Tag Archives: hex hall

Productive? Yay or Nay?

So while I’ve only worked on my book once so far since the 7th (which is bad), I have been getting quite a few others things tackled. Whether they are getting accomplished because I’m avoiding my own book or because I’m really trying to stay dedicated to my monthly goals, I do not know, but nonetheless they’re getting done. Now if only I could get back to my book… :(

Anyway, here’s where I’ve been for the past couple of days: FanNook

I finished reading “Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater and completed my review. Since books.fannook.com will not be launched until at least the middle of August I will share this book review here tomorrow and re-post there when it’s up and ready. It was easily one of my favorite books of the year and I’d be surprised if many others can knock it off its pedestal. You will see why tomorrow.

I also finished writing my review for “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins, but I will save that for the site launch. Even though I was only aiming to have 2 reviews completed this month in the way of goals, I’ve already finished one more than necessary and I’m thinking that there should be at least 5 on the site when it launches so it doesn’t look empty. So I’ve been working on reviews in my down time at work a lot.

In addition to the reviews I’ve also been plotting design ideas and sketching like a fool. I have 4 different header designs I’m playing with right now and I know what kind of script I’m looking for; I just need to find it (which means possibly hours of searching through wordpress templates – boring!).

————

In other news, I called a gazillion doctors last week and finally found one today that was accepting new patients & takes my insurance (you wouldn’t think it’d be that hard, but apparently it is). My apt. is next Wednesday. I also scheduled a dentist apt. because it occurred to me that it’s been a while since I’ve seen them too. I figured if I was on this health kick I might as well go all out. That apt. will be in the beginning of August.

I also started reading “Need” by Carrie Jones. I haven’t gotten far into yet, but that’s because I’m trying to be strict with myself and only allow myself to read it in “free time” like lunch, while I’m waiting for dinner to finish cooking, etc… If it takes me all week to read then oh well.

Now, a great deal of my time this last weekend was spent trying to work around my cat, Tay, who is either way too cute not to notice and/or trying to fit in inappropriate places (ex: places she doesn’t belong, places she doesn’t fit, places that make working impossible, etc…). Getting her to move from these types of locations always results in a war of some sort and a lot of back talking on her part (she thinks she runs the show in this house apparently). She’s lucky she’s so cute, otherwise it would drive me mad.

————

And last but not least. Wanting this makes me a total dork, right? Oh well I still want it.

Description from Amazon: The Merriam-Webster Vocabulary Builder allows you to enjoy informative and entertaining discussions of English words derived from Greek and Latin roots–and expand your working vocabulary at the same time. Words that share the same root are grouped for easy study. Quizzes let you test how much you’ve learned.

Peace – Sarah

————

They’re SOOO Pretty

I must show off the beautiful new additions to my book collection. They weren’t even supposed to arrive until Friday, but they are all here early!!! I realize this is far more than I said I was allowed to buy this month and for that I will fail that goal come the 7th of August, but maybe if I read more than I anticipated in my goals I can somehow justify them balancing each other out?

I wanted to take a picture of how pretty all of their covers were, but my camera mixed with the poor daylight coming through the window wasn’t cooperating very well so this is them, my new pretties. 😉 I seriously just smile looking at them. I know, so nerdy.

I REALLY need a bookshelf soon, these little piles every month are really starting to add up. They need a proper home!

Alright, now to fight the urge to continue reading “Linger” since I’m scheduled to be writing tonight. Let’s hope I succeed!

Peace – Sarah

————-

Making me Smile

I’m feeling a bit high right now (no, not the illegal kind) and for the following three reasons:

1. Writing or mostly editing tonight, but hacking that bitch up like my life depends on it and somehow it doesn’t hurt. (Thanks edgyauthor for your little tip. While I’m not erasing entire pages down to one word, I am removing massive paragraphs & dialogue at a time!)

2. This song & these lyrics. It’s got the most beautiful piano (and I sooo love piano based music) and if Bryce was the singer in my story he *might* sing a song like this over the course of his time with Teagan. This is what I’m writing to on repeat right now. :)

Ashes Divide – “Sword”

Note: I’m pretty sure this is just a fan made video and it’s weird, I know. Just listen to it and read the lyrics below instead of watching it.

-Lyrics-

Spreading your love from the tip of a sword
Echoing the reason that poisons your
Thinking you know what’s good for us all
I wish I could reach out…

To silence you

But I’m a waste in your eyes.
You say you don’t need me to save you tonight.
But I need to save you tonight.

I’m standing alone on the brink of a stone
Trying to humanize the enemy inside you
We’re cut from the same cloth but we are
Stained with the poison of pride

We’re sucking the life from the whole of the world
Can’t be confined or condemned to be
Reduced to a place that’s a violent resolve
To the end they will try

And silence you.

Cos we’re a waste in their eyes
The grace they describe
Won’t save you tonight.

Spreading your love from the tip of a sword
Echoing your reason that poisons your
Of all your fear, love, anymore
Let pride come before a fall

I wish you could see and believe in something more
Than the things I’m confined and condemned to be
They will know our needs and we won’t be ignored
So that we may excuse our lives

Don’t let them silence you
Cos you’re a waste in their eyes
There’s a grace inside of you…
I need tonight…

3. The last two books I’ve read have been oh-so-perfect (“Infinity: Chronicles of Nick” and “Hex Hall”) and quite frankly great books make me want to write something fierce. PLUS I got “Linger” today*** and read the first couple of chapters at red lights on the way home from work. m-stiefvater has already thrust me right back into that warm and fuzzy place she left me at the end of “Shiver” so it seems like my awesome book reading stint will only continue to keep me motivated writing wise. (BTW – Green text in “Linger” equals total awesomeness. Green is my favorite color!)

Peace – Sarah

—————–

***I actually visited a bookstore today (which I never do) to buy “Linger” because it turns out that Amazon had no intentions of sending it out this week despite the changed release date and I refused to wait. (Although I was angry to find out when I got home that they did actually release it today after telling me they weren’t and I paid 10 bucks more than I would have online – GRRR!) As if the four books I purchased this weekend online weren’t enough for the month, I walked out with more than just “Linger.”

Me, surrounded by all of those glorious covers, all of them asking me to touch them, was a bad idea. What made it even worse is that I went alone and so there was no one to reign me in when my eyes popped out of my head in wonder.

Luckily because the books are almost double the price in store as they are online I only bought one other book aside from “Linger” and that was “Hex Hall.” I know I said it could wait, especially since I already finished the library copy, but it was so good I just had to own it.

I’m a bad, bad girl. I know. 😛

—————–

Weekend Round-Up

Aside from book buying last night and reading “Hex Hall” I did actually accomplish some of my “to-do” list for the month (well parts of it).

I got a jump start on FanNook and scheduled content every other day for the next two weeks, hopefully I will be able to scrounge up some more when those two weeks run out so it won’t be a failure like last month. Either way, it’s nice to have it partially out of the way and two of those posts are reviews, one of which can be used on the book portion of the site when I launch it.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Movie Review
Click HERE

Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
Click HERE

Alright, knowing my LJ friends neither of these things will interest you, but I said I’d post them when they were complete and so I am. Now onto finishing “Hex Hall” so I can start writing my own book again tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Peace – Sarah

—————

Frivolous Spending

If I didn’t love getting mail so much and didn’t equally love getting new books consistently I wouldn’t have a problem. But the fact remains that I do. It’s as simple as that. Books have such a hold on me that even just seeing pictures of other people’s bookshelves gets me excited. (How ridiculous is that, right?)

Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a bookaholic.

That being said let me share my latest book purchases with you. Initially “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins was waiting in my shopping cart, but it is so good that I know I won’t be able to stop reading the library copy I currently have in my position, therefore the need to own it right this minute is not necessary (it can wait for a little while). So I swapped it out for something else and purchased the following books last night on Amazon.


The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

Description from Amazon: He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects — the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

P.S. Sophie and Josh Newman are 15 year old twins… you would think the description would say that. Also this is book one of six, four of which are already out.


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Description from Amazon: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.


Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Description from Amazon: Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

P.S. The sequel to this book is entitled, “Sapphique” and is scheduled to be released December 28, 2010


Need by Carrie Jones

Description from Amazon: Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal. Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

And lastly because I’m fairly paranoid about the end of times and/or convinced troubled times may be fast approaching our country due to the current administration I’ve decided it’s important to educate myself on survival techniques. The first book I’ve purchased is “Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything you need to know to keep your family safe in a crisis.” I figure that even if it’s really nothing more than paranoia it can’t help to learn a thing or two about these sorts of things. Maybe they will be useful to me in writing one day (I do have that plot bunny called “Post Hope” about the end of the US from a teenagers POV so…)

Also arriving this week because the release date has changed and I pre-ordered it months ago, Maggie Stiefvater’s “Linger” which I’ve already talked about HERE.

In conclusion I have to add how badly I want to read the “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” series now after seeing “The Lightening Thief” last night. I already had the box set in my wish list, but it’s rather expensive and will have to wait to be purchased until a holiday like Christmas or my birthday so it will be a while. Anyway the movie was fantastic, for anyone interested in knowing.

