Monday, August 29, 2011

Why I need a critique group

Joining a critique group is one of the best things to happen to me.

First and foremost is the invaluable help from the critiques themselves. Having fresh eyes on my manuscript is such a blessing. They see things I can't because I am so close to the project, both technical and big-picture.

And I think I have become a better writer from reading my partners' MS's. I'm relatively new to critiquing, and even though so much of it is just opinion, I find myself anticipating what so-and-so would say about this word choice, description, etc. as I write.

Surprisingly, there is another HUGE benefit to sharing this writing adventure with others: motivation. Because so many are in my same situation in life, mother with children at home, I can ask for advise on when to write, how to write with kids, what are your writing goals, and most of all HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?

And ultimately realize, if you can do it, I can too. My emails are filled with positive encouragement to keep on writing and it seriously helps me to keep going when sometimes all I want to do is pretend I never discovered the awesomeness of writing in the first place.

I even got a postcard in the mail this week from one of my CP's with a wonderful note of encouragement on back and this in the front:

So true. So true.

Check out my wonderful writing partners in crime on the links to the right.

Happy Writing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Fox Inheritance giveaway

My lovely friend Taryn is giving away an audiobook of THE FOX INHERITANCE. I have blogged about Mary E. Pearson's THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX before. Love, love loved that book. Can't wait to read this one. Or listen to it. So go and sign up for your chance to win!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Liebster Award

Many thanks to the wonderful and talented Kathryn Purdie of Purdie Writing for awarding me the Liebster Award. Kathryn is one of my amazing critique partners and writes some of the most beautiful language I have ever read. Thanks Kathryn!

This award is meant for blogs with less than 200 followers. Here are the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all-have bloggity-blog fun! is my list of five bloggers to whom I present the Liebster Award:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

reading: Back When You Were Easier to Love

BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE by Emily Wing Smith was a light, romantic , clean and easy read. It is about a girl, Joy, obsessed with an ex-boyfriend. She ends up going on a road trip to track him down and find some closure. Joy is LDS (Mormon) but instead of being a highly religious-influenced book, I think it just added to the small-town, naiveness of a teenage girl, which I very much could connect with--who's never had a major crush on a boy in high school? Be honest.It was light, yet introspective with beautiful language. And although I've read some complaints from other reviewers that thought it was too clean, I thought it totally worked. I appreciate an author who can build the romance and make my stomach flutter a little without having to go there...
The writing itself was spectacular. I recommend this one for a fun and entertaining summer read. And look, my copy is signed by the author...jealous?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

book club: The Samurai's Garden

Once a month I host a book club at my home with a select group of awesome ladies. We each take turns choosing the book and leading the discussions. This has been good for me because I have a chance to read books I normally wouldn't pick up for myself, and since I usually just read YA, it takes me out of the teenage zone for a change of pace once in awhile.

Tonight we talked about THE SAMURAI'S GARDEN by Gail Tsukiyama led by Pam. I haven't read any of the author's other books, and since it is adult historical fiction-ish I kinda was dreading reading it. I do, however, like reading books about other cultures, so I dove in reluctant but hopeful. After diving for about a third of the book, I finally quit yawning and felt like I could paddle around and enjoy myself a bit.

The narrator of the story is a rich and sickly 20 year old man that I could care less about, really. But it is through his eyes that the real characters of the book unfold, and how we discover their mysterious story. Without giving too much away, they are absolutely wonderful characters. I liked the glimpse into Japanese culture.

I am left a little wanting at the end for a little progress, update, action, something. And I very much wish the story moved along faster. But I think that is just the YA writer/reader coming out in me. I'm sure many of you are a lot more patient than I am.
And of course book club is not complete without treats. Pam brought a molten-chocolate-warm-gooey-creamy-dessert-thingy. It wasn't anything close to Japanese food, but it was to die for. Speaking of Japanese food, since I grew up in Hawaii, I ate a lot of it. Japanese is my favorite kind of food. And this book mentions specific foods quite a bit. And I was hungry drooling over the foods as I read. Just warning you.
One of these days I will remember to take a picture of these lovely ladies. I'll try for next month.

Speaking of next month, we will be discussing LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I am SO excited about reading this one, I've heard so many amazing things. DO NOT TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS. I don't want to know. Seriously. Death stares here. Feel free to read it and tell me what you think. But not until next month. I'm not kidding. Threats and stuff. :{

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

reading: Forever

I finally had some time to read FOREVER, the third and final installment of the SHIVER series by Maggie Stiefvater. The series is a YA fantasy romance about werewolves. Yes, I said werewolves. I know. But they are very likable and not corny werewolves. And I know we all said that about a certain clan of vampires back in the day, but still. I really liked this series of books.

SHIVER was my favorite of the three, and could definitely be read as a stand alone novel if you didn't want to venture into the rest of the series. LINGER leaves you hanging, and FOREVER is definitely the end of the series (the author says so in the back). SHIVER does have some mature content though, so a warning to moms that this one is for older teens only. But her writing itself is absolutely beautiful.

Aren't these covers gorgeous? To be honest, my favorite Maggie Stiefvater finds are the book trailers she made herself for each book:

With my family's recent obsession with stop-motion animation, we have been drooling over these videos.

If you are in to fairies, she also wrote a duo of books called LAMENT and BALLAD which I also enjoyed. Again, mature content. She is an author that I will be following closely, I really like the way she writes. Her website has info. on some other books in the works.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Post

So I've decided to dedicate a blog entirely to my reading and writing habit (obsession). Welcome all and feel free to comment anytime!