Friday, 27 June 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse & Do You Have Goals? ... JUNE

For my Write ... Edit ... Publish ~ ROMANCE post, click HERE.

Cephalopod Ramblings

Some things of note occurred this month, in terms of reading:
  1. I finished Alex J. Cavanaugh's CASSA series, and found the third book to be my favourite of the series, even if I thought they were all great.
  2. I read my first Sarah Dessen novel, DreamlandI thought it was very good, but I couldn't relate to the main character at all - just kept yelling at her to GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM, DUDETTE.
  3. I read my bloggy friend Cheyanne Young's Motocross Me, and really enjoyed it. I liked that main character Hana was far from perfect. This book reminded me of the movie Rush, just a little bit.
  4. And finally, I read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, which is my pick of the month:
This book left me feeling rather depressed. As soon as I'd finished it, I put it aside and said, "Ohhh that's saaaad!" and gave my kitty a big hug for comfort.
This is a great book, though the story is terribly tragic. I feel like a bit of a psycho saying this, but learning the truth about what happened in the last moments of the massacre made me just a tiny bit ... happy. But I certainly didn't finish this book feeling happy in any way. The thing that haunts me most is Peter's story.
This book is so important - it's relevant to the past, but also to the future. America is inevitably going to continue to suffer more of these horrible tragedies, until some very drastic changes occur. I sincerely hope those changes are nigh, but I can't help but doubt that they are.


Ummm, so yeah, another month has passed, and what have I achieved since last time? Let's recap the last few months for just a second here.

At the end of April I was up to Chapter 13 in my revision project. At the end of May, I was still stuck on Chapter 13.

At least I can say now that I've made it to Chapter 16. But it's been the usual hard slog. And I believe I have edited Chapter 16 already about 5 times. The most recent edit is still confined to paper, because it was rather disheartening to realise I'd have to transcribe edits and print out yet another copy of the chapter to edit ... again!

Anyway, I hope to actually be done with Chapter 16 by the time June is out. But my days for achieving that little goal are numbered!! But at least I can say June was better than May, by along shot!

Hope you guys have had a great June!

Write ... Edit ... Publish ~ ROMANCE (June)

It's that time of the month again when we participants in the WEP get together and share our thoughts on the monthly theme, set by Denise Covey. This month's theme is simply ROMANCE.

This time I'm sharing an excerpt from my novel SUNDOWN. As I mentioned last time, I'm happy to receive feedback. I know for sure that I tend to be one of those wordy writers, and I definitely welcome constructive criticism.

We move to the door and I turn to face him, realising with a jolt that he’s stepped really close. He towers over me with less than half a metre between us. He’s all darkness and shadow and on his face is a look of weariness so heavy it’s almost despair. I stare at him fixedly, unable to tear my gaze away.
“What?” he says, staring right back at me.
“You just…you look really tired.”
A slight twitch indicates something that was almost a smile. “Yeah. I am.”
“I hope you get a good sleep.”
“This is normal,” he says as if I haven’t spoken, gesturing to himself. “I mean, I’m always tired. I don’t get much sleep most nights.”
My face heats up at the thought of Jared Pearson trying to sleep. In bed. Or on couches, as the case may be. I’d really love to ask him about that—Why the couch? I bet there’s an awesome bed in the other room—but I’m too busy feeling for him. Sympathy, sadness, a fervent hope that tonight he sleeps soundly.
“Why are you staring at me?” he asks, his voice strangely husky. “Isn’t that meant to be rude or something?”
“God, I’m sorry. I’m going.”
And I’m just about to turn away when he steps fluidly toward me, reaches out his hands and takes mine. As he pulls me to him, excitement spikes inside me, and my purse drops to the floor. The closer he gets, the harder it is for me to breathe.
His hands trail upward, finding my face and framing it. He tilts it up toward him, his touch like fire on my skin. It draws a sharp, almost painful breath from me. My mouth falls open and I melt into him. He buries a hand in my hair, making my scalp tingle, gripping with his fingertips. The action sends sparks of pleasure all through me. His other hand trails down to rest against my neck, brushing my collarbone. I shiver almost violently and tilt my head back further.
Then he kisses me.
It starts out soft, a tentative brushing of his lips against mine. His mouth is warm, and then the kiss deepens and his mouth is hot. I’m still melting, but now I’m this hot puddle and I’m pretty sure he’s the one holding me upright. I lean against him and feel his heat, his hardness. My mouth opens further to let him in and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing but his hands are on my face and in my hair and his body is pressed against mine and it’s so warm and I can’t think any coherent thought anyway, so why bother trying?
His tongue flicks against mine and I twitch and make this weird soft sound. I try to remember being kissed like this ever. Steven is a good kisser, but this? Orestes was good, too, I remember. But even he wasn’t this.
Nobody’s ever been this.
I’m melded against him and my hands start to rise, they rest on his shoulders and squeeze. He pulls me even closer and I wonder if I’m feeling my own limbs or his. My hands trail down over his solid arms, drinking in his delicious warmth. It occurs to me that this is only the beginning; that there’s so much further to go.
With that thought, I wrap my arms around him, resting my palms against his back. I press hard to pull him closer into me.

