Monday, May 31, 2010

Giveaway Highlight - NRS Vamp Chick Birthday Giveaways!

Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick is having several giveaways in celebration of her birthday month!
All contests end tonight, so go check them out HERE!

Google Game

I saw this over at *Fiction Groupie* and decided to play! You can play too, just click here to be taken to the original post!

The game: do a Google image search for the answers to the following questions and then choose the best image from the first page of results.

1. Your Favorite beverage?: Chocolate Chai Frappe

2. Your hometown?: Cookeville, Tennessee

3. Your favorite TV show?:  NCIS

4. Your Occupation/What you are/were in school for?:  English Literature

5. Your first car?:  1991 Ford Explorer  ( Even though mine wasn't tricked out for off-roading, the coloring was nearly the same as the one in the pic.)

6. Your favorite dish?:  Spinach Dip

7. Celebrity you've been told you resemble?:  Selena Quintanilla (when I was in high school/early college)

8. Celebrity on your "to do" list?:  I don't do "to-do" lists (ick) but I like to look at Jackson Rathbone

9. Favorite Childhood toy?:  My Little Pony (I still have them!)

10. Any Random picture:  I typed in "make me laugh" and when I saw this, I did laugh, because it sounds so much like being an aspiring writer!!!

Giveaway Highlight - The Eager Readers

The lovelies over at The Eager Readers are giving away a paperback copy of 
Julie Kagawa's The Iron King!
Click HERE to go enter!

Giveaway - Library Lounge Lizard Blogiversary!

Congrats to Darcy over at Library Lizard Lounge on her 1 year blogiversary!

Check out her awesome giveaway HERE!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ink Anticipation [2]

The next book in the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter, Only the Good Spy Young comes out June 29, 2010 and I'm very excited!!!  I'm also a little nervous, because if Ally's tweets during her writing and rewriting of this book were any indication, some bad stuff may happen in this installment, which may or may not lead to pouting (a.k.a. Zach dies/is evil = tears).  The title, being a clever spy version of the phrase only the good DIE young, is especially troublesome.

But I understand (from a writer perspective, anyway) that the hard stuff makes the good stuff sweeter, so I'm hoping there's some really good stuff (Zach declares his undying love for Cammie, and Cammie reciprocates, of course) to be found. Either way, we'll see in less than a month!

Due to the size/shape of the countdown widget for Only the Good Spy Young, it is at the very bottom of my blog. The cover for OGSY is above, and the covers for the first three books (in reverse order), are below.  I am a total fan of these covers because they are easily recognizable as a series and I love the change in color for each book, not to mention the ransom-type letters.

My history with the Gallagher Girl series:
I stumbled across the first book, I'd Tell You I Love, But Then I'd Have to Kill You while shopping at Books-A-Million a couple years ago, buying the audio book on sale.  I thought LYKY was great, clean, YA fun, so I borrowed the next two books (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy and Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover) from a co-worker and devoured them.  I've been stalking a fan of Ally Carter ever since.

From Where I'm Standing [1]

From Where I'm Standing is a new whenever-it-happens feature where I share a photo from my hometown or from my travels with you!  Today's FWIS photo I actually took a little earlier today.

This field is actually across the street from the entrance to my neighborhood.  During the spring/summer, it is always really pretty, and I love being able to look in three directions and see forests and mountains.

Help! Fire! Chocolate! Help!

Okay, so my post title may not make a whole lot of sense if you've never heard the track "Chocolate" by The Smothers Brothers (play the video at the end of the post to for some 1960's comedy goodness!), but I need some assistance in the form of reader feedback.

I've seen on several blogs/sites that using a black background with white or bright text for a blog is, in a word, wrong.  The reasoning seems to be that it is difficult to read said blog.  So...

is my technicolor killin' you?

If so, I need to know.  I want my blog to reflect me, quirk that I am, but there is no point having a blog if it burns your eyes every time you visit.  So, if you have read this, please, please, please for the love of all that is Fatty, let me know what you think by commenting on this post.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the song (from the video) below!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Late Faturday! [3]

So my third Faturday post is a little later in the day than I like, but hey, 
I've been busy!  
As I mentioned in yesterday's update post, this week's photo has a special guest:
my sister Tasia!
I love her more than Fatty loves steak (which is to say, a lot)!

Happy Faturday!

Wannabe Writers #18

Wannabe Writers is a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  I'm one of those people who is constantly rewriting as I write, so that's basically what I have done this week, rewritten (mostly in my head) the first two chapters of my WIP, while writing a completely unusable third chapter.

My current problem(s):  Time is still my biggest issue, but I feel rather good about the changes I'm going to be making to my WIP, even if my latest venture was total hogwash.

