Saturday, January 10, 2015

Beautiful People Linkup

I'm joining in the Beautiful People linkup this month hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further up and Further in. This month, the questions are directed at us as writers. :D

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a 'writer'?

The earliest I can remember writing is second grade. All through middle school, and now, high school, I've been writing. I didn't actually really consider myself a 'writer' though until my freshman year, when I completed my first first draft. :D

2. How/why did you start writing?

Well, that little story I wrote in second grade was written for a contest. I actually won out of my grade in my school, so I got to advance, but I didn't win at the state level. Still, it was a great experience. :) Really, though, I guess I started writing just because I just wanted to tell stories. That's the only way I can explain it. :)

3. What's your favorite part of writing?

Brainstorming and getting to know all of the characters, digging up all of their personality traits and watching them become a full, three-dimensional character before my eyes. :)

4. What's your biggest writing struggle?

Three words: New Shiny Ideas. I don't know how many novels I've abandoned because this New Shiny Idea was so great and my current project was just awful all of a sudden. Also, revising. I've completed two first drafts, but I haven't actually revised either of them. I've tried to, begun to, made plans to, but I haven't actually followed through on those plans.

5. Do you write best at night or day?

Night, Definitely night. I don't really know why. :P

6. What does your writing space look like?

I usually write at my desk, which is usually stacked with my school things, various spirals (all filled to some extent with various wordlinesses (yes, I realize that's not a word, but I like it. Therefore, I'm making it a word, at least in my world. XD) and the books I'm currently reading. Right now, though, it's unusually barren, with just my laptop, school things, Bible, and one book.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?

Well, I've only completed two first drafts, and they were both written during NaNoWriMo, so, as of now, I average at one month for a first draft. :D I think it's better for me to write quick first drafts; otherwise, I have more time to find flaws in the story and give up on it and/or get distracted by one of those New Shiny Ideas I mentioned up in #4.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?

I have no real answer for this. Sometimes just one, sometimes two, three, four. Right now, I'm mostly working on one first draft, the planning of another novel, and I might start planning and writing a novella and a short story soon. *shrugs* I don't know. XD

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad endings, or somewhere in between?

Hmm... Somewhere in between. Yeah, I'm just going to leave it at that. XD

10. List a few authors who've influenced your writing journey.

Marissa Meyer, Veronica Rossi, Veronica Roth, Kiera Cass, Stephanie Morrill, Jill Williamson, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and so many others.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?

I do. Because be ruthless with the words! Critique them all! *so she says as she cowers in a corner for fear of negative comments*

12. What's your ultimate writing goal or dream?

To be able to be a full-time author, and to go on one of those book tours with the awesome author panels just to say I actually sat at the same table as those awesome authors. XD

13. If you didn't write, what would you want to do?

I've actually thought about this a lot, and I've decided that, right now, I think I'd want to be a high school history teacher. I really like history (even though I despised it up until seventh grade. That year, I had an awesome, enthusiastic teacher and somehow she managed to brainwash me pass her enthusiasm along to me, and I've loved it since (for the most part. XD))

14. Do you have a book you'd like to write one day but don't feel you're ready to attempt it yet?

Hahaha!!! You're kidding, right? Do you think I actually have the self-control to tell myself that I'm not ready for this book right now and that I'll write it later, when I'm more ready? Nah... I just ignore that feeling and make myself write it right then anyways. Maybe not the best of decisions, but that's me. XD Besides, how can I possibly tell one of those New Shiny Ideas that they must wait until I'm ready to write them? No, they demand that I write them NOW!!! XD

15. Which story has your heart and won't let go?

Right now, there are two of them. The first one is the first draft I'm working through now and refuse to let go of, no matter how long it takes me to finish it and regardless of how much the plot flip flops. The second one is this snippet of an idea I had a while back that's come back to me a couple times. Recently, I had this idea to rework it that I'm super excited about, and that I want to brainstorm and plan for now. :D

Well, that's all for now. What about you guys? Up for answering any of these questions? :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Tyrant's Daughter Review on In The Character's Shadow

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.

When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations? 

J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.

Rating: 4 stars

I loved, loved, loved this book, and it probably would have received at least 4.5 stars if it hadn't been for the ending. Or, the lack of one. I actually kind of think this book almost deserves 3 stars because of the ending, but I love it too much to give it a measly 3 stars, so 4 it is. But, on the other hand, the ending was absolutely fantastic and really befitting of the character. *sigh* Alright, I warned you up there in the title. This book left me with conflicting emotions, so let me explain.

(Oh, and there will be some spoilers in this post, but I'll let you know with a little warning before I write them.)

To finish reading my review, head over to In The Character's Shadow, a group blog run by Christian teens from the NaNoWriMo forum. :D

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Get to Writing!

I have an announcement, guys. Firn Hyde, a wonderful person over on NaNoWriMo had a brilliant idea to put together and publish a short story anthology with stories written to glorify God. She organized it all (I think along with Cana, another wonderful person on NaNoWriMo), called for editors, I signed up to join this awesomeness, and now the website's up and running and submissions for short stories are open! It's called A New Song, and you can learn more about it here. Go check it out, get excited (I know I am =D), and get to writing and glorify our King! =D