Ready. Set. Write 2014!! Goal Setting Time :)

RSWgoldpolaroid

YABbootcamp is over, but that doesn’t mean the writing parties are and writing community is done coming together. It’s time for Ready. Set. Write!  

What’s Ready. Set. WRITE!? It’s a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Today’s the goal-setting post to kick it off. Join in! You know you want to 🙂

Drumroll, please…

My goal(s) for this week/the summer as a whole is:

This week: 

Continue progress on my super secret MS. The MS will only be unveiled after I reach 20,000 words. It’s a little push to do more writing and less talking about writing/what I’m writing.

The summer:

  • Complete Super Secret MS. (yay!!)
  • Query THE DAUPHINE FILES (cue nail bitting). I’m really nervous for this because it’s technically an Urban Fantasy (though with more of a noir & mystery leaning).
  • Read all the books in my room (15 books, maybe?)
  • Revise ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX –> I received some amazing feedback from agents…now to apply it.
  • Celebrate the release of my first Spencer Hill Contemporary client, Dahlia Adler’s YA Debut, BEHIND THE SCENES 🙂
  • Have fun!

I have a lot of goals but I think with a lot of persistence and not stressing, I can reach them. Gotta set ’em high, right?

What are your goals? How is your summer going??

Have a great week!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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

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

What’s Up Wednesday

Hello Readers 🙂  Welcome to this week’s What’s Up Wednesday post!  As a side note before we dive in, you might have noticed my domains have changed…it’s all good, I forgot to renew them…I’m on it.

What I’m Reading

Proxy (Proxy, #1) Nothing, really.  I just finished reading Proxy by Alex London.  You can read my ravings about it in my book review (I loved it).

Now I’m just sitting.  I’m on a TV watching spree.   It’s something I don’t allow myself to do enough.  Maybe I should’ve retitled this section ‘What I’m Watching’ which would be Alias & Vampire Diaries, starting from season one.  Yes I’m hooked & no, I don’t know what VD “Team” I’m on (they’re both starting to get on my nerves, especially Elena).  I think my next shows will be Supernatural…I’m trying to get caught up on TV people keep recommending I watch so if you have any let me know!

What I’m Writing

Um…nothing.  I’m just taking a break.  I’m at home for a week(ish), and it’s nice to be home.  However I have a feeling this is about to change (the not writing bit) as my story is starting to really bug me to write it.  So look back next week for what I’m sure will be a stellar update.

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Bumming LOL.  No, I’ve just been taking time to enjoy the world.  I’ve realized writing has been taking up my life.  And as a writer I/we get our inspirations from life & cooping yourself in a room 24/7 is not living.  So yes, I’m doing better.  Today’s my little sister’s birthday.  I’m home (TEXAS!!!), there’s this thing called A/C around here, and I’m still in my PJs.  It’s nice.  I need to get out of them though because we’re going to SIX FLAGS (amusement park)!!  I haven’t been there in 2 years I think which is odd because I used to go there at least every summer. Hopefully my stomach is still as strong as ever…

Oh…I almost forgot.  Some super cool things are happening in my life, in regard to writing and books and everything.  The wonderful Raven Ashley & I after many conversations via email, twitter, you name it are launching what is tentatively called Operation Diversity.  It’s going to be a blog whose focus will be to highlight and celebrate diversity in MG, YA & NA. The blog will be run by a group of bloggers who will take turns posting throughout the week on topics such as debunking stereotypes, interviews with authors and other industry professionals, book reviews, and Q&As.  We’ll also be talking about our writing journey(s).

We are seeking bloggers age 16- 25 to be a part of this blog.  I should state this is because we thought it’d be cool to have people our age blogging, sharing their writing experiences etc…about the books whose target audience (minus MG) are people our age.  We are especially looking for people from a wide variety of backgrounds so that we, as the bloggers, will be able to speak from our own experiences. Not all bloggers must be writers.