Sarah's ???:  [She's on vacation this week so no question from her!]

My ???:  Critique groups?  I'm waiting for the Sunday edition of my local newspaper to come out so I can read up on all the different groups that meet in my area, but if a critique group is not found through that, how do I go about finding/starting one?

Thanks for visiting!

Ink Anticipation [1]

This is a new feature/meme/whatev about what book(s) I am anticipating, whether to read or to be released.

I decided to do this after entering the fourth Second Hand Saturday Book-A-Week Giveaway over at Reading Teen, which is an awesome awesome awesome YA book blog (one of my faves, in fact, if you couldn't tell).  Click the link below to be directed to the blog and enter to win!!  Oh yeah, follow them too!  You won't be sorry!


One the the books we (myself and those at Reading Teen) are anticipating is Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.  I've read an excerpt over at Harper Teen (server not working for them apparently so will do link later) and I can't wait to read the rest!

Release Date:  September 21st 2010 by HarperTeen
Description from GoodReads:
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal. 
Normal is so overrated.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quirk Update

After I get off work this evening (it will be Saturday by then) my three day weekend begins!!  I'm planning on posting short reviews of the books I've read so far this year, my regular feature and meme, and then re-writing my WIP (again).

At the moment, I feel a little light-headed because I can't breathe properly due to the allergens in the air, and I haven't even been outside yet!  Going to get meds ASAP.

Oh!  I almost forgot!  I'm thinking of doing a vlog post, hopefully with the help of a special guest (special to me, anyway) who will appear in tomorrow's Faturday photo.

Until then, quirksters, happy Friday!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays [1]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
"Listen," Rex said sharply, "there's lots more talents than the four we've seen, okay? I've read about all kinds of stuff, going back as far as the Split. She could be anything." 
"She could be nothing," Melissa said.
The Secret Hour (Midnighters, Book 1) by Scott Westerfeld, page 108

So maybe not technically two, but you get the idea. ^_^

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wannabe Writers #17

Wannabe Writers is a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  I haven't gotten to write much on my current WIP this week, but I have been brainstorming on ways to make my MC's life difficult interesting.

My current problem(s):  Time!  I have been working a lot on this blog and have been busy with the rest of my life (job interviews, friends, family) and been sick this past week so finding the time has been more difficult.  Hopefully in a few weeks my work schedule will change and provide me with more time to do what I love.

Sarah's ???:  Do you recommend finishing (and polishing) a novel, even if you know the story would never be strong enough for publication?  To finish just for the sake of finishing or to focus your energies on a better project? 

My answer:  Yes!  I can't imagine just letting the characters I have created and care about just sit in limbo and never finish their story.  Even if I will never see it published, I want to know how it all turns out.  When it comes to a better project, I might put the lesser project aside to work on others for a while, but I would eventually finish it.  You never know, it may one day be the better project as your writing progresses and you become more skilled at the craft.

My ???:  [Last week, I asked about character introductions, and I received a lot of great feedback. In particular, Margo over at Writing at High Altitude suggested I do a character profile, including favorite childhood memory and most traumatic experience, to better understand how the character would interact with others.]  What kinds of information do you try and determine in a character profile - simple stuff such as favorite color, food, etc., or do you go for the more complex stuff (like what Margo mentioned)? Any and all suggestions and examples are welcome!

Thanks for visiting!

It's Faturday! [2]

On this, 
the second ever Faturday, 
I bring to you a picture of Fatty attempting to hide from my sister's dog:

Unfortunately, the "I can't see him; he can't see me" bit just doesn't work for FatFat.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Giveaway Highlight!

S.A. Larsen over at Writers' Ally is having a massive follower giveaway and contest, so check it out!

Here are the 10 books!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Museic - Charmaine

The Museic I want to highlight for my first Museic feature is....

CHARMAINE - Love Reality

You may have never heard of her, which is a cryin' shame!

A blurb about her album LOVE REALITY from her own website:
Love Reality is a uniquely balanced blend of orchestral pop sounds and electronic beats behind a voice that is unmistakably Charmaine. With ten newly penned songs, "Love Reality" delivers with clarity the heart of this artist, stirs the soul of the listener and leaves one asking deeper questions and craving answers. "This record reflects all the things I'm truly convinced of: Love is the true reality; God.. Love Himself, is good. And because of this, there is hope." - Charmaine
Why LOVE REALITY is Museical:  This whole album is about struggling and fighting through life while remembering that love and hope are ever-present.  This is a main theme in my current WIP and Charmaine's catchy beats and clear voice remind me of my MC's story.

