What’s Up Wednesday =)

Hey Everyone!  I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start 🙂  Welcome to this week’s What’s Up Wednesday post.  I look forward to this post every week so writers don’t forget to put your post’s link in the linky so I can hop on over (it’s never to late to start!).

What I’m Reading

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)I’m still reading Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor (and loving it!), but, just to make peace with my constant craving for fantasy, I’ve started Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  I’ve heard such great things about it and I have to say I’m glad I’ve finally taken the plunge.  The writing is gorgeous, it makes for a very rich and imaginative story.  It has this whimsical feeling that is absolutely wonderful, I love it!   Also, I’m compltely captivated by Karou, the book’s protagonist.

In addition, I’m getting caught up on some MSs I’ve been meaning to beta read (slowly but surely).

What I’m Writing

Book One of THE ALEX DE VEGA CHRONICLES.  I’m so happy to announce that I’ve reached 15,000 words.

I wrote over 3,000 within two/two 1/2 hours on Saturday alone then I was pooped for the entire weekend.  I have a friend staying with me for a few days so it’s not as easy to get writing in, but still, I’m quite enjoying writing Alex’s tale.  My goal is to just have fun and to finish it.  But those two goals work hand-in-hand for if I’m having fun I don’t have so much pressure to reach perfection therefore I’m more likely to finish it.  Plus, I’m a pantser anyway so it’s better and easier for me to write the first draft by letting my characters take me on the journey they so choose (the only outlining I’ve done was a useless 20 lines on notebook paper plus some helpful character background brainstorming).  My goal is to have a mini weekend retreat for myself aka locking myself in my room and writing for the most part with (HEALTHY snacks) The Vampire Diaries, Alias (Sydney Bristow and Alex could be cousins), and Orange Is the New Black for distractions research 😉

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Sleeping.  Relaxing with friends.  Watching TONS of TV.  Reading not enough books.  Oh, and work.  But I’m enjoying my summer. and I’m already looking forward to Winter Break when I can do more of this.  However I do think balance will be the key to me getting work done during the school-year and by work I mean non-academic work (because let’s face it, I’m not one of those study 5+ hours a day students).  However, balance.  I’m also working on eating healthier, always.  I fell into a snack food binge (curse you, Oreos & Twizzlers), but leafy greens shall prevail.  And apples.  And nuts…you get the idea.

I’m supposed to go to the Indian restuarant, Singh’s Cafe, in the town of Wellesley for lunch today with my co-workers so that should be fun 🙂

What Inspires Me Right Now

The ABSOLUTELYFREAKINAMAHZHING Karen Rock was able to take time from her busy schedule of conferences and book tours (her YA debut CAMP BOYFRIEND recently released from Spencer Hill Contemporary!!) to read my MS, HEIR OF ISIS.  I haven’t even responded to her email because I just don’t know what to say (meaning I’m just so grateful).  Just some of THE BEST notes I’ve ever gotten.  You know that feeling when you just know exactly what you need to do to fix something?  Yeah well that’s how I feel now.  Just bliss.

The crazy thing is normally I would stop everything and begin revisions on HEIR OF ISIS, because it’s my baby.  Well, maybe I should say used to be?  idk.  It’s more that I feel compltely satisfied with the work I’m doing on my WIP (mentioned in the first section).  For once, I don’t need to drop everything and go to my old story.  I’ve found a new story with characters I love just as much (if not better…sorry Aziza).  Now that doesn’t mean I’m not going back.  In fact my plan is to finish ALEX… by the end of the month (August, I mean) then put it aside then read a lot and watch a lot of TV (and study, I suppose) then begin revisions on HEIR OF ISIS when I have a clear section of free time so most likely all of Winter Break.  We’ll see how this plan goes but I’m excited and I feel confident in my abilities to “fix” everything.  And I know when these revisions are done Aziza is finally going to be the character I want her to be with the journey I want her to undertake.

Yep, I’m feeling good.  On to writing 🙂 Enjoy your day & don’t forget about the linky!

What’s something that’s inspiring you?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Revision Tip: Wordle…My New Best Friend

BOI-1 Word Cloud

Yikes!

At the beginning of the month (maybe earlier) I began a “tighten up” round of revisions on HEIR OF ISIS.  Being that it was my 6/7th? round of revisions, I knew I didn’t have serious ripping of plot stuff to do.  However I also knew that I had a tendancy to use some words as a crutch… in order words I was overusing a ton of words.  I had saw this amazing post (or maybe it was a tweet) a while back about using wordle to help with that.  And the above image is the end result.

