Jun 29, 2012

Friday's Links!

Another week of little to see here (Check yesterday's post if you want to know why I haven't been haunting the internet)

Check out this amazing art from Josh Kao - it's truly inspiring!

Learn how to format your MS for submission from WinePress of Words

Cover Reveals!
 - Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
 - Pivot Point by Kasie West
 - Unravel Me by Tahareh Mafi & Destroy me!
 - Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Jun 28, 2012

Update: Week 1, The Crazy Schedule

So, fellow bloggeans, I’ve started a very rigorous schedule this week that I plan to try to keep up until the end of November… I’m not sure how well that will go, but I’m going to do my best.

I do much better with a structured schedule – without one, I tend to hop on a saddled plot bunny and tear about the worlds in my head with abandon. (You are welcome for that mental image)

So! I’ve sat down and I’ve structured. (I’ve also given myself quite a bit of leeway in this structure) July is next week and I’ve got it in my pretty little head that I’m going to finish two projects by the end of it! (Well, three, but the third isn’t scheduled and it trumps EVERYTHING)

Things I plan to accomplish by July 31st:
  • Finish full Rewrite/Draft 6 of my SFR (affectionately known as Novel #5, or Wt)
  • Finish Draft 1 of my SF Thriller (affectionately known as Novel #7, or OB)
At the start of this thing I had quite a way to go on my rewrite and not so much on D1 of N7
(93,807-wds & 23,351-wds respectively).

This post is getting longer than I expected! So basically, Thursdays are turning into my accountability! Here’s what this week looked like (Next week’s will include today, Friday and the first part of next week – excluding the holiday)


Monday 6/25/12 - Wednesday 6/27/12
I must also point out, that, the 40,000 words are kind of cheating, since I am using Draft 5 as a pretty comprehensive outline as I work my way thorugh Draft 6

Jun 27, 2012

This Pile Really Should Be Going Down...

Welcome to my TBR pile... it seems to be a literary version of the Porridge Pot.

So... I shouldn't buy any more books for a while - as I chip away at this - but I undoubtedly will... :D

Jun 26, 2012

Review: Wanderlust by Ann Aguire

Wanderlust
(Book 2: Sirantha Jax Series)

By Ann Aguirre

Paperback, 312 Pages
A Science Fiction Romance Comedy of Errors

Published by Penguin Group

Released August 26th, 2008



My summary:
Sirantha Jax has gone from the Corp’s most wanted, to the Conglomerate’s golden child. Forced into becoming the New Terra Ambassador, first by an overzealous politician and then by a potential mob hit on her mother, Sirantha isn’t sure if she’ll make it to Ithiss-Tor alive… especially when there are Morgut, warring clans and the Syndicate standing in her way.

My Review:
I liked this book…. but I can’t decide why. And I find that a little disconcerting. Like the first book in the series I enjoyed the set up, the characters, and the fact that things just keep going wrong, but I can’t tell you what made me really enjoy this… only that I did.
(Unrelated: I always read the title as “Vahnderloost” in my head.)

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
If you liked the first, definitely read this one as well!



Review Book 1: Grimspace 
Review Book 3: Doubleblind
Review Book 4: Killbox
Review Book 5: Aftermath

Jun 25, 2012

MI: A Wintery Lane


It's the middle of summer here in AZ (not the beginning like for the rest of you) and so I'm in need of something to cool me off.

Jun 22, 2012

(Friday Links)

***Super short this week because I'm crazy busy!***


Anna Staniszewski talks about the importance of Theme in holding your story together.

Erin Bowman's cover reveal for Taken includes an inteview with her amazing cover artist.

Sara Megibow is doing a #10queriesIn10tweets webinar!

From Rachael Aaron teaching us how to bump your daily word count from 2k- 10k! A few other posts surfaced
 - Beth revis tried out the method
 - So did Holly Black

And finally, A blogger sent me this. A Trailer for Game of Thrones as a RomCom. I think I'd still rather see One and a Half men with Tyrion and Bron... or better yet, a RomCom staring Varys and Petyr :)

Jun 19, 2012

Review: Alien in the Family by Gini Koch

Alien in the Family

Book 3: Alien/Kitty Katt Series

By Gini Koch

Hillarious Earth-based Sicence Fiction

Paperback, 457 pages

Published by DAW


My Summary:
Wedding plans are stressful enough when your relatives all live on Earth. With The revelation of long ignored relatives – who happen to also be royalty – things take an unhappy turn and manage to still get worse. With a far distant delegation coming to make sure Kitty passes all the tests required to marry into the family – tests she’s sure she’ll fail – it seems the only one who can save her from drowning in a sea of crinoline and silk is Reader. Dealing with the inevitable double cross, well… she’ll have to handle that one on her own.