Tracks (*faves*):
*Tell Me*
*At My Door*
*Love Reality*
*Tied to the Ground*
*Fighting Furies*
Not Fair
*Revolutionary Thought*

Quirk: The track "Love Reality" makes me think I should put on a flowery sun dress and go twirl around under a big blue sky with some colorful balloons.  What an image, eh?

(Listen to song previews here.)

Rating:  Royalty
 (to see complete rating system, visit tab up top)

Upcoming Stuff

Since starting this blog, I have brainstormed on the different features and things I could post.  One of my very first ideas was to highlight the music that inspires me as a writer.  Not only is this a way for you to get to know me, but also I get to share some of my favorite artists/albums/songs/lyrics with you!  So tomorrow I will post my first
Museic of the Month, to be posted once a month.

My next idea was for a feature called From Where I'm Standing.  I've never had a desire to do a photo blog before, but I just love putting pictures on here.  I like to go around my hometown and just take photos, so I was thinking of maybe posting some on a bi-weekly basis.  This could possibly turn into a writing-meme of sorts, with whoever wants to join up writing a short scene using the pictures as setting or inspiration for dialogue, etc.  We'll see how this one plays out.

This next thing is not so much an idea, just an I'm-not-sure-I-want-to-do-it thing.  Book Reviews.  This blog was not created to do reviews, but I do have opinions on what I'm reading.  While I do have two years of being an English major under my belt, I don't really go in for writing super-detailed reviews.  That requires more work than I have time for, so I'm thinking of a (very simple) rating system, a quick blurb about likes/dislikes of a book, and whether or not I'd be willing to read a follow-up.  I may do something similar for Book Cover Art.

Only time will tell where this all goes.  But DO check back tomorrow (later today I guess since it's after 3am here) for the first Museic of the Month because it features one of my new favorite artists!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giveaway Highlight!

Emilee over at Penultimate Page is doing a giveaway for  
 Eyes Like Stars!  
I love Emilee's blog, so go check it out!   

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wannabe Writers #16

This is my first foray into Wannabe Writers, a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process: I currently have six works-in-progress, all in the area of fantasy/paranormal YA. Some are more developed as far as characters and story-lines, others are still in bare-bones-idea stage. The WIP I am currently focusing on has ~5,000 words to it.

My current problem(s): Merging the writing in my notebook with the writing on my computer. I just don't have the motivation to do it, though I think of the WIP in terms of the whole as if it were all typed up. I don't get a whole lot of uninterrupted writing time except on the weekends, so I'm writing a paragraph here and a bit of dialogue there during the week, but by Saturday I just feel drained and don't want to even think about it. Burnout? Not really, it just feels like a bit of a headache when I do think about it, but I'm planning on just trudging through because that's the only way it will get done!

Sarah's ???: How to start a story. (Dialogue, description, action, etc.)

My answer:  I've heard the "no dialogue, no dream sequences, no flashbacks" rules, so it seems obvious to avoid these. The last two I can understand, but the first I think there is flexibility so long as it is done properly. I believe the new book Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready begins with an uttered question, but does not delve into an entire conversation off the bat, so basically walking a fine line that IMHO works well enough. Hook is the important factor. Put conflict into the first sentence that makes the reader question what is going on so that the reader has to read-on to find the answer. Easier said than done, of course, but initial conflict is what I think about and focus on as I open a story.

My ???: Character introductions. In my current WIP, I had relatively no problem with the intro dialogue for LI (love interest) #1, but the intro dialogue for LI#2 is falling flat in every attempt. For instance, main character (MC) gets saved from certain death by LI#2. Do you have them talk at the scene of the incident or wait til they've relocated a bit? Put in the basic description (what the MC can currently observe of LI#2) or leave it out until later? Suggestions? Tips? Please share!

First Faturday!

Since this is my first post on my new blog, I decided to start with a feature! Every Faturday (as opposed to Saturday) I am going to choose a photo of my cat, Fatty, to share. To learn more about Fatty, visit the Fatty & the Fedora page button up top. If you have any questions about Fatty (or for Fatty, as I'm sure he would love to answer your questions), just leave a comment!

The first Faturday photo is the original pic I used to get what is now my profile pic:
In the edited photo (my profile pic), I used Photoshop to make Fatty's eyes more visible. The result is that he actually appears to be looking at the camera in addition to looking more menacing and paranormally feral:

Which he's not. He is super laid-back and the biggest kitty prince this side of the Mississippi. I would add a little crown to the pic, but the Photoshop edition I have doesn't run on my current OS (boo), so until I can get another edition, I likely will just post originals for a while.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Faturday!