Yeah…

About that.

So first there are the names.  You might not think that’s all bad, but maybe it was a sign that I was using the character’s names too often.  In normal speech I don’t always call out my friends’ names.  In fact the only (or one of) person I know who does that regularly is my mom, whenever she needs me.

Aside from the names there’s the real problem, the crutch words: looked, just, etc…

For the justs that was easy enough.  I did a find and replace and deleted them all from my MS.  That was about 200+ words alone.  Then I went back through and reread the MS, adding back in the just where I thought it really needed it (only a handful of times).

As for “looked”, well that was a sign I was telling and not showing.  My main character doesn’t have to “look” at everything.  It’s in first person.  Now that edit took much longer but it was totally worth it.

Then there were other things.  I went through and highlighted all the backs and ones and times and eyes.  Sight is a “big theme” of my book yet maybe I was overdoing it.  As for “back” and “time” and “one”, I went through just to see why I was using those words so much.

I’m very happy with my results, and I definitely recommend you giving Wordle a chance.  At the very least it’s cool to play aorund with the settings of the word cloud and the pretty colors 😉

Here’s the word cloud of this post (minus common words like “a” and “the”…just like I did for my MS):

wordle blog post

See, look…I just love using “just” (hehe)

What are some favorite revision tips of yours?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Cover Reveal: A Missing Peace

Hi Everyone!

Today I get to partake in the cover reveal of A MISSING PEACE by Beth Fred, a book I read in it’s early stages and loved.  I’m so glad Beth was able to get this one published (also, it takes place in my/our home state :))

0913 Missing Peace_500

I just love how her eyes are staring out into the distance!

Here’s a bit about the book & the author:

Release date: September 1st 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18176685-a-missing-peace

A turbulent, emotionally charged YA novel that breaks down barriers and challenges the status quo…

Angry, seventeen-year-old Iraqi war refugee Mirriam Yohanna hates her new life in Killeen, Texas, where the main attraction is a military base, populated with spoiled army brats like Caleb Miller.

Caleb has much to be angry about too, including Mirriam who turns him down flat in front of everyone. Eager for retribution, Caleb agrees to a dare that will see him take Mirriam to the prom and regain his pride.

But their relationship soon moves beyond high school antics. Mirriam and Caleb are bound together by more than location, and as they are forced to work closely together on a school assignment, they start to uncover an explosive story that has the potential to ruin lives — and both of their futures. One single truth changes everything and strengthens their bond.

When Mirriam’s family discovers their relationship, they decide it’s time to arrange her marriage to a proper Iraqi man. Caleb must convince Mirriam that he is in it for forever — or risk losing her for good.

Rafflecopter Giveaway Code:  Click to Enter!


Meet Beth Fred! A full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. Beth likes her tea hot, her romance sweet, and her guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma’am, make promises they keep, and aren’t afraid to profess their undying love. It’s not breakfast if there aren’t carbs (at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just a few of Beth’s favorite things. Bet you can’t guess where she’s from.

bethfred.blogspot.com | twitter.com/bethfred08

PARTICIPATING BLOGS
————————————————————————–
A Dream Within A Dream
Spiced Latte Reads
Rose & Beps Blog
Shelves of Books Blog
YA Books of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog
PEACE LOVE BOOKS
Gobs and Gobs of Books
Bibliophilia, Please
Paperrdolls
Tressa’s Wishful Endings
abookandalattee
book freak
Writer of Wrongs
Once Upon a Coffin
Coffee, Books and Me
Book boyfriend reviews
Whimsically Yours
The Biblio-Files
My Crazy Book Obsession
The Reader Lines
All in One Place
Mind-Ventures

Happy Humpday 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

What’s Up Wednesday!

Good (super early) Morning!  Welcome to What’s Up Wednesday!  Since I missed last week’s post I’m going to be going over things, in a concise way, from the past two weeks.

What I’m Reading

Prep School ConfidentialPrep School Confidential by Kara Taylor.  It comes out July 30, 2013 from St. Martin’s Griffin.  I’ve had this book on my Kindle forever yet I was busy and though it sounded interesting, I didn’t have anything drawing me to it.  Then I started hearing a lot of good things about it.  And then I read this post by the wonderful Dahlia Adler on YA Misfits and was immediately sold.  I was obsessed with Kate Brian’s Private & Privilege Series so when she gave the okay, that it was in their league well… pure reading bliss ensued.

