Saturday, December 17, 2011

Torn

So, I'm torn between reading two different books: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. 

Any ideas?  I've heard great things about both, and I've really wanted to read both for a long, long time.  But now it's come down to me choosing one at the moment.  And me, being arguably the most indecisive person ever, can't decide which.  Sometimes I feel I should read one, but then it changes within the hour. 

Basically, I need help.  Any.   

So.  Anything?   

On a sidenote, I started writing a romance, a full romance, a good six or more months ago--but then I put it off to the side since that's not something I typically write (I certainly include romances within my novels, but never have I embarked on a total romance novel).  I love my characters in it though, and though it's romance, and typically happy and, yes, turbulent at times, I feel I've really pushed the boundaries with this one and come up with a killer plot.  I think, after posting this, I'll go check up on it (since you're supposed to put your work away for a bit then go look at again, with "fresh" eyes).  So, yep.  Just felt like sharing.  Maybe something will come of this one.  :)

So, that's it.  As always, write on!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo = Good Stuff

So, as many of you know, the American version of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hits theaters the 21st of this month, in...(hang on while I count)...8 days!  (Well, 7, if you don't count the day it comes out.)  To say I'm excited would be a terrific understatement; I was so wholly captivated by the first novel, so flabbergasted by (most notably) one of the two main characters, Lisbeth Salander (look her name up; it'll be quite interesting), that I simply was ecstatic when I heard David Fincher was taking on this incredible Swedish thriller.  I recently purchased the sequel, so I'm hoping to get around to that as soon as possible.   

For those of you who don't know what it's about, I'll surmise it here (perhaps this'll help me hone my hook skills).  A recently convicted journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, and a computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander, work together to piece together the puzzle of a girl who disappeared more than forty years ago. 

Sounds wonderful, no?  So, if you're into thrillers, mysteries, fascinating characters (I warn you, there are some heavily revolting scenes both in the book and, according to what the movie is rated R for, in the movie as well), and twists around every corner, pick up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and prepare for the movie on the 21st.  Already read it?  Let's wait together!  (I'll start counting down on my fingers.) 

And remember: Evil shall with evil be expelled.  (Seriously one of my favorite movie taglines ever!)   

Write on!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Bit O' Inspiration

I'd like to take this moment and say sorry for not keeping up with the blog (since my last post was what, August???).  Though I'm certain you all have vastly interesting lives, and actual things to do other than read my blog, for the times you did drop in to see if a new post was up, I firstly want to thank you, and also extend my apologies for not having posted in quite some time and not having anything up for you to read.  I always tell myself I'll get better, I'll post more...but alas.  Perhaps some of you have good ways to avoid procrastination?  (Though the obvious, most blatant tip is JUST DO IT.)  Because seriously, I'll take anything.

Ahem. 

Moving away from the somberness of the above paragraph, I thought I'd post a link to a video I found SO funny, SO inspirational...just so APPLICABLE to us dedicated, can't-do-anything-but-write writers out there, editing, writing, thinking...just going through the process of writing the book. 

It's from the amazing, the sprightly, the fabulous K.M. Walton, whose debut contemporary novel CRACKED hits stores January 3rd, 2012!  She did a parody of the song "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars--with a writer twist--and it's just downright, hilariously incredible (not to mention heaps of inspirational). 

Here's the link: http://skateorbate.blogspot.com/2011/10/billionaire-parody-for-writers.html.  Enjoy!  And remember, never give up! 

Write on! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Did You See This?!?!?

If not, just watch. 


March 23rd, 2012 baby!  (And Jennifer Lawrence looks like she's gonna pull this role off PERFECTLY.)  

Wait, what's that?  It's August?  

Crap.       

Friday, July 29, 2011

Defying Gravity

Yes, actually, this post does relate to the song from Wicked (which I want to see SO bad!  I've heard it's mind-blowingly incredible.) 

Ahem.  Ignoring my ramblings...   

