Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Notebook Sister's Link-up Part 2

         

           And here's the writing half. It's not that impressive. I'm sorry.

1. How many books did you write this year? (Estimate your overall wordcount for us too!)

          
I didn't finish a single book.

2. Which was your favourite to write?

          
I wrote mostly Oddball. And I enjoyed it very much. Though I loved the snippets of the weird idea that I jotted down.

3. Which was the hardest to write?

          
Oddball. Grr to backstory.

4. Tell us about you favourite Male Character you wrote this year!

          
I'm rather biased toward Oddball. You're so melancholy, realistically pessimistic, sarcastic, and unwaveringly loyal. It's a fun combination, surprisingly.
           Rocky, you're always awesome. Don't bow and say it comes natural. But okay, maybe it does for you. 
         
5. And how about your favourite Female Character?

          
Hm, there's not many girls in Oddball.
           I'll have to say Peril. You'll always be my favorite even though you did give me a hard time to write. You out of all of them, were so hard to get on paper. But you're too you to dislike, and I mean that.
           And Mora, I hope every reader learns to love/hate you as much as I do. Just saying.

6. Can you introduce us to some awesome sidekick(s)?

           
I'm not sure if Rocky is Oddball's sidekick, or Oddball's Rocky's sidekick, or what. Rocky is awesome though. Oddball's opposite in a lot of ways. They interact like every good duo should. Tons of tension, teamwork when there has to be, and hilarity all around.

7. Any romances in your writing? Which couple didn't go together as expected?

          
Hm, Rocky and Skyler. They're currently separated by a mountain range though. There'll be more romance to come, but knowing me and the characters, it won't be much.

9. What challenges did you compete in this year? (NaNos? Personal goals? Challenges run by other blogs?) And how did you go?

          
I wanted to get Oddball and Rocky to Vorb before a specific time. I'm not sure if they made it before the end of summer, but they did make it. They've also met Peril (oh, lucky them*cough*), another plot destination made.

11. Epic quote(s) you wrote?


He had an expressive face for a dragon.


12. Last word from your manuscript(s)! Go!

          
The last sentence from the rough draft.

He should've stayed in the Border.

14. Show us your favourite funny scene!
          

Another knock at the door. Smelt's steady hammer beat jarred. He sighed and looked at Ember. "You see what they do?" He feigned anger. "They say, 'We want you to make more for us, Smelt. You are the best, Smelt. You must make us so many things.'" He spread his arms out wide. "And what do they do?" He put his hands on his hips and made a face at Ember.
             She laughed.
            "What do they do?" he said again. "They come pounding on my door when I work. When I work! When I do what they want, they come to bother me."
           The knock came again.
           "You hear this?" He swung his hammer to the door. "You think it is fair?"
           "It is never fair. Life cannot do it." Ember said.
           "Wait now," Smelt frowned at her. "You cannot use my quote against me. That is not fair!" He beat on his work and frowned when he found it too cold. She giggled. "You find it funny?"


15. Show us a snippet of dialogue you're proud of.

          
"Adventuring suits you."
           "It. . . it does?"
           Now she looked at him. With that grin. "Yes. You thrive on it."


17. What has writing taught you about yourself this year?

          
I have a long way to go, so I better keep going. And I saw myself in some of the ways my characters thought, spoke, and acted. In unexpected ways actually.

18. Best piece of writing advice you learnt this year?

          
Write, write, write, and never waver from that.

19. Anything big on the horizons for next year? Plans to query? Publish? Edit?

          
Finishing a first draft! Woohoo! Maybe even two.

20. Tell us a bit about a book you're super excited to write in 2014!


           Well, if I finish two first drafts, I plan to put more effort into the weird idea. The weird idea obviously lacks a good title, and it's a series that revolves around a trilogy (if that makes any sense). It's journals, the future, and superpowers. It's in first person. And I am ecstatic about it. :)

Book and Writing Insanity Linkup


Over at the Notebook Sisters, Cait and Mime are hosting a link-up. Link-ups are awesome and loads of fun. Especially when they are about books and writing.

