Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On The Bright Side, Announcement!

Hey guys! Thanks to everyone who participated in our first Knights of MicroFiction. And remember, it's not too late to enter! Just submit your entry no later than 11:59 tonight and we'll be choosing our two favorite entries to feature tomorrow! And don't forget to grab the little button of the knight I made on the sidebar... probably not the nicest looking button, but hey, that was my first try. He's kinda cute, too :)

Anyway, I've got some exciting news! Shelli Wells (S. R. Johannes), the author of Untraceable, is coming out with a new book called On The Bright Side, published by Coleman & Stott. Is being released for Kindle, eBook, B&N, and iTunes today (!) and will be available in paperback in February. Congrats, Shelli! Here's a quick summary of her book:

On The Bright Side

Gabby is a disgruntled tween angel who has just been assigned to protect her school nemesis and ex-beffie. Problem is her ex-beffie is dating Gabby's longtime crush. Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (since when is sticking toilet paper to her shoe or spinach in her teeth a sin?) Soon, Gabby gets out of control and is put on probation by her SKYAgent, who has anger management issues of his own. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.

Purchase Info:

Ebook Format:
ISBN: 10-0984799117

Paperback (Available in Feb.)
ISBN-10: 0984799133
ISBN-13: 978-0-9847991-3-8

And, here is the book trailer: http://faeriality.blogspot.com/2010/01/on-bright-side-trailer.html
It's really cool :)

So that's about it!! Go head over and congratulate Shelli!

Thanks for stopping by everyone!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction!

Hello, everyone! First of all, I'd like to thank Lynda R. Young for holding that awesome BBQ over the weekend. We all had tons of fun! I'd also like to thank all of my new followers for joining my little band of Jedi Knights over there --------------------------------> It's steadily growing into an army! I've been thinking about holding a blogfest when I hit 200... I don't know. What do you guys think?

Anyway, today, my mom, over at Imagine Today, came up with a really cool idea. Every last Monday of the month, we're going to post a short piece of Flash Fiction in response to a prompt, and we thought it would be fun if some of you joined us! It's sorta a two day thing, so just post your response anytime before 11:59pm on Tuesday. Me and my mom will choose two winners and feature that person on our blog for Wednesday! (For the full overview of what we're doing, click HERE).

Today, the prompt is:

Write a Flash Fiction (MicroFiction) piece in 250 words or less about someone who's done something wrong but doesn't have the guts to apologize. Whether they end up apologizing or not is up to you.

Okay, so here I go!

The Candy Store

Laila should have stopped herself. She stared up at the ceiling, unable to sleep. Over and over, she tried to come up with a reason why. But the simple truth was that she'd done it out of fear. Fear of what her friends would say if she didn't.

She glanced to the floor, her eyes resting on her backpack full of candy. It's not like it's money I stole, she thought to herself. But the fact that the family who owned the shop didn't have much to spare, made her feel even worse. She'd told her friends that she wasn't afraid of anything. But could something that didn't let her sleep at night be worth the trouble?

Frantic thoughts raced through her mind. What if the police caught her? What if she'd left some fingerprints somewhere in the shop?

She wanted to slap herself. Feeling guilty was one thing. Feeling guilty because she was afraid to get caught was just plain wrong.

That was it. She couldn't take it any longer. She sat up and grabbed her backpack. Now she understood. Robbing a small shop of candy was stupidity. Not bravery. But maybe, just maybe, going back and apologizing was.

So, there you have it! It's exactly 204 words. Now, spread the word and go check out other people's entries HERE.

Have a great day!


Friday, January 27, 2012

The Secret Ingredient...

I don't know if I've mentioned it before but I am a violinist. No wait, that sounds too professional. Okay, I play the violin. Anyway, I had my violin lesson yesterday and my teacher and I started working on this song:

First of all, it does not sound that good when I play it. Not even close. But I just love this song.

So me and my teacher were going through the music, deciding the fingerings and when I should shift into a higher position. All that fun stuff. But as I was watching/listening to Sarah Chang (the girl in the video) play it, I realized my fingering was different than hers.

Instead of playing a certain note on a certain string, I was playing the same note on a different string. Confusing, right? On the violin, there's more than one way to play the same melody and make it sound just as good or better.

Hmm. Sound familiar?

Playing the violin is a lot like writing. Writing (specifically fiction writing), is all about saying something someone's already said before and making it yours. Without the inspiration of other stories, I'm not sure we'd have as many ideas. And without previous stories, our WiP's probably wouldn't be what they are today.

