Day Job Blues

Been working all day but just wanna go home and write!! That inspiration is a beautiful beautiful thing...

Designing logos and websites can get exhausting fast...

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Currently reading...

So I checked out Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater this week to get started on. Probably because the cover is pretty and I keep seeing it anywhere. Against my better judgment, because this book has some pretty stellar crappy reviews on Goodreads. But what the hell! I'm gonna throw caution to the wind and try it out...

Despite this review that was freaking HILARIOUS!!:

A brief synopsis.

I'm staring at you, I'm a wolf.
Oh wait I got shot, now I'm a boy.
I love you.
Here's a poem.
Oh look you're crying.
Let's go to sleep.
Stay on your side of the bed.

I mean, honestly... this just makes me want to read the book so I can make fun of it. 

But in all seriousness, I've been known to love books that tons of people hate on. So bring it on, Shiver!  
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Of Beast and Beauty

by Stacey Jay

Cover Beauty Score: 8 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 4 out of 5

Plot Blurb: Isra is the blind princess of a city on another planet that is magically protected against the harsh desert lands and mutating influences of the rough environment. The people that live outside the safety of the city walls are called Monstrous, with animal-like features and seemingly savage ways. When the city captures one of the Monstrous, named Gem, Isra reluctantly becomes friends with him and learns that perhaps everything she's been brought up to believe is wrong. Together they unearth the secrets of their world and as Isra regains her sight, she begins to truly see things as they are for the first time in her life.

My Reaction:Wow, that was some fabulous writing! And I'm talking really fabulous writing!! Every time I open a book and get that type of talent, I'm blown away. You go through all of these books, YA book especially, and you think that nothing good will ever come your way and all of these authors are just sitting on their asses fan-ficitoning their way to the top. Then someone like Stacey Jay comes along and restores your faith in literature. Just read this bit:

The though of being with a man I didn't desire was disturbing before I knew what desire felt like, but now the notion sickens me. Soft hands on my skin, instead of Gem's rough fingertips. Thin lips on mine, instead of Gem's full mouth. My name whispered silkily in my ear, instead of growled against my throat.

I mean... doesn't that just give you goosebumps?! Her poetic imagery is captivating and helps establish a beautiful world.

That being said... why did I give the book a 4? Well, there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on. The characters were harsh and real and well developed... but the ending felt a tad bit rushed. I know that the ending is the hardest bit to get right... and this just felt forced in some way. Ultimately, this book would have made a fabulous 2-parter instead of a stand alone. There was so much more that could have wrapped up the story.

I wanted to see Isra take her rightful place as ruler. I wanted her to lead her people once she broke the curse. I wanted her to run into the desert with Gem and have her experience what it's like to be hated because of who she was. And to do it anyways because she wanted to be with Gem.

The ending was happy in a sad way and it all wrapped up in the space of a few pages. I just feel like with all that complex character building, they weren't given enough justice at the end. They struggle and struggle and get about two seconds of limelight - most of which we don't even get to see. The whole bit where we don't even get to know what's going on with Gem just didn't sit well. I felt like there was something left out.

But ultimately you still need to read this book. It's amazing writing and the story is a wonderful fairytale in the sense that it is dark and scary and wonderful all at the same time. It's Beauty and the Beast in a backwards, twisted kind of way that will make you glad you decided to pick up a copy.

You may not think you'll find snake scales on a dude sexy... but damn if they weren't. That, folks, is called good writing.

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Across a Star-Swept Sea

by Diana Peterfreund

Cover Beauty Score: 7 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 3 out of 5

Plot Blurb: A stand alone novel that connects with the first book in this world, For Darkness Shows the Stars (read that review here), Across a Star-Swept Sea is a futuristic dystopian retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. We follow the story of Persis Blake, a rich aristocrat that has reduced blood. Like in the first book, the entire world was reduced (made mentally handicapped) after messing around with their genetics too much. On the islands of Galatea and Albion, they have developed a cure for the reduction. Of course this leads the newly cured generations to rise up against the aristocrats that have lorded over them since the original reduction occurred.  But really, they're out for revenge and are forcefully reducing the aristocrats left and right - in comes Persis who sneaks the aristocrats to safety in disguise. In her everyday life she's a vapid, air headed lady of the court. She runs into Justen Helo, a scientist from the revolutionary's side that now wants to repent and mend the things he's done in the fight. This looks like a recipe for intrigue!

My Reaction: I have to say that this book was very cute! Persis was a kick ass character that knew her shit and didn't let anyone tell her what for. I mean, who isn't going to like a character that pretends to be stupid so she can rescue refugees in the midst of the night?

That being said, I didn't really dig Justen Helo. He was a bit of pansy. Sure, he was a scientist that could probably fix the issues that was going on, but in my humble opinion, I didn't feel like he meshed well with Persis. She needed somebody to stand with her on even footing, and he was just... not that guy. I don't think that a girl that is confident in her own belief of right and wrong would be able to stand a dude that gets pushed around by his uncle into doing morally bad things. I mean... his little sister had more gumption than him!

I loved the island vibe of this book! Obviously I was imagining Hawaii or some other South Pacific location as I read... I would kill to be able to go to the Blake family home! And the star cove? How beautifull that was described! Not dissimilar to the glow worm cave in the first book... very magical and appropriate for a little romantic interlude.

Not that there was much. Romantic interluding, I mean. Again, I just with Peterfreund would give us a little more action! Even though I have to say that this one was better than the first...  that Persis knows what she's doing in a way that Eliot never will!

So overall reaction? Well, I finished reading it, so that must be a good sign. If I hate a book, I stop. I guess the chemistry between the two characters could have been better for me and that's the only reason I gave it a 3 instead of a 4. Ultimately, Peterfreund is such a good writer that she carried the book even though the plot was a bit "meh" and the romance was kind of "blah." But who knows... it might be right up your alley! I would definitely recommend trying it out! :-)
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So in my endless journey preparing myself for my next book, I remembered this little weird word I'd been seeing everywhere on blogs and social media feeds. So what, my dear friends, is NaNoWriMo? I'm not gonna lie; it took me about five long and very strangely worded searched on Google to find this little gem and get the name right. It stands for National Novel Writing Month (why they couldn't have just used NNWM is beyond me, but I guess that nanowrimo is fun to say?).

But I digress. Essentially, you make a profile on the site and it acts as a little support system for you to finish a novel (with a goal of 50,000 words) during the month of November.

I think that this year I'm going to try my hand at this thing. I mean, 50,000 words is rather short in my estimation. I personally think that a satisfying story lies somewhere in the realm of 80k-90k words, unless you're Hemingway or Fitzgerald and can write the next great American novel. Which, let's be honest, isn't going to happen in a month of writing.

But I DO believe that in a month of writing a 50k word book you could make some real progress. It's more about having the drive and supporting yourself and believing that you can do it and get that huge hunk of writing out there. Because let's be honest, folks... nothing is as satisfying as seeing a huge hunk of words that you poured out and shaped into a story. Even if it's unpublished... it feels pretty fucking great.

So if you're struggling to get there, think about hopping over to NaNoWriMo and checking it out. If nothing else, reading the "pep talks" from your favorite authors should be able to cheer you up. Just check out this little blip from one of my faves, Neil Gaiman:

The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm—or even arguing with me—she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, “Oh, you’re at that part of the book, are you?”

I was shocked. “You mean I’ve done this before?”

“You don’t remember?”

“Not really.”

“Oh yes,” she said. “You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients.”

I didn’t even get to feel unique in my despair.

If that right there doesn't make you feel better about the shit you're writing right now, I don't know what will!! Excuse me while I go and re-evaluate that piece of crap I started a few months ago...
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