My Review:
This novel intraduces a large cast of characters that we haven’t seen up until now and manages to keep them all straight, which is commendable. The friendship between Reader and Kitty is fleshed out even further and makes you really wish he was the main character… which I’m sure isn’t something most would see as a positive point, but it works for this series.
POOFS. You will want one.
This is the first book in the series where I felt a little let down by the plot. There’s what feels a little like a Deus ex Machina at the end, and while I don’t know how else it would have been resolved without adding another few chapters… I think that it needed to have a better resolution on that particular part of the plot.
Also, fair warning, you will be embarrassed during the wedding scene… and if you aren’t… well you might not have any shame.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
If you liked the first two books, Buy this one. The small annoyances don’t detract from the overall picture. If you were iffy on the first two, totally grab this one from the Library or a friend – it’s still funny enough to warrant a read.


Review Book 1 - Touched by an Alien (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 2 -
Alien Tango (Kitty Katt)Review Book 4 - Alien Proliferation (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 5- Alien Diplomacy (Kitty Katt)

Jun 18, 2012

MI: Home Sweet Home

This is almost exactly what I had pictured for an Urban Fantasy I've got on the back burner...

Jun 15, 2012

Some Links for this Friday....


 - Source -

Kidding!
(I'm trying this out this week, so there won't be as many as there may be in the future)

Screen Rant gives us 5 simple changes that would have made Prometeus better. (For Alien fans)

The second in N. K. Jemsin’s Dreamblood series, The Shadowed Sun was released. on tuesday.

Sarah Skilton talks about Purposeful Errors in books

Denver Comic Con starts today and runs through Sunday if you’re in the area… (*cough* friends who’ve moved *cough*)

Tahereh Mafi announced her debut novel is getting a cover revamp for the paperback and the rest of the series  - it is gorgeous!

Publish America is seeing a Class Action Lawsuit after all.

Nathan Fillion tells us why he thinks reading rocks! and tells us some of his favorite reads.

You can take a picture tour of the Scholastic archives!

Jeff Goins reminds us to "Start Ugly"

In the “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY” category, we may all be heading to the theaters again in August for a 3+ hour extended cut of the Avengers. Maybe.

Jun 14, 2012

An Edit Finished... Is Never Complete...

There’s a weird mixture of feelings that comes with sending off what you hope is going to be THE DRAFT of a manuscript: hope, relief, dread, exhaustion…

I’m calling this one 9.1, and hoping it’s the one that makes the cut.

I can’t remember who said it... and I think it was on twitter (and I’m probably going to botch the quotation)… but you really should write novels you’re willing to look at 30,000 times… because that, my friends, is the editing process.

So! I sent of 9.1 to the super-editor (Hi Mom!) and am hoping she gets back to me with good news. But I don’t get a break. Novel #5 is on Draft 4.3 and I’ve got changes to input before sending it off to the next beta for a read!

Writing is an unending joy that happens to be mired in an eternity of edits.

Jun 13, 2012

Prometheus: My Thoughts



Overall:
It’s a decent enough movie – when removed from the Alien universe – but overall disappointing. I left the theater feeling rather unfulfilled. The cinematography and visual effects are beautiful… but the storyline felt hollow.  I’m not sure what you should expect from the lead writer of Lost… and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the incoherent feeling of something unfinished.

*** POTENTIAL FOR SPOILERS AHEAD***

What It Had Going For It:

It bridged the gap (visually) between this new set of films and the old. There is a distinct “clean” quality to the ship – which makes sense as Vickers says, they did spend a trillion dollars getting there – and it speaks to what I think Human society sees as that best possible future. Clean, crisp and orderly. And as they venture further into the complex, from the rough hewn rock to the engineers’ ship, we start to see more of the classic H. R. Giger inspired architecture. Things aren’t crisp white, they aren’t smooth… they’re organic looking and yet, they’re so far beyond our scope of technology.

The first “alien” on screen was pleasantly creepy, and I’d hoped that the progression would continue on in an escalating manner until we hit the big payoff of the iconic Alien (In the next section, you’ll see I was disappointed.)


Set conceptualization was glorious and would have leant itself to an immense amount of tension building (had it not been for the score).  There is something to be said for creating a setting that is massive… and yet claustrophobic all at the same time.

Michael Fassbender as David. There’s something incredibly beautiful about the childlike portrayal of David. He’s curious – often doing what he’s told not to for no other apparent reason than scientific exploration. He seems to seek acceptance, dying his hair to look more emulate his favorite character, Peter O’toole, in Lawrence of Arabia. He is retaliatory, seemingly punishing a character for being mean to him – though he does ask for permission first. All the while he does this without displaying emotion… or in the case of the latter, remorse. He is eerily human and not human all at the same time.


The Problems:

Smart people making horror-movie decisions. (That’s all I’m going to say about that for now.)

The beginning and end. I feel like the middle of this movie was pretty awesome. But it was dragged down by the bookends. The movie has two pointless beginning scenes including an engineer dying (I guess to create life on Earth? maybe) and an archaeological dig – the gist of which is adequately explained ten minutes later during the mission briefing. It feels almost as though there are three endings: a sacrifice, a vendetta, and an Alien. And I feel that they could have had one shot after Janek and the two other crew sacrifice themselves, to ground the film and ended on a much more poignant note (and still kept the story line open for the sequel they’ve obviously tried to make apparent).