If you know of anyone who might be interested (or if you are) feel free to tell them to contact us at OperationDiversity(at)gmail (dot) com (with appropriate symbols instead of words).  Full details to come Saturday!

What Inspires Me Right Now

Family & myself.  I was stuck in the airport for hours yesterday because of a delayed flight (still a bit mad…don’t even want to talk about).  It gave me the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things.  That reflection led me to writing a letter to my future self at the time I get my first book deal/book is published.  When I get it, I plan on writing a letter to my younger self.  In the letter I talked a lot about the progress I’ve made and how amazing I am.  We’re often too hard on ourselves and it needs to stop.   So from this point on I’m promising myself to focus on my writing & living the life I want to live with the people I want to live it with.  Nothing is promised so I might as well enjoy the journey.

What’s going on in your life?  Also if anyone is reading anything particularly interesting please post the title below.  I need a book I can fall in love with as much as I did with Proxy.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

What’s Up Wednesday

Good Morning, Readers!  Happy Hump Day!  As a part of Ready. Set. Write. & just cause, here’s my fourth What’s Up Wednesday!

What I’m Reading

gay booksSo…to the left you’ll see my first chunk of “diversity” books, there’s Proxy by Alex London which is what I’m reading now, Huntress by Malindo Lo which is next (companion to Ash), and Ash by Malinda Lo which I recently finished (review up tomorrow).

Ash was gorgeous & beautifully written, truly a fairy tale (retelling of Cinderella), and Proxy is fascinating, an adventure with lots of missing pieces to the puzzle (and I’ve only just started).

Is there anything different about these books?  Only that they connect with me in a deeper level, because I understand some of the experiences, than most YA’s I read, which is nice.
What I’m Writing

2013-Participant-Campfire-Circle-BadgeMy new WIP, tentatively titled: The Alex de Vega Chronicles (MG).

It’s set in a futuristic world, where…well, why don’t I let sassy little Alex tell you herself:

Prologue/Back of book/idk…

It takes one to know one. 

It’s the year 3146, and the world is not at all like the one you’ve been led to know.

Vampires exist and so do werewolves, shapeshifters, faeries and just about every other mythical creature you could think of, in fact one of them is my friend.

But that’s not what I’m writing to talk about, you see the world is a deadly place (duh, right) and the Council, that once kept the peace between the races, is corrupt.

The faerie court is divided, the vampire lords are fighting amongst each other and the humans, we’re next on the menu.  The key to saving our city, Atlantis II, lies within the most advanced piece of technology there is, Pandora’s Box…only thing is, it was recently stolen, by whom know one knows.

Who am I?  You might be asking.

Like they say, it takes one to know one…I am Alex de Vega — of the de Vega crime family – criminal mastermind, the one who’s supposed to save this city (ironic, isn’t it?).

Why am I telling you this?

Well, call me overly cautious but in case I don’t succeed, I’ve programmed this journal to go back to your time so that hopefully you can stop all of this from happening.

Chapter One

Middle school sucks.

You’d think that after a couple thousand years someone would’ve figured out a way to make it more interesting.  I mean you’ve got teachers that expect students to sit in a desk all day and do worksheets.  It sucks more than the time my dad made me stay at home with little crybaby sister while he took my dufus brother out to case some new virtual reality software.  Not that I cared about casing some game when I’d already stolen the original before it hit the market and replaced it with a fake.  Boy was he mad when he found that out.  It was more the fact that they never let me go with them on any of their adventures.

Oh well, I had better things to do.  Like create the software to reprogram the bots that patrolled the school hallways so that in three, two—

“Ms. Harland, Ms. Harland,” said a messy, red-haired boy who’d busted through the door.  He drew in a deep breath.  “The droids, th-they’re fighting.  In the hallway.”  The boy fell to the floor.  “What do you mean they’re fighting?” she asked, peeping her head out the door.  There was a shriek; our head of school ran by, one of the robots fast behind him.