We're all playing the same song but we're all playing it differently, in our own creative way. So maybe I really do play this song better than Sarah Chang... (I wish :/ ) LOL.

Like the fingering or bow direction I decide for myself while playing the violin, the special ingredient you add to your writing is what makes it yours. That's what makes it special in the first place!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

YA Highway: RTW

Okay, this is the first time I've done the weekly Road Trip Wednesday over at YA Highway. Today the prompt is:

Write a dialogue between two of your favorite YA characters.

I'm going to bend the rules a little bit and use a character from my book versus one of the characters in the book I'm reading. Alright, here I go!

JAINA: "Excuse me, sir, do you need help with that?"
LEO: (Looks up from pile of metal) "Nah, it's fine."
JAINA: "Are you sure?"
LEO: "Yeah, I've had to fix a lot worse..." (starts fiddling with the machine parts, nervously)
JAINA: (Stands watching, not sure what to do) "What are you going to do with it?"
LEO: "I'm going to fix it."
JAINA: "It looks pretty messed up to me."
LEO: "I can fix anything."
JAINA: "Really?" (she raises an eyebrow.)
LEO: (nods then mutters something to himself.)
JAINA: "What's your name?"
LEO: (looks at her but doesn't reply)
JAINA: "Well, it was nice meeting you. I should get going." (she stands up and starts to leave)
LEO: "See ya." (he waves and his hand lights with fire)
JAINA: "What was that?"
LEO: (quickly puts the fire out) "Nothin'. It's perfectly normal. Just a little issue I was born with."
JAINA: "Your hand just caught on fire."
LEO: "Like I said, it's perfectly normal."
JAINA: "Maybe you should take a break from fixing that."
LEO: (looks at the machine then at Jaina) "Okay, fine."
JAINA: "Come on, let's go. I'll get you something to eat."

A little random, I know but I couldn't think of anything else to write about today, lol. To see other entries, click HERE.

What YA characters would you like to see meeting up?


Monday, January 23, 2012

Great Weekend!

First of all, I'm really excited for no apparent reason. I'm coming down with a cold, too, but strangely I'm really happy! I got a ton of work done this weekend but a lot more to do, so I'll try to make this post short.

I heard back from a few of my beta readers and got a lot of good feedback. I knew having beta readers would help me a lot but I guess I wasn't aware of how much it would help. I learned a lot.

For example:

  • The difference between 'farther' and 'further'. ('Farther' is used as in physical distance and 'further' is for metaphorical distance)
  • That you're not supposed to use a comma before the word 'but' (yep, I did that about a thousand times)
  • That I italicize words way too many words
  •  I have too many "she says" or "he says" after someone speaks. It turns out, if there are only two people in the conversation, you hardly need those at all!
  • There's still a ton of stuff about writing that I don't know.
So yeah, my issues are mostly grammatical and then there were some problems with the setting. But I think I finally fixed that... we'll see.

How was you're weekend?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Favorite Fonts

There aren't very many times that I take a moment and look back at everything I've done. It feels like only yesterday that I couldn't focus on writing at all. I was probably only nine years old. I would write parts of a story, then get distracted by the formatting of the page.

I didn't like writing in only black letters. Every five minutes, I'd change the color of the words. When I got really bored, I'd change the colors of the individual letters. Okay, big waste of time, I know, but whatever.

The funny thing is, to this very day, boredom of formatting tends to distract me. Not as much as it used to, (thank goodness) but if I'm not writing in a font I like, I can't write. Well, I can, but the writing doesn't tend to be as good.

I love the font Calibri. I wrote my novel in Calibri.

I like Trebuchet and Helvetica. I also like Arial. Only if it's small, though.

Those are fonts that are pretty easy for me to write in. Of course, there's the other side of the story.

I can't write in Times Roman. Or Times New Roman. Or Times. Those three are almost exactly the same, so I can't write in any of them. Unless I'm writing non-fiction. For some reason, if I'm writing non-fiction, like a report or something, I can use those.

I really don't like Verdana or Courier. They both remind me of what kids my age call 'the olden days' where people only had typewriters.

The funny thing is, my mom (over at Imagine Today) cannot use Calibri. She only writes in Times New Roman, which I totally don't get. It turns off my creative process. Like a brick wall or something. So far, my favorite is Calibri.

(This sentence is in the font Calibri. The next one is too.)

I think Calibri is my favorite font, mostly because it got me through an entire novel and helped me through my second one.

It seems silly, I know, but somehow it makes a difference.