Now, I’m not that far into it, actually just barely but I’m sooo hooked.  If a book can capture me this much within its first few pages it has to do some serious damage to make me drop it (fingers crossed).

What I’m Writing

I’m continuing BOOK ONE of the ALEX DE VEGA CHRONICLES.  I think I might title it Alex de Vega and Pandora’s Box (not sure yet).

Here’s the working blurb: 

In the year 3147, in the city-state of Atlantis II, humans, vampires, werewolves, faeries and other supernatural creatures live in perfect harmony under the wise leadership of The Council until Pandora’s Box, a highly advanced piece of technology is stolen.  In order to find it The Council turns to Public Enemy #1, criminal mastermind, Alex de Vega of the de Vega crime family and her ragtag group of companions to infiltrate some of the city’s darkest places to find and bring back the box in one piece.

I’m not going to jinx this project so I’ll just say I’m taking ti day by day, scene by scene, word by word.  I’ve set my Scrivener daily goal to 1,500 words.  So far (except for one lapse) I’ve been meeting that goal.  You know you’re in love when you can’t wait to finish a WIP so you can begin editing and revising it to make it better.  Also she’s such a fun character, you can read an interesting scene I did for a blog chain here.

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Watching a  ton of Vampire Diaries.  I mean a TON.  I recently started.  I tried watching it when it first came out, hated it, Elena got on my nerves (I thought she was a horrible friend/sister sometimes) and Stefan was whiny…Damon was the only one I thought was at least true.  Well, not much has changed except I have a major crush on Damon and Stefan yet like Damon as a whole better (for the previously listen reason plus he’s hilarious).   I don’t think I’ve had a crush like this, especially on a character, since I was in middle school (sad, I know right?).

I did bake sweet potato fries from scratch, I feel major accomplished and adulty…not that those alone will actually sustain me but they also made me feel like I was being healthy so hey, whatever works!

Oh, and work…what’s new in that regard (utterly nothing).  Planning my college’s New Student Orientation is like YAY (because I love first-years and event planning)! and ARGH (because there are so many little/tedious details)!  all in the same breath.  Next summer I’m sticking with summer classes.  But my internship with Spencer Hill Contemporary is going amazingly well so that’s a plus 🙂

What Inspires Me Right Now

The fact that I need to get major ish done before classes start on September 3rd.  Actually before August 19th which is when Student Leader Training starts, the week after being Orientation.  Like MAJOR.  Revising & Editing I can do during the school year, writing a whole book, not as easy (but I’m going to keep pushing myself so we’ll see).  I have taken up the slogan Just Do It, like no more excuses for this gal (the picture to the right is currently my screensaver).Typografie-Nike-Just-Do-It

Also… Can I graduate yet?  That’s really all I want to know.  College was fun, now it’s boring…yes I love my friends but I have other things I’d like to be doing (I know, I’m being a sourpuss).

Ooo but WriteOnCon is fast approaching and though I probably won’t be submitting a MS on the forums for Ninja Agents to peek at, I’m super excited about the posts, chats and of course meeting other writers!

What’s going on with you?  What are you inspired by?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

July TCWT Blog Chain

Good Afternoon Readers 🙂  I’m here today as a part of the TCWT July Blog Chain.  I can honestly say this is one of the best characterization exercises I’ve ever done, all my characters are going to a therapy session now (yes, even…especially you Aziza).  The prompt is below, enjoy the scene!  Oh an btw, the character is the MC of my WIP, THE ALEX DE VEGA CHRONICLES.

“Take any character from one of your books and put them in a therapy session. Write a (short!) scene about what happens. (You can include multiple characters and make it a group therapy session.)”

The setting: A cool gray-painted office with a desk and small round table with chairs.  

“Alexandra,” said the middle-aged woman with bright red hair.  She nodded to the droid in the room.  It flipped open a keypad, and punched in a code.  On the wall behind the woman a screen app

eared revealing a 3D image of young girl of no more than twelve.

Across from the woman was the very girl pictured on the screen.  She was slouched low in the cushioned chair that enveloped her making her seem smaller than she was.  She didn’t like to feel small.

“Alex,” said the girl.  She blew a loose strand of her brown hair from her face.

“Excuse me,” said the woman, removing her black-rimmed glasses.  Alex assumed the woman liked old fashion stuff; she’d only seen lenses like that in museums.

“It’s Alex not Alexandra.”  The young girl leaned forward, tightening her grip on the chair’s arms.

“Yes, well your file says Alexandra so—

“Why am I here?”  snapped the girl.

“You know why you’re here, Alexandr—

“I want you to tell me.”