There was no tension. A lot of this was the heavy handed orchestral score. The original movies were very quiet… and the moments of silence served to amp up the tension, where the soundtrack for Prometheus, while stunningly beautiful, doused any chance for push-you-into-your-seat-back tension. Part of the reason there was so little tension is also resultant of my next point.


The “aliens” weren’t scary. When you go back to the original xenomorphs from Alien… you have a super-scary antagonist. If I came across one of those in the middle of a corridor (no matter how well lit), I’d be scared to widdling. The progression to the xenomorph in Prometheus… is alien after alien that would eat me, but not before I’d laughed at it. And that was disappointing. And the “Engineers”… well, they make me think someone from a Tool music Video got lost, wound up on set and the production team rolled with it.

Outside of stylistic choices, the surviving character isn’t going to make it to her destination before she dies of sepsis or internal bleeding. There is a portion of the story where Noomie Rapace’s character gives herself what basically amounts to an emergency cesarean, and while, the surgery itself is believable, and was a decent way to deal with the problem… she goinks the umbilical cord out and the machine doing the surgery does nothing to seal that up before it’s stapling her stomach shut again. She then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie running about, giving herself one pain stim (or at least I assume). While she does exhibit random “ouch, that was painful” faces, nothing else seems to be a problem. And let’s face it: running away from an alien launch pad is bound to knock something loose.

I actually have quite a few more things to say about this film… but the post was getting long, so this is where I’m going to leave you.

Jun 12, 2012

Review: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Grimspace

By Ann Aguirre

Paperback, 312 pages

A Science Fiction Romance Comedy of Errors

Published by Penguin Group




My Summary:
Sirantha Jax’s whole world is turned upside down when she becomes the only survivor of a crash that kills eighty two. Accused of engineering the catastrophe, confined to solitary and subjected to invasive psych tests, her life is all but over. That is, until March rescues her – though she’d be willing to call it kidnapping – and she’s asked to do something she never saw coming.
Surrounded by people she can’t trust, who won’t seem to give her a straight answer, Sirantha has to find her place in a world where she’s special because of a genetic defect, a defect that draws her to grimspace like a junkie to his drug.

My Review:
Grimspace is entertainingly unpredictable. The plot is driven by mistakes and assumptions that quickly snowball into a conflict that bounces the reader about, but never truly jostles them. The problems are very real and quite distressing. And Aguirre manages to steer clear of several clich├ęs, while there are some familiar tropes, they are integrated in a manner that is far from boring.
One of the very few complaints I have in the book concerns a secondary character who shows up at the end of the novel. I don’t feel that his motivation is fleshed out enough to warrant his personal resolution and that left some of the ending pages a bit hollow for me.
Another minor complaint is in the pacing toward the end… there is an entire chapter that just drags. I understand why it was necessary, but I also feel that it could have been more pertinent to the plot.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
This is another Buy – if you’re into SF with a romantic bent. I’m going to go pick up the rest of the series.


Review Book 2: Wanderlust 
Review Book 3: Doubleblind
Review Book 4: Killbox
Review Book 5: Aftermath 

Jun 11, 2012

MI: Exposure



It works perfectly for novel #6 (which is currently in pieces as I try to fix the major issue with it)

Jun 6, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

"That's sad," said Montag, quietly, "because all we put into it is hunting and finding and killing. What a shame if that's all it can ever know." - Fahrenheit 451

Jun 5, 2012

Review: Alien Tango by Gini Koch

Alien Tango

Book 2: Alien/Kitty Katt Series

By Gini Koch

Hillarious Earth-based Sicence Fiction
Paperback, 428 pages

Published by DAW


My Summary:
Settling into life as the new head of A-C’s Airborn division, Kitty Katt finds herself mired in yet another plot to control the A-C population. With the unexpected return of an experimental space craft to Kennedy Space center… Kitty and the rest of Alpha team are  called in to investigate. But as with anything Kitty enters into, things don’t turn out quite how she’d hoped. And, as if things aren’t bad enough with the conspiracy unfolding… Kitty has to meet Jeff’s parents.

My Review:
As with the first book in this series, Tango is fast paced and laugh out loud (Seriously, people around you may think you’re deranged) funny. Kitty winds up in even stranger situations than before – though less fugly – and the conspiracy angle has an oddly familiar ring. As a second novel, this one doesn’t disappoint. Koch continues to toss her heroine into some of the most awkward situations imaginable. (Read this book just for the alligators if nothing else.)
The only complaint I have with this series is that Kitty is unrealistically alluring. She is the object of most everyone’s affections. And Jeff is still too needy/self-conscious.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
This one definitely goes in the buy category. A quick, fun read that is enjoyable enough to reread on a rainy day.


Review Book 1 - Touched by an Alien (Kitty Katt)Review Book 3 - Alien in the Family (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 4 -
Alien Proliferation (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 5- Alien Diplomacy (Kitty Katt)

Jun 4, 2012

Mi: Ballet


For a plot bunny that's slowly turning itself into a novel at the back of my mind....