Here's the book half.

1. What was your overall favourite book this year? (Yes. Pick one.)

          
Really? One?  Does The Book Thief by Mark Zusak count even though I still have a hundred pages left?

2. Favourite debut(s)? (Author must have been first published in 2013.)

          
Uh, I'm not sure I read a debut this year.

3. Which books did you reread this year?

          
I don't think I reread any. I did make an attempt to reread The Hobbit, but I ended up skimming to the part where Bilbo plays the game of riddles with Gollum.

4. Favourite cover(s) this year!File:Seraphina book cover (US addition).jpgFile:Insurgent (book).jpeg


5. Worst cover(s)?

          
I guess I didn't read many poorly covered books.

6. What self-published books did you read this year?

          
Um, I don't think I read a one. It seems I'm failing at this link-up.
 
7. Which book(s) gave you a massive hangover?

          
The Knight by Steven James! Oh, such a wild ride.

8. Best standalone you read?

          
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby. I love the characters. The world. The words.

9. Biggest book(s) you've read this year?

          
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. That took forever.

10. Book(s) you followed the hype for and then loved!

         
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I am so loving it.

11. Most disappointing book(s) you read this year?

           
Perhaps The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, because I wanted so much more from the writing. And Peak by Roland Smith, only because the middle sagged.

12. Favourite leading-female character?

         
Just one? Okay, Solvieg from Icefall. I relate to her in so many ways.
 
13. Favourite leading-male character?

          
Definitely Patrick Bowers from The Knight.

14. Best romance(s)?

          
Ugh, what do I know of romance? Seraphina.

15. What book(s) hit the DNF list? (Did not finish.)

          
Most of these are only on the DNF list because I went through a phase when I just couldn't read anything. I'm blaming The Knight and its hangover.

The Bishop
Guitar Boy
The Hobbit
The Two Towers
Long Lankin
Sunset
(I mourn that I could not finish that book)
And other books whose titles escape me.

16. What book(s) did you read out of your comfort-zone?

          
Seraphina. I am so glad I read it too. Some of the most beautiful writing. Excellent characters. Good story. And dragons! Got to love the dragons.

17. Which author did you read the most from?

           
I only read two books from the same author. John Flanagan.

18. Top 5 books you'd recommend from all the books you've read this year?


The Knight by Steven James
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Fellowship of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (I can sneak it since I haven't quite finished it, right?)

19. How many books did you read this year all up?

          
Math? *sigh* I don't know. I guess about ten or so. School and work really slows one's book intake.

20. What's a book you're hugely excited for coming out in 2014?!

           I don't know. What should I be excited about?
          

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Will they bring us luck?"

            Did you all have a wonderful Christmas?

            Yeah, I kind of, might have, disappeared again. For various reasons. Sorry about that.

           I saw The Desolation of Smaug. Even though he wasn't, um, desolated. . .  Okay, maybe that's not what the title referred to, but oh, well.

           My favorite scene was Thorin standing on Smaug's snout. I know, that's a weird favorite scene. Still, what would you do if you stood atop the snout of a dragon? What would you be thinking? Would you be able to think? Would your thoughts drop to mush as you looked down at the furnace rising in the dragon's throat? Or would that be the moment you could think the clearest (yeah, it's technically not a word)? When you could think and do exactly what you needed to escape in a way that could never be replicated. To stand on the snout of a dragon. . .

           Sounds exhilarating, hm?

           No? Oh. Well, okay.

           The part I didn't like, was, I don't know. How lightly the whole film took death and killing. I know that sounds weird too. It's fantasy. It has war. It has big swords. But I mean, they made it seem like death and war was. . . Cool. Glamorous. It had people in the theaters laughing. And sure, it was always the orcs, the representation of evil, who died for the sake of a laugh or a cool move from Legolas (not putting down Legolas, he's one of my favorites). But still.

           I'm not saying the war and death shouldn't be in the movie. It happens. It's real. But for real? For real, it's not cool. It's not funny. Or glamorous. War and death is always dirty, grim, and ugly. It's not something to be celebrated. I was disappointed that it was.

           All the same, it was an amazing movie. Once Smaug was on the scene, it was the best. The dragon movies I've seen have mindless, killing machine dragons. And the talking ones are just ridiculous. But Smaug was what a dragon should be. Powerful. Arrogant. Full of himself to the point that it's funny. And yet still too dangerous to laugh at.

           But I don't understand what the dwarves were trying to accomplish when they dumped the melted gold on Smaug. 

           So, yes, Smaug was my other favorite part. Terror all around. Actually, seeing his size in comparison to the Bilbo and the dwarves really cemented Bilbo and Co.'s, um. . . Courage? Stupidity? Determination? Bravery? Passion for their homeland in the dwarves case. Greed for power in Thorin's case.

          I really like Thorin. I liked him in the book too. Until his pride and greed destroyed him. It makes me so sad that he let it get to him. They portrayed his change very well in the movie though.
   
           I noticed something in the movies though. Whenever the dwarves are gathered at a table. Thorin is never sitting with them. He is always standing away from the madness, leaning against some post, looking thoughtful and important. Why is that you think?

          

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So this is what heaven looks like?

           I took my finals, died, and came back to life.

           Theoretically. Of course. Sort of. . .

           Warning:

           This post contains very little talk about writing. Just more general stuff. Like life stuff. Though. . . 'they' (whoever they are anyways) say that to write you have to live first, you have to experience life.
So in a weird way, can it also be said that everything is writing? Or at least research for writing?

          
I'm still alive. At least in cyberspace. Actually, I'm celebrating the end of fall semester with a blog post, a pair of chopsticks, a bowl that used to contain ramen soup, and some blue plaid shoes.

             I have now seen Catching Fire! (I was probably the last to see it.) It was great amazingness. I"ll have to do a whole post on it soon, because it won't fit into a meager paragraph. The only thing I will say here about it, is something more or less detached from the movie. Okay, it involves a moviegoer instead.

           The only other people in the theater with my mom and I was an elderly couple, and two elderly ladies who came together. One of the later of the two said to the other, "The book was really confusing. With all the action, I couldn't understand what was going on."

           She was lucky I'm a reserved, shy sort of person, or she would've had a rant to listen to. How in the world could you not know what was going on in Catching Fire?! I thought that surely Katniss was the only one who didn't know. The whole time they were in the arena, I mentally screamed at her, "How can you be so blind? Just look around you! Don't you see?" It was so obvious. How could a reader miss it?

           I feel better now that's out of my system. . .

           I'm halfway through The Book Thief. I love it. The style. The characters. The words themselves. The everything. I can't wait to review it. Even though most of you may have already read it. It's worded so beautifully. I'd say the author must be magic, but I know better than that. The five hundred and something pages is a out of my comfort zone. But I wouldn't trim a letter.

           Here's a sample of typical text conversation with my mom:

Mom: Are you home?

me: Nope. I'm headed to Canada. Hear they have a lot of cloggers. Ah?

Mom: Take me, but can we leave in the summer?

me: But I'm halfway there! You want me to postpone now?

Mom: Who's plane are you on?

me: I built a TARDIS. :) Not that you know what that is. . .

Mom: No- is it sci-fi?

me: Of course. *sigh* I'll turn around just for you. But I'll have you know that you've just ruined a trip that I've been planning for ages in a mere matter of ten minutes.

Mom: We need to head to Tyler. Will we fit in your tardis (I know, she didn't capitalize any letter, oh, mother dearest)

me: The TARDIS is not for a meager hour journey. This thing was made to travel! Time and space is where it belongs. Tyler, posh! What are you thinking? I'm afraid some of the kinks aren't worked out yet though. We've have to go in the summer. The heat just went out on me.

Mom: Why aren't you taking a final? (always so practical)

me: I needed to take the TARDIS for a test drive and Canada was a perfect choice. Who has time for finals when a spin in the TARDIS and Canada awaits?

Mom: Stop traveling the world and focus on school. (she's just know fun)

          Congrats to those who have finished the random post. :) Maybe next time we talk of something of great importance.