~585 words

Monday, 23 June 2014

My Writing Process

So, I totally suck. I was meant to post this last week, but it entirely slipped my mind. I was tagged by the awesome Michelle Wallace at Writer In Transit. So here I am, posting it anyway ... a week later. I can't really do it properly, either, 'cause I couldn't find people to tag. But I will name the three people I tried to tag, okay? :P

1. What am I working on/writing? Right now I am working on editing my SQUEAKY novel. It's a detective story, but all the characters are animals. Unlike any other edit I've ever done, this one is really a struggle because I am making sure I'm pretty much 100% happy with each chapter before moving on to the next. This is proving to be quite a tedious experience, but I think it will make things easier in the long run.
2. How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre? To be honest, I'm not really familiar with other stories in this genre. Probably because I've never been able to actually pin down which genre it actually is. I know that's meant to be a cardinal sin - not reading within the genre you're writing in - but honestly, the story gripped me and so I wrote it. I have considered the book to be middle grade, but it does have some extreme violence in it. So that has always thrown me. Anyway ... if you have any suggestions for at-times-violent detective stories involving animal characters, let me know. :P
3. Why do I write what I do? The thing is, I write in many genres. So I write a lot of contemporary, a bit of fantasy/sci-fi, and then things like SQUEAKY. And I guess the reason I write so many genres is that I love so many genres, and I am happy to go wherever the next flash of inspiration takes me. I kind of love not knowing what is coming next in this great writing adventure.
4. How does my writing process work? Ummm, I tend to be able to write very quickly. It's the editing part that bogs me down. But I type very fast (last time I tested myself, I clocked in at 125 wpm), and never worry about what I'm actually writing, as long as I'm still having fun with it. I don't really get writer's block. One might say that I do suffer from editor's block. ha. But writer's block is a foreign concept to me. So I definitely thrive during NaNoWriMo and other WriMo events.

Anyway, that's it for my contribution to this blog hop.

And the people I would have tagged if I could were:

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

At least I'm over halfway!

During times when the editing is chugging along pretty slowly, I like to focus on positives like the fact that I am over halfway through. The chapter I have edited on paper, but not yet in Scrivener, starts on page 99, and there are only 180 pages in the book. So there. I'm over halfway!

Another positive is that I'm saving a lot of time on future edits by doing things "properly" this time around. This is definitely the most intensive edit I ever remember doing, because I'm rolling multiple edit rounds into just one round. So there you go - those are some positives.

I don't really have anything "negative" to say, but I will say things are still going pretty slowly.

Just for something else to talk about this post, I thought I'd mention where I'm at with my reading.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Trisha has read 0 books toward her goal of 40 books.

I'm 5 books ahead of schedule for the year. In future this year I want to continue to read more of my blogger friends' books. I'm thinking already about next year's reading, as well. I might get stuck into a few epic fantasy series, or just series that I need to re-read, so that I can read for the first time more recent books in those series.

But I know it's a bit early to be worrying about 2015's reads. ;)

What are you reading?
... or writing?
...... or editing?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

BuNoWriMo (or EdMo) progress

In June's edits I'm up to Chapter 16, titled "Give me chaos on the streets" (SQUEAKY has chapter titles, unlike most of my novels).