I've been an avid follower of author Kody Keplinger (ya know, who wrote The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)) for probably about a year, and I just love her humor and YouTube videos.  She's such an inspiration to aspiring authors, and gives fantastic advice. 

Take, for instance, what I'm going to post. 

In this video she discusses rejection, and how defying a little gravity can do loads of good for you when pursuing that elusive, fantastic, published author dream. 

It's basically one of my favorite videos to watch when I feel down, or when I need to rid of some stress and get myself inspired.  Enjoy!  (And make sure you check out Kody's blog if you've yet to already; you won't regret it!  It's http://kodymekellkeplinger.blogspot.com/.)   


On a different note, Harry Potter was AWESOME!!!  It's been two weeks since my last post, and--whadaya know--I've seen it two times since then!  Yes, there were things that could've been done slightly differently, but that's just the nature of the beast when dealing with movie adaptations of books.  I still give it a glowing 5/5 stars, and still completely, wholeheartedly, undoubtedly LOVED it.  =D  Make sure you see it too! 

And that's all I have.  Have a great day!  :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

In Which I Blab About Harry Potter

So, anyone else terrifically excited for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2?  I know I am!  And I'm like, SO very excited, because, for the first time, I'm going to the midnight premiere!  I'm completely psyched, and cannot wait!  The movie's going to be completely EPIC (I mean, did you see the trailer???).   

So, anyone else been to a Harry Potter midnight premiere?  I'm a little unsure of what time to get there.  We were thinking 9 but that seems almost too late to me...I've looked it up on Google, and a lot of people were saying to get to your theater at 2 or 3, or sometimes even earlier (unless you live in a small town...which, we don't).  So, if anyone could give any suggestions, that'd be great.  :)  Also, do people dress up?  I suppose if you're a true Potter fan you do, but I'm not so sure I want to (and I don't even know who I'd go as!).  =P  I guess we'll see...

Well, that's about it.  On a random note, I'm like completely in love with Stephen King's stuff.  I'm only about halfway through my first novel of his, and I've already bought another...and I'm just totally blown away.  No wonder everyone praises him so much.  :)  Certainly a writer all aspiring writers should look up to...

And now, I post one of the trailers for the amazing, the epic, the LAST of them all: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (can't believe this is it already--sob face) and watch it a trillion times and get all jittery and crazy...  =D 


SO EXCITED!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Year Already?! My 1 Year Blogiversary!

So, being the incredibly attentive person that I am, I went on through my day, doing this and that...and then, suddenly, I paused, said crapcrapcrap, and realized today was the 1 year anniversary of my blog!  =D  My little baby An Author's Quest has turned the big 1!  [insert confetti and roaring applause here] 

So, as I did when I hit fifty followers back in October, I decided I'm going to write another poem to celebrate such amazingness.  (I unfortunately don't have any cool prizes to give out, or really any imagination at the moment since it's now 10:30--I'm such a party pooper--so I hope this suffices, though, trust me, I'm truly ecstatic that it's already been a whole year!) 

So, here we go again.  I think I'll call this one An Author's Quest Hits One Big Year.  Enjoy! 

My oh my the time has flown 
Through twelve short months our words have grown 

I've met new people on these blogs
And gobbled up your posts like a flock of ravenous hogs (okay, that one was bad) 

Being writers we're all so cool
And one day all our books will rule 

I'm proud to annouce and be so clear
That An Author's Quest hits one big year! 

I thank you all it's been so fun
And look, another year's begun! 

So, there you go.  Oh, and thank you thank you thank you!!!  =)  I really couldn't have pushed onward and gotten where I was without all of you behind me, leaving comments and being genuinely good people (and writers) as I moved forward on this crazy (understatement anyone?) journey.  I can't wait to see where this new blog year takes me, and I can't wait to see what you guys all have going on as well!  

Again, thank you so much!  Now, if I could just figure out some way to better remember things...  ;)   

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why the Book Hate?

Ugh.  I'm a little angry right now...  One of our friends was over a few hours ago, and--for whatever reason--said she hates books.  Just hates 'em.  I kept my curious composure after she'd said it, and just sat there (shaking my head inside) as my brother showed her a few of our books, trying to convice her to read at least two before summer's end.     

She agreed, though I remained suspicious, and then, five seconds later, decided she didn't want to read them anymore.  She said, expressionless, "I hate books."  And, don't get me wrong, I'm not just pointing her out...because, sadly, I've heard this more times than I can recall. 

It greatly angers me when I hear that, and saddens me.  Books can do so much for someone, for anyone...and even if you're not into that whole intellectual aspect of them, they're still most definitely a source of incredible entertainment.  I honestly don't know why people say this.  In fact--perhaps there are others--I can really only think of one reason, and it's unfortunate.  That reason--the only real thing I can attribute it to--is school.  Because we are given required books we (most of the time) don't like, or barely even read (or just don't read at all) through our years of school, I suppose a bad taste is put in our mouths about books, and thus makes various people "hate" them as a whole.     

I still don't understand, though.  Go ahead.  Don't read whatever you're being "forced" to read.  Fail your test.  Whatever.  But don't say you hate all books because of that. 

Yes, there have been numerous things I've read in school that I haven't liked much.  I haven't hated them completely, but I've certainly disliked them.  But so what?  Everyone has books they don't like.  On the other end of the spectrum, though, there have been other books that---had it not been for school--I probably never would've heard of, never read, and never fallen in love with.  "School," to me, seems like a sorry excuse for hating books, yet it's unfortunately the only one I hear every time I ask why, and that's the truth.   

So, that's my little angry rant for the day.  I can't figure out how you can hate an object that's done nothing to you, something so glorious as a book, no less.  You don't have to like reading, but don't just hate all books because of one experience or what you're being told.

So, what do you think?  Is the reason I run into so many kids and teenagers who "hate" books school?  Do you know anybody who hates them as well?  Maybe there are other contributing factors...?      

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm a Little Behind, Yes...

...but for good reason. 

I began a new novel a week or so ago, and though there's always that underlying, seemingly elusive this-is-the-book-I-can-feel-it-deep-down-inside kinda feeling with everything habitual writers write, I sorta wanna admit that I get that feeling with this one, too.  But I think it's pretty strong.  Maybe stronger than normal.  *sounds really stupid and realizes it* 
 
Funny thing is, I hadn't even been intending to start it when I did.  Heck, I didn't even plan on writing something new that day, or for a long while, for I already have a few WIPs (that I'm beginning to lose touch with--cue sad face)...but of course I only want to work on those projects that I'm most passionate about.  So I was mindlessly checking my email, laughing through some YouTube vids, and checking up on everything else--and suddenly, I was wrought with an itch to write.  So, naturally, I opened Microsoft Word and started something...and kept going...and going...and going.

And here I am, blogging about how awesome it is to have something I'm so excited to get going on!

I don't have a plot.  I don't have an ending.  I'm only a few pages in.  But it's started.  And I don't plan on stopping.

So, yes.  I'm incredibly excited to see where this project goes...or doesn't go (though I'm rooting for the former, of course!).

In other news (I believe I can safely say I'm a little behind on this one, too), I was checking up on Beth Revis's website and blog (Across the Universe is looking so enticing on my TBR pile right now...), which led me to her helpful things for writers page, and thus to Authoress's blog, a.k.a. Miss Snark's First Victim.  I think I'm falling in love.  It's a fantastic blog for aspiring authors where monthly "Secret Agent" contests are held, among other things, and where success stories are beginning to become abundant!  Go check it out, if you haven't already (which, considering there's already over 400 followers, I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't already been loyally following)!  You won't be disappointed.  And what more, but Authoress and I share somewhat of a common trait: we're both a little mysterious, and haven't fully given our true identities away (though she's an agented YA author, and may be revealing herself anytime now...). 

So, that's it for now.  Thank you for reading; I aim to be back soon!        

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some Short Advice

I often write short stories (page or two long, or at least until I lose interest in my practice characters, practice plot, etc.) and get to thinking about the best (and worst) ways to begin a piece.  Book, blog post, newspaper article...  The list goes on and on.  But, of course, I'm speaking more toward novels. 

So, the best way to start your tale?  Or, rather, the way you NEVER want to... 

DON'T START YOUR NOVEL WITH YOUR CHARACTER WAKING UP. 

Don't.  Don't EVER.  If there's one piece of writing advice I've seen everywhere, from literally every agent that's ever spoken on the topic to other writers' blogs, it's that you do NOT ever want to start your novel with someone waking up.  Why?  It's a cop-out.  No, really.  As other agents have said in one way or another, surely there's another way you can start your story.  Surely.  And trust me, it'll do you loads to make this fix.  In fact, agent Mary Kole once said that if your story does not begin with someone waking up, you're already a caliber above 50% of the submissions she sees.  This, of course, does not determine whether or not she chooses one submission over the other, but it most definitely places you in a better light, so-to-speak.   

In other news, I recently began The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.  And I'm not lying when I say it's AMAZING.  I can't put it down.  And the weird thing is, it's a war story.  I don't like to read about war when it so abundantly (and unfortunately) happens around the world, for death is not exactly a happy topic, but it's so heartfelt and sincere a work that I just cannot get away from it.  Go check it out from the library or read some reviews online.  You'll know what I'm talking about. 

Well, that's it for now.  =)  (Oh, sidenote: I don't exactly know why the date on my last post says April 4th, because I most definitely posted it around the 20th.  Just something that was bothering me, and something that I wanted to make note of.  Hopefully this post has the date right...even though if it doesn't it's my fault in the first place, for I should be checking things more thoroughly; today's May 22nd.) 

I leave with this unusual fact (who doesn't like random, unusual facts?):

When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second!  (http://www.strangefacts.com/facts1.html)

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Prologue or Not To Prologue?

Hello again, everyone! I'd imagine, while reading this, some of you are curious where I've been the past weeks. In earnest, it's quite a long story, but things just seemed to pile all up and crash together, making for a very hectic few weeks and basically zero time to blog. But hey, that's life. :) I hopped around every so often, reading other bloggers' blogs and simply checking up on mine. And now, finally, I'm jumping back in, ready to put this blog of mine into drive and slam on the pedal. =) Hopefully, you guys are all willing to jump back on, rev your engines, and get ready to ride too! (Not sure why I'm using the car metaphor so much...?)

So, moving right along...

There are a lot of things I've been wanting to gush about on here--I've probably started to forget some, but they'll return--so I suppose I'll just have to take things one at a time. With that, I wanted to discuss prologues...

Frankly, I don't know whether or not to write one, and if I do...is it really necessary? I understand prologues serve the purpose of explaining something indelibly important to the novel, hence the fact they're at the very beginning, but still... I often find myself reading some that I feel are entirely unnecessary, ones which, after I finish the book, I flip back to and ask "Why the heck are you here???"

Hmmm.

So, any opinions on the matter? Like 'em? Hate 'em? Can't even write 'em? (I try...but then I realize there really is no point, no matter what I'm writing.) I've seen quite a few posts about it from agents and industry peeps in my days of perusing blogs, blogs, and more blogs, and more often than not, they say you really, truly, totally need to look at your prologue/preface (is there a difference?...because I truly don't know) and ask yourself if it's critical to the opening and the novel as a whole. For if it's not, it better pack up and head out before it lands in front of an agent who probably won't be too happy about it, since odds are they have hundreds of other queries to read.

Now, let's take a big breath. :) Gosh, publishing is tough.

Random fact: I started a new novel! And this one's a first for me. For one, it's literary, not commercial. Two, it's first person (99.9% of the time I do third). And three--the weirdest one of all--it's romance. Something I've never written, and something I most certainly never intended to write. Yet there's something about it... I keep writing and writing. I continue to dive back into it and think of more and more things. I hope it goes somewhere. :)

So, that's it. I better be back here in the next week or so (I really need to make myself a schedule, like so many diligent bloggers do), typing up another post. I apologize for leaving so abruptly, as if I'd fallen off the face of the planet. I'm here! I promise.

Now let's dance!



video


Write on!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Can't Smile Enough :)

I'm SO SO SO completely ecstatic to see I've surpassed 100 followers, most of whom are fantastic Crusaders! You guys are amazingly amazing; I'm coming as fast as I can to all of your blogs to say hi and introduce myself (and follow, of course)! :)

I guess all I'm trying to say is welcome, new followers! I hope each and every one of you enjoy all my blog has to offer, and that we all grow as friends and authors as our journeys move forward!

Also, I'd like to give a special shout-out to my fellow group 8 Crusaders/buddies (ironically, there are 8 of you!). I'm extremely excited to get to know you all, and can't wait to see where this Crusade goes!

So, you could say I'm pretty pysched!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Calling All Crusaders!

Yes. It's that time again.

Rachael Harrie, glorious blogger, created the one and only Writers' Platform-Building Crusade months and months ago. And, as of February 4th, the 2nd Crusade has kicked off!

What is it, you ask? Well, it's a way for us bloggers (those of us on the book journey, whether we're aspiring authors, industry peeps, published authors, or new or established bloggers) to make a name for ourselves in the blogosphere, so-to-speak, and hopefully gain some more followers and make awesome new friends, all while helping the other Crusaders build their platform and grow as bloggers and writers as well.

I'm a Crusader, and I ask you to join as well. You'll love it! Click here to check out the official post from Rachael's blog explaining it much better than me, and also to (hopefully) become a Crusader!

Well, what are you waiting for? :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Elusive Writer's Block


Yes, I have a pretty bad case of writer's block at the moment. Is it angering? Of course. But we can deal with it. Heck, it happens to all of us, whether we like it or not.

For me, I deal with it by taking a walk, or watching TV. Sometimes, I even play Minesweeper on my computer. (If you don't know what Minesweeper is, I'd say you're missing out--then again, I think I have a slight addiction, so I'm probably a little biased.) Oddly enough, that game somehow gets me back to my stories, and helps my ideas flow. It's weird.

Occasionally, I'll simply read, and get lost in another story; that sometimes helps me deal with the writer's block, too.

So, what helps you get untangled from the inevitable phenomena called writer's block? Reading? Walking? Watching TV? Playing Minesweeper? (Maybe I'm alone on that one.) I'd love to hear your thoughts! (Maybe some of you will give me some new ways to deal with it!) :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why = AMAZING

So I just finished Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, and let me tell you...WOW! I seriously couldn't stop reading; it most definitely got my pulse racing and my head spinning.

Before I go any further, I'll try to do a quick little summary of the plot for those of you who haven't heard of it...

There's this high schooler, Clay, who comes home one day from school to find seven cassette tapes lying on his front porch; on the tapes is the voice of Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush, who committed suicide very recently. He listens to the tapes, discovering there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Even crazier, he discovers he himself is one of the reasons.

It's totally enthralling, and a page-turner that's not just a "page-turner" for the sake of being put on a cover so people will buy a book. It's totally heartbreaking and does have a lasting impression (though I did just finish it an hour ago, so I can't really judge its "lasting" impression, I suppose), but I just know it will linger in my head. I had gotten it a few months ago, and for some time it had sat lined up with all my other "to read" novels on my shelf; when I was cleaning, I had to take all the books off to dust, and I cracked open the first page, started reading, and...well, here I am, writing about how great it was. So, I meant to read it, just...not now. I'm glad I did, though. :)


(I wasn't able to get an autographed copy, though that would've been amazing!)

So, that's all. :) I'm sure many of you have heard of it and probably read it, but I still just needed to blab about how great it was (because, honestly, how can you resist that plot and the mystery of it all?). Five out of five stars, no question. Mr. Asher is a fine writer.

I'm still trucking onward with my other books (both the readings and the writings), and I'll keep you guys posted if I have some breakthrough with anything or something magical happens (not yet querying, though, so I can't imagine anything yet). ;)

Any of you finish great books recently? Have any of you read Thirteen Reasons Why? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Taylor Swift's Songs Are Like Good Writing

Okay, so maybe all of you don't agree with that statement. But after having just been in a little fight about whether or not Taylor Swift can sing and the statement that all her songs revolve around boys and falling in love and breaking up and feeling cheated and etc., I kinda got to thinking... I think so many people resonate with her songs because they're real. Relatable. Her songs aren't like the crazy other songs out there, where half the time you don't really know what they're singing about but you just sing along anyway because it's catchy (guilty). Don't get me wrong--there are still tons of other songs out there that are just as easy to understand, as understandable as Taylor's; I'm only using her as my example because I was just defending her and I like her. :)

As writers, we're always striving to make our stories, our characters as real as possible, as believable as can be. That way, our stories will stay in readers' heads and make them truly think about what they've just read long after they've turned that last page. We try to strike them in the gut, reach out and make them feel while they're reading.

Yes, I'm a guy, and I think Taylor Swift's songs are fantastic. I feel like she's speaking directly from her heart when she sings (not to get all sappy or anything), and that really makes me smile and lets me know she pours her soul into all of her written works.

That's what we, as writers, must continue to do. Put as much passion into our works as we can, because once we have, it'll truly begin to shine like it was meant to. I wholeheartedly believe that.

Food for thought, I guess. :) What do you think?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back In The Swing Of Things...

So, it's 2011. Can you even believe that??? I mean, honestly, I just felt like I was partying for 2010. Time baffles me...

It's time to turn on our brains, get off the couch, and head back into reality, whether we want to or not. There's always that difficulty that comes with heading back into the world, yet at the same time that feeling of happiness since we're actually beginning to accomplish things during the days that seemed to have fallen to the wayside as the holidays barged right on in.

I know in my last post I said I had time to write, and, well...I lied. I thought I'd have time, but I guess I was a teeny bit overzealous... Sure, I wrote a tad, but nothing significant. However, now that the new year has begun, I'm very happy to say that I (along with hopefully everyone else that had to drag themselves right back into the swings of things at the close of the holidays) will have more time to write...at least once things slip back into their usual routine, which, for my family, takes a good few days. There's always that little bit of craziness as everyone struggles to board the insane, always-moving thing called life--especially after the holidays.

I'm incredibly excited for 2011; a fresh year, a clean slate, a perfect oppurtunity to sharpen our writing craft, read read and read, and simply enjoy ourselves on our authorly journeys. As of right now, there's not much happening with me, just the usual dillydally and procrastination of things to do and the yearning to go back to the holiday greatness and the joy that another year is upon us and the excitement that comes with it...

Okay, I need to breathe.

In book news, I recently started reading Brenna Yovanoff's THE REPLACEMENT, which, so far, is amazing (the cover is one of those rare covers I just have to keep looking at because it's just so cool!). Already I can tell I'm going to totally love it. :)

Now, with each new year comes new books. I'm already amassing a list of what I'm terribly excited for. Here are the 2011 books I just can't wait to get my hands on:

  • DESIRES OF THE DEAD by Kimberly Derting
  • WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight
  • UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand (wouldn't ya know, it comes out TOMORROW!)
  • WITCH EYES by Scott Tracey

So, any of you guys ready to jump back into the chaos of normal life? Picked up any good books lately? Immensely excited for upcoming novels of 2011? Leave me your thoughts, and Happy New Years!