Do you guys ever get distracted with formatting? Do you have a favorite font?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Laptop Giveaway

Hey guys there's a laptop giveaway over at Sparkling Reviews. It's really cool, so you might want to check it out!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clockwise by Elle Strauss Book Review

Hey guys!! Today, I'm doing my first ever book review. At least I think it's my first book review. I actually don't remember. Anyway. I've been meaning to do this for quite a while now, since I started reading this book in... October or November? Not sure which. After finishing editing my book, I finally had time to fit this in.

Okay, here I go.

Title: Clockwise
Author: Elle Strauss
Genera: YA Rom/Com, Time-Travel

Summary: A teenage time-traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

Boy watching with her best friend would be excitement enough for fifteen year old Casey Donovan. She doesn't even mind life at the bottom of the Cambridge High social ladder, if only she didn't have this other, much bigger problem. Unscheduled trips to the nineteenth century!

When Casey gets talked into going to the Fall Dance, the unthinkable happens- she accidentally takes Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in school, back in time. Protocol pressures to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother, and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks, or is it just 'brotherly' protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey at the bottom of the social totem pole, and Nate on the very top. Except this time, her heart is broken. Plus her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her little brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate to the past again.

Which of course, she does.

Review: Before I say anything else, I have to tell you, this book was awesome. On Monday, I was only planning on reading a chapter or two and found myself at the end of the book! I could not stop reading it.

Clockwise kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire read! The plot is pretty fast-paced, and the romantic tension had me excited the whole way through. The characters are easy to love (or hate, if your talking 'bad guy's), and I found myself believing every word of the story. And Casey is tough. I mean, come on. Who doesn't (besides boys...) like a strong heroine?

My Rating: A Nebula.

(Eagle Nebula)

Let me explain. It's got plenty of stars to account for how much I loved the book! Now you've got to read it!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Sequel Issues...

Okay. If there's one thing about writing that I'd prefer to avoid, it would be rewriting. And I'm not talking about the rewriting you do while editing. I'm talking about full scale rewriting of everything you've already written.

After editing book 1, my characters had changed into (hopefully) less flat people. They've grown quite a bit compared to what they were in my first draft. The thing is, I started writing book 2 before I was done editing book 1 which probably wasn't the smartest idea. So I've got a lot of things to change.

My problem is this. How do you find a way to say a lot of the same things in a completely different way?

I know it sounds like a silly question because we do it all the time when we edit. But for some reason, this is different for me. Am I just over thinking it? Or do you guys feel the same way?

Have you ever had to completely rewrite your book? How do you get it done?


Friday, January 13, 2012

Going up North + Weekend Plans

As you've probably guessed from the title of this post, we are headed to Michigan for the weekend. Okay, maybe you didn't guess Michigan in particular, but yeah, we're headed up North.

Me and my sister (Over at Life is Good) are both on a synchronized skating team with a bunch of friends, and we have a big competition on Saturday! I'm really excited.

After that, we'll be spending a day at my grandparents house. It's cool because they have a grand piano (opposed to our coffee brown, rectangle one...) and it sounds so pretty when it's played. I'll have to make sure to bring my violin.

So, yeah. That's about all I've got planned for my weekend. Oh, and I have to try convincing my sister to read my novel... She agreed to 'beta read' it a while ago but hasn't gotten to it yet.

What do you guys have planned for the weekend?


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Character Blogfest!

Hey guys! The other day, I entered this really cool blogfest hosted by Cassie Mae and Angela Cothran. It's all about characters!!

I've always had trouble writing new characters. Well, the main one isn't too hard, but it's the supporting characters that always turn out flat. So this blogfest is here to helps us show off our characters, and maybe learn something about them in the process.

Days to Post:

February 6th - MondayCharacters on the couch: Have one of your characters answer the following questions (to make this work to your benefit, choose a character who is the hardest for you to write :) Max 250 words (Not including the questions—only the answers). 
  1. What is your biggest vulnerability? Do others know this or is it a secret?
  2. What do people believe about you that is false?
  3. What would your best friend say is your fatal flaw? Why?
  4. What would the same friend say is your one redeeming quality? Why?
  5. What do you want most? What will you do to get it? 
February 8th - Wednesday - Dialogue Introduction: Have two characters introduce each other using only dialogue—no backstory, no internalization, just dialogue between the two. Max 250 words.

February 10th - Friday - Emotion Flash Fiction: Emotion is the engine of a story. Pick an emotion and in a flash fiction piece of 250 words MAKE us feel it! We want to connect with your character. This will be a challenge in 250 words.

There will be two winners for each day. Go check out Cassie's or Angie's blog to enter!! It's going to be lots of fun!!

Have a great day!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Now What?

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who volunteered for beta reading for me over the weekend!! I really appreciate it!!

Okay, now to business. First of all, I finished my book on Friday!! The one problem was, after I finished it, I had no idea what to do. Now, I'm not saying I didn't have a lot to do. In fact, I had an entire book to finish reading and all of book 2 to write. But, it felt wrong not having to work on my first book ever.

I found myself wandering around, pretending to re-read everything I'd written, but couldn't bring myself to focus. I think I was kind of in shock. How on earth do you recover after working your butt off for an entire year on a single novel? Of course, I've still got book 2 to write, but still...

What do you guys do after writing a novel? Do you take a break or just jump into the next project?


Friday, January 6, 2012

Beta Readers, Anyone??

You guys, I am on the last two chapters. And I mean the last two chapters. After I finish editing these two, I will be done. And I'm still freaking out about it. This is really my last edit, so here comes the big question.

Does anyone want to beta read for me?

My novel is a YA Action-Adventure/Sci-Fi, and might be considered a little Dystopian. Here's a summary:

Sixteen year old Jaina Indera has been training for this moment her entire life. Ever since the Imperial Alliance genetically selected her to attend a Gifted School, she has done her best to prove herself worthy of competing in The Trials.
Being chosen is just the beginning. Her region will send a team of ten students to compete in the first of four rounds of mental and physical challenges against other Gifted Schools. If they win, they will enjoy the privileged life of a 'Superior' in the Crystal City. If they lose... they could lose everything.
With the sudden appearance of a boy called 'Dragon' and her unsettling dreams, two months before the Trials, Jaina begins to question everything she has been taught to believe.
Will she find balance between love, loyalty, and the truth behind it all?

So, yeah, that's my summary. Anyway, if you'd like to beta read for me, please email me at violingirl4036@gmail.com and I'll get back by Monday!! Thanks so much, everyone!

Help me, beta readers, you're my only hope...


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Yesterday, I joined Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, so I'm pretty excited! The idea is to post on the first Wednesday of every month, so here I go!

Last week, I was feeling down. I was in the dead center of editing the last bit of my story, when the idea hit me: what if all of this work is for nothing?

To me, my writing sounded dead. Page after page, everything I'd written sounded wrong. I started to think, 'my writing isn't like Patrick Carman's or Rick Riordan's, so what does that make me?' and 'am I actually a good writer, or do I just think I am?' To make things worse, I couldn't actually find anything wrong with what I had written. I just felt that somehow, in some way, it wasn't good enough.

I was tempted to open a blank Word Document and write 'hopeless' over and over until the answer finally came to me. (I didn't do that, of course.) I kept reading, but my doubts wouldn't leave me alone. Could all of the precious time and effort I've put into my work be a waste? Could all of this really be worth it?

Luckily, my mom kind of noticed that I was a little frustrated, so she told me to go play my violin for a while and take a break from editing. Playing my violin usually helps me cool down if things go wrong, so I took her advice and played. And I got to thinking.

I'm not writing because I want to be published. I mean, I do want to be published, but that's not really what it's about. It's about me. I'm writing because I love it. And if I wrote like Rick Riordan or Patrick Carman, then what on earth would I have to write about?

Sometimes it's hard for me to recognize my own strengths. When I'm editing, I'm looking for everything wrong with what I'm doing. And that's okay, but it makes it hard to appreciate what I'm doing right.

So, advice?

Take breaks when you need them! And if you write because you love it, then don't let silly doubts make you want to stop!

Have you guys ever felt that way? How do/did you guys overcome?


Monday, January 2, 2012

Passed My Tests!!

Hello, guys! First of all, I thought that with the new year, my blog should get a new look. I get bored of my layout pretty easily, but hopefully I'll keep this one for a while. Anyway, for those of you who read my last post, I took a skating test today, and I passed! So I'm really excited!

I also wanted to tell you guys some of my New Year's Resolutions. One of them is to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday no matter what. Okay, unless the power goes out and I can't access the internet or something. Another is to be done writing my sequel by the end of the year. It doesn't have to be edited, but I want to be done drafting.

So, those are a few of my goals, but I've really got a lot more. Anyway, I'm just really happy and excited right now!! What a wonderful way to start off the new year :)

Have a great day!

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