The woman sighed; they did say she’d be a difficult one to break.  “As a result of your background, the agency would like you to be reviewed before sending you into the field.  It’s standard procedure.”

“Really?” asked Alex.   “Because the last time I checked, I was the agency’s only hope.  I didn’t ask to be recruited.  I’m missing school for this.”

The woman flicked her hand and the screen changed.  “Alexandra de Vega.  Age 12.  You’ve missed thirty days of schools so far, and it’s only been in session for a few months.  The only reason you haven’t been expelled is you never miss more than a third of the day.”

Alex laughed.  “Clever me.  Middle school is boring.”

“You’ve been in our system since you turned nine.  Why is that Alex?  I also see your sist—

Alex leaped forward until she was inches away from the woman’s face.  The droid moved to restrain her but the woman shook her head, and the droid stepped back.   “Don’t talk about her,” said Alex.  “Don’t you dare utter her name.”

The woman smiled.  “Ah so you’re not so tough after all.  Alexandra, daughter of Maximilian Atlantis II’s leading crime lord of the de Vega crime family.  Do you see yourself going anywhere, Alex?”

When the woman said her name, it sent shivers through her body.  “Actually,” said Alex.  “You can just call me Alexandra.”

“You think you’re a criminal Alex,” said the woman, drawing out every syllable.  “You’re not.  Stealing a couple antiques, cars, and virtual reality games, reprogramming droids to tickle your teachers?  Your father would be ashamed.”

Alex rolled her eyes.  “Tell me something I don’t know, lady.  My father has my dufus brother and if they want to go around casing things together who cares.  To thine own self be true.  Well, here I am.  This.  Is.  Me.  I don’t see you trying to recruit either of them.”

“Shakespeare,” said the woman, raising her eyebrows.  “I didn’t think they still read that in schools.”

“They don’t,” said Alex.  “Like I said, school is boring.  It’s not worth my time.”

“I see,” said the woman, locking her hands together.  “Now Alex about your mothe—

Alex cocked her head to the side.  “That’s a nice ring you have.”  Alex’s brown eyes grew bright.

“Ah, yes,” said the woman, smiling distantly.  “It’s an old mood regulating ring my grandmother gave me.”

“I didn’t think they sold those anymore.”

“They don’t,” said the woman, holding her hand up to get a better look the ring that kept flickering between a light yellow to a bright red.

Alex leaned forward and grinned.  “I suppose it would be a pity if it were to go missing.”

Unconsciously, the woman leaned back in her chair.  “You would—

“I think we’re done here then,” said Alex, rising out of the chair.

The woman stood and yelled, “The session isn’t over yet.  I’m supposed to clear you for the miss—

“Listen,” said Alex, pivoting on her heels.  “You need me.  If you didn’t you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation.  So obviously no one thinks I’m that dangerous because I’d still be locked in the cell.”

Alex walked to the door only stopping once she reached it.  “I’m a de Vega,” said Alex, without turning around.  “de Vega’s never forget.”

As the door creaked to a close behind her, the woman sank in her chair.  Wiping the sweat from her brow, she exhaled.  “Close file,” she said aloud.

A robotic voice echoed from the screen, “Do you authorize Patient 2487269 for fieldwork?”

“Yes,” said the woman, placing a hand over her beating heart.  It was time to find a new job.

Check out the other participants:

July 5th – http://novelexemplar.wordpress.com/

July 6th – http://veewhoa.wordpress.com/

July 7th – http://bloodoverithaca.wordpress.com/

July 8th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/

July 9th – http://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/

July 10th – http://fida-islaih.blogspot.com/

July 11th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

July 12th – http://maralaurey.wordpress.com/

July 13th – http://miriamjoywrites.wordpress.com/

July 14th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/

July 15th – http://charleyrobson.blogspot.com/

July 16th – http://www.oyeahwrite.wordpress.com/

July 17th – http://insatiablebeforedeath.wordpress.com/

July 18th – http://www.indianawriterblog.wordpress.com/

July 19th – http://akwardlywriting.blogspot.com/

July 20th – http://alifeonmission.wordpress.com/

July 21st – http://whimsicallyours.com/

July 22nd – http://theteenagewriter.wordpress.com/

July 23rd – http://dreamerheadquarters.wordpress.com

July 24th – http://weirdalocity.wordpress.com/

July 25th – http://missalexandrinabrant.wordpress.com/

26th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)

Have you ever tried giving your characters a therapy session?  It’s a lot of fun & can reveal some interesting things about their personality!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC