want my life as an editor to have a huge effect on my life as a reader. I want to always be able to read for fun and not think "Oooh there should be a comma" or "I bet that scene was made shorter than the original" or some such. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't. It's hard, and I work at it.

But I am pretty successful at watching tv without my editorial brain kicking in. I like the cheap laughs of Big Bang Theory, and I love Sheldon. I love the interplay between Barney and Robin, although I totally agree about the screwed up resolution with the Mother. In Doctor Who I fell in love with Tennant and then again with Smith. In Sherlock I liked the wit and the bromance between John and Sherlock.

These shows all have problems (looking at you, Moffat), but I love them all. Why? How can I do this? I think I figured out why. I turn my brain off a bit when I watch tv. When I read I'm looking to be intellectually stimulated and drawn in to a world. When I watch tv I want to be entertained. I want to be entertained when I read of course, and my brain stimulated when I watch tv. But for some reason when I watch netflix I don't care so much about the bad science and plot holes in Doctor Who and Sherlock. I don't care that Big Bang Theory has a really loud laugh track or Agents of SHIELD stalled until Captain America 2 came out before it went anywhere. One big exception to this is the series finale of HIMYM in which I rage quit so hard it *literally* ruined half a day for me. But that's another post for another time.

I try really really hard just absorb when I watch tv. For a little while it's nice to sit back and be entertained. I don't always succeed, and I've stopped watching shows before because they insulted my intelligence too much. Well written is a must, laughing is appreciated, and if it can make me cry it's genius.

So I'll go back to fangirling over the season 8 premiere of Doctor Who while reading articles about the plot holes and agreeing.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Twice Lost

I love mermaid books. I used to try to pretend I was a mermaid as a little kid in pools. I was usually very unsuccessful because my hips just don't move like that. Anyway, I love reading beautifully written books about mermaids, and perhaps one of the best I've ever read comes from Sarah Porter in her Lost Voices trilogy. Warning: this is the last in the trilogy so mild spoilers.


12450811
Retrieved from Goodreads
The humans know about the mermaids and how they've been sinking ships with their voices. With the government sending out teams to slaughter mermaids up and down the coasts, Luce frantically tries to warn as many as she can before they're killed. Then in San Francisco she meets the hundreds of mermaids who had been cast out of their tribes for breaking the timahk. And it is there that she finally takes control of the mermaids and becomes the general of the Twice Lost Army with the goal of ending the violence against mermaids once and for all.

Oh this book. Such gorgeous writing. I love books like this that pop around to a lot of different perspectives, and this book does it well. We are introduced to several new characters while also getting to see Luce transform into the leader of the mermaids as they face off against the humans. In some places I found her solutions to problems rather childish, and I do wish Dana and Violet had a bigger role after coming to care for them in Waking Storms. Overall I greatly enjoyed this book with it's gorgeous descriptions of undersea life and some truly heart wrenching moments of inhumanity with Anais. Would totally recommend this series to anyone who loves to read about our finned friends.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars Up Next: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau and Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Science of Procrastination

There are probably much better blog posts out there about this by authors who have been on best seller lists or editors who have massive credentials lists. But today I want to talk about procrastination. This is because of something I am ashamed to admit. But today I'm going to. It has been nearly two years since I wrote a book.

I have four completed manuscripts under my belt and numerous failed starts. I have Spiral barely started and the complete redo of Griffin's Song which makes it an entirely different genre. I have half of Poison Ivy done with plans to finish up with this year's NaNoWriMo. But since Saddle Sore I haven't written The End.

Why?

I am an amazing procrastinator. I have homework, I have a manuscript to edit for work, I have to finish this season of Doctor Who, I should really edit my last book before starting on the new one, I have to make dinner, I haven't spent enough time with my SO, I want to read just one more chapter.

I have endless excuses not to write. And I am so ashamed of myself. Stories are constantly flowing through my head in snippets and images and then they're gone. And I tell myself only when things are truly vivid will I sit down to write a book. Because I've been published! Which means I should be at least a decent writer. A bad first manuscript is no longer acceptable! And all kinds of hogwash.

You see, I think I've become afraid of writing. I'm afraid I won't be published again. I'm experiencing a sort of diluted fear already published authors have. That you won't be good enough this time around. That the first time was a fluke. I'm a bad writer and I got lucky with Balancing Act, Saddle Sore is awful and full of plot holes and not steamy at all. Spiral is too serious compared to the companion novels, and why don't you just go make those scones you love and sit in a corner and binge eat?

I'm scared. I've been making excuses since I signed my contract with Entranced Publishing over a year ago. I want to be a writer, and I'm scared I'm not good enough.

I'm going to be a writer. I am a writer. I need to be a writer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Renegade

Last year I read Mila 2.0 after seeing Debra Driza at a book signing on the Dark Days tour. This year the sequel, Renegade, came out. As I had a pleasant time reading the first one I had no reservations about this middle book beyond the usual. So in between making raspberry lemonade bars (didn't turn out that well) and baked four cheese chicken pasta (I will eat it forever and ever it's so yummy) I polished off Renegade. As usual, beware mild spoilers.


10222365
Retrieved from Goodreads
Mila's mother is dead and she has no one left to turn to. Except Hunter, an innocent boy from her old high school who doesn't know what she is. She doesn't know what her future will be. All she has to go on are the names Richard Grady and Sarah. Travelling with Hunter, Mila sets out to discover the people her mother mentioned with her last breaths.

Action-wise this book is much slower than Mila 2.0. But it's been over a year since I read that book, so I had a hard time holding it up to its predecessor. I will say that the first 100 pages were a bit of a slog before stuff starts rolling, but I really started to enjoy it once I hit the 200 page mark. I really enjoyed Mila's struggles with her emotions, as she has basically accepted the fact of her humanity. I was a little tired of Hunter and honestly thought the book would have been just fine without him. But he was there and I didn't mind. There are some minor revelations about the Vita Obscura and the people around Mila, but nothing earth shattering. It felt a bit like a slow middle book but I still enjoyed it and will read the final installment.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: The Twice Lost by Sarah Porter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Weirdly Perfect Moment

I turned 21 recently. Yeah, I know, I'm basically a baby. Anyway, I recently had my birthday and things didn't go according to plan. It turned out all right, though, with my parents, SO, and I going to a nice bar with a view to die for. I had my first legal drinks!

And we were lifting our glasses to toast when it happened. Something I hope to never forget. My dad said "Write drunk." And without missing a bit I lifted my glass in response and said "Edit sober." And my SO and mother looked at us like we were crazy, and we clinked glasses.

This moment has stuck in my head since my birthday. It was so perfect. It somehow encapsulated how I've grown since I first sat down to write my first book way back before my senior year of high school. I've grown up a lot since then in so many ways. I'm almost done with college, which is impossible to believe. I'm planning on grad school and I've studied in England. I've read hundreds of books and gotten my first job as an editor, and then my second job as one. I've learned so much.

Before this all gets too sappy, I just want to say how happy I am to be an editor. Before I discovered this business I was a little lost. I'd previously wanted to be a jockey and a country star and an astronaut and a high school history teacher. But nothing felt quite right. Until I found out about editing and the community of people who adore the written word as much as I do.

So, tonight, raise a glass and toast with me. Write drunk...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Carrier of the Mark

Guys, I am obsessive about finishing series. Even if I thought the first book was just okay, I usually read the rest. There hasn't been a book that I picked up then couldn't finish (pleasure reading exclusively) since Inkheart last summer. So when I say this, know that it was actually difficult for me to do. I stopped reading Carrier of the Mark when I was 100 pages from the end. But I feel obliged to tell ya'll why.


10335701
Retrieved from Goodreads
Megan Rosenberg just moved to Ireland, and things finally seem to be going well. She makes friends and the steamy guy, Adam DeRis, sorta has his eye on her. But then Megan discovers she is a Carrier of the Mark, meaning she controls one of the elements. And she's expected to do an alignment of the elements with the other Carriers, who happen to be Adam and his brother and sister. But it is forbidden to be romantically involved with another Carrier, so Megan isn't sure she wants to be one anymore.

And this is the point at which I stopped reading. Megan has been dating Adam for a total of two weeks, having known him a grand total of six. She discovers she controls one of the four elements of the planet and being with her fella could destroy half the world. So she decides she doesn't want to leap right into training, but slow down so she can figure out how to be with the guy she can't live without. This however, was just the final straw that had me stop reading. There's instalove, boring friends, immense infodumps, and all around it was just too close to Twilight. I hate doing bad reviews, I really do. I have so much respect for debut authors and all their hard work. This book was not for me, though. I like my heroines to want to save the world even if it means delaying the copulating with their boyfriend. I want them to be more than their hormones and I can get very judgmental when they aren't. I tried with this book for two weeks because I visited Ireland and I saw Trinity College and I loved it, and I hoped this book would remind me of it. Le sigh. I feel so awful when I say this, but I will not be reading the sequel to Carrier of the Mark.

Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
Up Next: Mila 2.0: Renegade by Debra Driza

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting on You

I forgot to tell you guys what happened to me the other day! I got bitten by a duck at a lake. It just swam up to me when I had my leg dangling off the edge of a dock and bit me. Apparently my toes looked yummy. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming. I haven't been reading much the last couple weeks. What with my birthday and seeing friends, I've been so exhausted by the end of the day that I haven't even had the energy to read. But yesterday I spent the day in bed reading Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins.
18246306
Retrieved from Goodreads

Ten years ago Colleen O'Rourke was madly in love with her boyfriend Lucas. But things didn't work out, you know how it is. Now she's co-owner of the best (and only) bar in Manningsport, New York, knows everyone in town, is a perpetual flirt, and quite a matchmaker. She's successfully paired 14 couples to date, and it looks to be 15 when Paulie asks her to help with Bryce, Lucas's cousin. But Manningsport just got crowded. Lucas is back in town to be with his uncle Joe when he passes, and it's hard to avoid people when you're the center of town. Colleen knows she shouldn't fall for his charm again, but it's hard when your first love was so intense.