I've given the chapter a preliminary read-through and edit. It's a short chapter, and feels like it needs something added on the end. It also needs a bit of fleshing out elsewhere.

Chapter 16 contains the most dastardly event to occur so far in the story (and that's saying something, since a previous chapter featured an epic battle that didn't end well for most of the creatures involved). So things are really heating up for Squeaky and his law enforcement pals.

In short, they've got a whole lot more enforcing of the law to do all of a sudden.

So, June is chugging along. It's going way better than May did. But I'm definitely not on the Express train zooming towards my destination.

I'm just chuggin' along. And I'm okay with that, just so ya know. :)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Cherie Reich's REBORN tour ~ interview with Yssa & Liam

I'm very happy to be part of Cherie Reich's book tour for Reborn, which I was able to read ahead of its release. I really loved the book, and you can see my review here on GoodReads. Today I am excited to be interviewing the two main characters from Reborn, Yssa and her at-times-exasperating boy toy Liam. ;) I hope you enjoy the interview!

Do you guys have nicknames?
Yssa: My name is actually my great-grandmother Claryssa’s nickname, although a lot of people call me Prophetess, as part of my title—Phoenix Prophetess.
Liam: No, no nickname here.

Where's your homeland/town, and what's your favourite thing about it?
Yssa: I was born on the Island of Mournia, but I lived most of my childhood on the Island of Guntas. My favorite thing about Mournia is the spring nymph Babia. She’s a delight to talk to and so pretty. My favorite thing about Guntas is spending time with Tamman’s priests.
Liam: I was born on at the Place of Lordéhi, but I often consider the City of Amora just as much as home as Apenth’s temple. My favorite part about the Place of Lordéhi is swimming within Lordéhi River and swinging from the willow trees into the water. I find Amora beautiful as dawn coats the white buildings in pinks and golds.

What's your favourite season of the year?
Yssa: Winter.
Liam: Summer.

Favourite time of day?
Yssa: Night.
Liam: Dawn.

Liam, what's the most annoying thing about Yssa?
*Leans closer* She can be a bit of a know-it-all, even when she doesn’t foresee what will happen. She’s also a bit too headstrong for her own good.

Yssa, anything really annoying about Liam?
Everything! *laughs* Okay, he might be all right, but I hate how he sometimes acts like he’s better than others, and he can be a tad jealous at times.

And now, each of you, what's the BEST thing about each other?
Liam: I love the way she’ll drop everything to change a person’s fate.
Yssa: The best thing about Liam is his dedication to his training. He’s a hard worker.

What is your biggest fear?
Liam: Losing Yssa.
Yssa: People, in general. I never know how they’ll react around me.

To you, what is the most important trait for another person to have?
Yssa: Courage.
Liam: I’m with Yssa on this one.

What's your favourite food and favourite drink?
Yssa: The woodwoses’ mead, even though I shouldn’t drink it, is my favorite drink, since it can help me forget who I am. As for food, I love fresh-made bread.
Liam: I love fish, and for drink, I enjoy plain ol’ water.

All right guys, thanks for agreeing to talk with me. I'll let you get back to saving the world and stuff.
Liam and Yssa: Thank you for having us!

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Available in Ebook and Print!

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A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

BuNoWriMo rebellion thus far

So it's June 4th, and therefore 4 days into BuNoWriMo. So far I have done more work on my edits than I did throughout all of May, which is what I was hoping for.

Because I'm editing and not writing, I'm what you'd class as a "BuNoWriMo Rebel" - yep, we have badges for the rebels as well. Here is one I picked out of the line-up:

Anyway, I got finished with that completely pesky 8-page chapter that had basically been sitting on its second edit for most of May, gathering dust. That was Chapter 13.

Then I got to Chapter 14, and I am currently ready to do the second paper edit of that one. I'll do that tonight, and hopefully even transcribe it.

Chapter 14 is easier because it's only 4-and-a-tiny-bit pages long.

So, that's how I'm going with BuNo so far. I can't wait to get this edit done so I can move on to editing another project. ;)

How are your Junes going so far?