Peace – Sarah

—————

Books make me giddy AND drive me insane

Initially this post was going to strictly be about my writing woes, but I realized during lunch today that reading “Infinity: Chronicles of Nick” is making me far too happy to be in a negative state of mind in regards to my own book. (Which is actually a REALLY good thing!)

So, first let me reiterate how amazing “Infinity: Chronicles of Nick” is. It has been a long time since a book made me feel so revved up (well I guess not that long, Terry Goodkind’s “Law of Nines” had a similar effect, but this one is even more exciting). It has such a great pace and such a perfect mixture of doom and humor all with this southern twang to it! I’m already disappointed to know that its sequel “Invincible” won’t be released until February 2011. (Ugh! That seems too far away). This is the only young adult novel Sherrilyn Kenyon has written so far (although this series is slated to have 10 books), but she has a multitude of adult novels with the same characters only as adults and since I’m enjoying her writing style so much I really think I might dive into them as well while I wait.

Now, onto my writing woes although I shouldn’t make it sound so bad because in truth I’m feeling much more positive about it this week than last. In fact I was happily acting out scenes this morning and afternoon opposed to listening music on the way to and from work. It felt good to be back in character.

I did end up deciding to can two characters. They were important characters, being the older-wiser ones of Bryce & Brynn’s family, the ones with the most back knowledge on the mystery surrounding Teagan. But essentially I decided the mystery would be more believable without their knowledge. I kind of like the idea of keeping my characters in the dark even about themselves until they absolutely need to know. It will also probably cut some thickness from the story if there aren’t two more people’s lives to tell you about.

A while ago I debated killing the dog in my story for two reasons: 1 – once things start going down, worrying about the dog will be difficult and 2 – I want something extreme to happen so the levity of one of the characters role sinks in. I’ve finally decided that the dog will live (I think, unless I kill him over natural causes because he’s old), but someone else even more important will –almost- or maybe –actually- die now. I can’t tell you for sure, although I know the answer 😉

Event though I dread doing so, I believe it’s time to re-write again. So bye, bye newly shaped chapters 1 and 2. Well maybe not all of chapter 1, most of it can be salvaged. Chapter 2 on the other hand is null and void now. And with all the chopping going on in my mind for the rest of it I really feel like the pace is where I finally want it. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even be able to fit it all into one book!

Man, I feel like I’m running with a hatchet again. Only I’m not a depressed clown this time around! (Does anyone who reads this even get that reference? Probably not, but that’s okay… here’s a hint if you’re interested though Me – 2004.)

Okay so now I have some questions. I kind of enjoy doing things nontraditional as long as they are not immediately rejected, and I’m pretty sure what I’m about to suggest is not normal, but tell me what you think (if you don’t mind).

My book opens with a journal entry from Teagan’s perspective. There will be a few journal entries throughout the book and talk about this journal because it keeps very secret & disturbing events in it. The opening entry is dated 6 months before the book starts to give you some inkling of where she’s been and what you might expect next and I was just going to leave it like that. But I started thinking it might be neat to briefly add the perspective of the enemy and some hint about their plot far before you ever know who they are in between the journal and chapter 1. It wouldn’t be long, but it would give you that great sense of doom-to-come feeling that once said doom arrives you’ll go, oh yeah I almost forgot about that! This would basically be like having 2 prologues though and one from a perspective you’ll never see again. Would something like that ever work?

Also, how do people feel about the length of chapters? I ask because I’ve read some books where chapters were only a few pages long and others where the chapters were so long they could be short stories in themselves and then there are some that jump all over the place with short and long chapters. Does it really matter? I personally don’t care, but do some readers get bothered by this shift in sizes?

Alright, I’m too antsy about finishing “Infinity: Chronicles of Nick” now so I’ll end it with that. Oh yeah though, two totally unrelated side notes before I go (well not completely unrelated, but rather random).

1. My library actually had two of the books in my wishlist yesterday – which is extremely rare considering we have by far the worst selection of young adult books, not to mention the worst way of sorting. I found one of them in a section labeled “Teens” and the other in the “Middle School” section of the children’s side of the library. Anyway though, I won’t read their entirety because you know I have to own everything I read, but I am excited to read a bit of them to make sure I’ll actually like them first. Those two books are: “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman.

2. I want an icon that’s book related, maybe like this beautiful pile of books one I saw someone use on Maggie’s blog. It would have been nice to use in this post. Maybe I’ll have to play around with some pictures of my own books and see if I am capable of making something cool. Everyone always has cool icons… I got nothing.

Peace – Sarah

—————

Edited Note: I almost forgot to mention one GREAT thing concerning writing. Someone agreed to be critic partners with me and this is making me oh so motivated to get my act in gear. It also makes me super excited, nervous, and a whole bunch of other mixed emotions, but overall just happy & grateful! 😉

—————