I love Higgins work. Her situations are awkward and funny, and family is always made out to be the less than perfect mess it is. I greatly enjoyed reading Waiting on You, as it takes place in the familiar place of Manningsport where two of her other books are set. Actually, it might be three now and I haven't gotten the other one. Colleen is very guy savvy, which is different for a Higgins novel where her heroines are deliciously, painfully unaware of what it takes to attract a man. I had one small beef with this book: I didn't feel like I got to know Colleen enough in the present. One of Higgins' tools is to employ flashbacks, which I have no problem with. But other than her flirting and hatred for her stepmother and love of her brother and matchmaking, which is established in the first chapter, I didn't feel as if I got to know her as well as other Higgins' heroines. That being said, I will gladly return to Manningsport for the next installment.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Woops!

Okay, I know I said I was going to do a post about my birthday or a book review or something, and then suddenly it's half a week later and I've barely read anything or posted at all. It's been a really lazy half week. I haven't been reading much because I've been hanging out with friends.

One of my best friends is moving to California in a couple weeks, which sucks but I'm excited for her. The weather has also been ungodly hot, so I've been trying to swim as much as possible.

But anyway, back to what I was originally going to post about all those days ago.

If you remember, last year on my birthday I went skydiving. It was crazy and exciting and fun and nauseous-making. This year, to keep up the routine of slightly dangerous things, I went hot air ballooning! It was a lot of fun and I'm really glad I did it. It was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, to stand in a basket with a giant balloon keeping me 2,500 feet in the air. 

I would totally recommend it if you're looking for something to do. But warning, the price tag might be a bit of a deterrent...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

Welp! It's my birthday! I think it comes around faster and faster each year. It's ridiculous how fast time is going.

What are my plans for today, you ask? Excellent question! I am going to be insanely lazy. Breakfast in bed, Doctor Who, reading. And then I'm going to stuff myself with fried macaroni from the cheesecake factory. And well, as for the big finale....I'll post a picture tomorrow. It's a surprise, but it's cool, I swear. Though probably not as cool as sky diving last year. That was pretty awesome.

Anyway, hope you all have a fantastic day! Have a drink on me (though not really, I'm not rich, you know).

Monday, August 4, 2014

Balancing is a B****

As you guys know, I am currently an editor for Month9Books. I've been hard at work the last couple months, editing to my heart's content. However, this has resulted in a certain about of exhaustion. I mean mental exhaustion. You see, I am also working through my summer reading project and trying to have a social life. I am also cooking and baking a lot more than normal because my cooking skills are woefully lacking.

All this to say, I've been tired. And this has resulted in an amazing lack of writing on my part. It really started back in December (oh my god it's been almost a year). Then I was working for Entranced Publishing and preparing for my own book launch along with doing regular school and reading. Then I went to England where I walked my feet to nubs. Now, with this new job, I'm finding I don't have much time to write.

And the thing is? It's all excuses. I need to make time to write. I have two story ideas that I love and want to work on. I just can't seem to find the energy. I have character mock ups for Spiral as well as a general outline and the first chapter. I have the magic all planned out for my overhaul of Griffin's Song as well as a key scene written.

I want to write, I really do. I miss the thrill of it. I'm just so tired. I want to have a balanced life, but I'm finding it hard when there are so many things I want to do. I want to start ice skating lessons. I want to take a self-defense class. I want to learn how to cook a couple simple delicious meals that I can add to my canon. I want to finish my summer reading project and work on my books. I want to watch Dr. Who and bead and play with my dog and enjoy the summer heat and see my SO and edit and still have time to do some lounging.

Balancing is a b****. But I'm trying.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Forget Me Not Book Blitz

Today I have the pleasure of being part of the Book Blitz for the release of Stacey Nash's YA fantasy spec fic novel Forget Me Not. If you'll remember, I was the line editor on this book when it was with Entranced Publishing, and now it's being released by HarperCollins! I'm so proud of Stacey and how she's doing. So here's what you need to know!

forget me not bannerAnamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true.

Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother's favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. They're not just jewelry. They're part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewelry's power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device - and silence anyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she's Enemy Number One.

She's forced to leave her father behind when she's taken in by a group determined to keep her sage. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends' lives. No matter what she does, somebody is gonig to get hurt.

About Book One:
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
Published August 1st, 2014
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forget-Me-Not-Stacey-Nash-ebook/dp/B00K1Q9NA6