“Oh my,” said our teacher.  She pushed the red emergency button behind her desk.  “Okay, stay here.  Someone will be here shortly; I’m going to rescue Headmaster Schley.”

I rolled my eyes, that woman had taken one self-defense class and she already thought she was Wonder Woman.  Not that it mattered since I’d only programmed the bots to tickle, of course, I’d be long gone by the time they figured that out”…

So yep, that’s my new baby.  I’ve been wanting to write an MG for a while, one that’s fast-paced, funny, a little dark, and has one hella a spunky girl as its MC.  (The best way I can describe this project is a combination of my old WIP the Otherworldly Chronicles, maybe the Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black, and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.)

It’s hard because all I remember are the good parts about the process toward finishing my old WIP, even now when I edit things I know it’s so close to being finished I push on.  With this one, I’m at square one, I know I can write it by the end of July (it’s for Camp NaNoWriMo) but only if I let myself fully go.  Right now I’m still at the beginning of chapter one, my inner critic trying to make everything perfect along the way.  

Ugh…is this really what the beginning feels like?  Why do I do this to myself???  Oh, right, I love it, right?

What Else I’ve Been Up To

big turtle side tank

1. On Friday, I went into Boston (for work) but was able to have some great times with friends at this amazing restaurant called Shabu-Ya.  I got to go to the aquarium (I got a sneak peak at the new top level to their aquarium).

And I had my first canoli & French macaron. me eating canoli macaronBefore dinner, I went from bookstore to bookstore making it my mission to find a few of the books on my “Diversity in YA” shelf (the link is to my goodreads shelf as my blog page isn’t up to date) I wanted to read first (Found all of them minus Bill Konigsberg’s book Openly Straight…I might have to order that one, also his blog is great too!).  It wasn’t easy, I think that goes to highlight how hard books with main characters who are a person of color and/or queer are to find.  The books I ended up buying are the ones I talk about in my ‘What I’m Reading’ section.

touched and dollhouse SH ARCs

-I got my ARC of Stalked by Death (Touch of Death #2) by Kelly Hashway & I’m so excited to read it…loved Touch of Death!! I also got this cool bookmark of The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray (can’t wait for the book!!).

-I finally celebrated finishing my (5th?) draft of BLOOD OF ISIS & my blog birthday (so much that I’m probably am good until my birthday).  AND, while bumming around on Sunday I came up with ways to fix/make awesome a few story bumps I knew I needed to address in BOI.  (See, taking a break from your book baby (even if a small one)  really does work wonders) .  one to start) forCamp NaNoWriMo in July!

-Oh and I left my phone in a taxi Friday and it would’ve been my third or fourth phone lost this year (bad luck + stupidity) if the driver hadn’t kindly brought it to my school (for which I paid for dearly…).  And I went grocery shopping & decided I’m going to live off books & AB&J (AB = Almond Butter) because groceries are too damn expensive (I don’t know how people can stand to see that much money go away just like that for stuff that has such a short lifespan).

What Inspires Me Right Now

These NaNoWriMo pep talks:

Neil GaimanBeth RevisMeg Cabot | Holly Black | Lemony SnicketMarissa Meyer | Gayle Forman | Julie Cross | Scott Westerfeld

Interestingly, most of them are my favorite authors…figures.

I’m quite a bit obsessed with NaNoWriMo pep talks so yeah, I usually read them when I’m in the writing slumps (or trenches like I am now).

Also…the writing community, I talked about this a bit in this post from the other day but writers and people in publishing are awesome.  They’re this group of adults (I know teens right, I’m only 20 just speaking about adults here) who still believe in following their dreams even though they might have another job, be 70, barely get paid, it doesn’t matter…we’re real troopers 🙂  So pat yourself on the back because I don’t think we stop enough to tell ourselves how truly amazing we are!  I love you guys.

What have you been up to lately? (something mischievous??)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC