Monday, March 28, 2016

Last Week #58 - Happy Easter!

Here's a bunny! Hope everyone had a 
great Easter weekend.
Easter took over my weekend. Visiting family and friends, hosting family and friend, while still managing to sneak away and see a movie (Batman V Superman). I spent a lot of time cooking. I made a turkey, which turned out really well. I also made a broccoli and cauliflower casserole, which tastes way better than it sounds. There was none left. There is never any left and I take it to almost every family dinner. It's gotten to the point where I am pretty much expected to make it. (The original recipe is from the Kraft website, but I've made a few changes. I'm not giving away all my secrets right now, but mine does not look like the picture on the site. I stick mine under the broiler to get a nice crust on the top.) So, I was busy.

When we went visiting on Sunday, however, I took some of my work-in-progress with me. It's difficult to write in the car, but it was a 2 hour drive, so I try to give it a go whenever I can. I ended up writing about a page, so not terrible, with the car and husband and kids to distract me. I'm also writing an awkward scene. It's supposed to be awkward between the characters, but that's also made it awkward to write. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Random #75 - On The Extra Stories In A Series

I read my fair share of Young Adult Fantasy and Science-Fiction series. They're fun, entertaining and some full of interesting ideas. I ready Adult Science-Fiction and Fantasy too, but I'm going to stick to YA right now. I'm thinking about all these series that have companion short stories. Some are prequels, some are re-tellings of scenes from another character's point of view, some are about what has happened in between novels. Not all series have them, The Hunger Games, for example. It's three novels, that's it, the end. Then there is a series like Delirium with so many extra tales, that though originally published as ebooks (as all these extra tales first are), they published a paperback edition too, though most leave their companion tales as ebooks, like the Grisha trilogy.

Though there are other series that leave out the extra bits (like Uglies from Scott Westerfeld), I feel like there are more who have at least one ebook tale (like Legend, by Marie Lu) and an increasing amount of others who are publishing their multiple ebook shorts in paperback form (Shatter Me, by Taherah Mafi). Why am I thinking about this?  Recently I read Red Queen. It was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm itching to read Glass Sword. I own both novels. I picked them up recently (at a very good price). However, Cruel Crown was not available to purchase. If it was there, would I have purchased it? Probably, yes. While I have skipped companion ebook short stories in the past, when there is more than one, I feel more of a pull to get them. What might they reveal about the characters I love, the ones I hate, the history of the world? With Red Queen a recent read, I'm left wondering if I should buy the paperback, the two ebooks separately (a cheaper deal) or just skip the stories.

As I type this, read what I've written, I think I might be feeling companion story burn-out. Why do the majority of series (at least the ones I've read lately) have these extra bits floating around? Some of the short stories I've read have been brilliant, like Leigh Bardugo's The Witch of Duva and Little Knife. Others I've been less fond of, like alternate perspectives, where I know what's going to happen (I like a little tension or mystery in my stories), especially if they don't tell me anything I didn't already know. I have a similar problem with prequels, a story is nice, but I want to learn something. The Assassin's Blade was a collection of prequel stories done right. They had their own plots and we learned a lot about the main character and even had hints about what could happen in future novels. I guess I am just wondering, why can't their be more series like The Hunger Games? A bunch of novels I loved. I'm not saying just trilogies either. Uglies is a series of 4 books. I just... I don't know... There are just so many... I want to be able to pick up the books and read them, without having to search online to see if any other stories exist. (I have to say, I do appreciate the ones that are free.) But why can't it be bam, bam, bam, done? If I hadn't joined Goodreads, I probably would have missed most of these stories (Thanks, Goodreads, for links on where to read them too.) It's just burn-out, that's all it is. Right? Bah! Whatever.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Last Week #57 - Setting a Tone

Another hard week, pushing out the words. They came though, a few. Hopefully a few good ones.

There he was again.  Through the peephole Ben stood, waiting for me to open the door.  It was a much different scene than the last one, though still unsettling.  He was still handsome, but he didn’t look like he just escaped a horror movie.  His hair was combed. There was no painful expression of desperation on his face. His clothes were neat and bloodless. I knew there were no signs of impending or past danger, but I was still hesitant.

She lets him in, but what happens after? An innocent lunch? Does she stare dreamily into his eyes or pester him with questions about what happened? She wants to know what's going on, but is not sure she should get involved. I feel like this scene is going to set the tone for the rest of their relationship.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Last Week #56 - I Couldn't Make A Decision

Last week I went to writer's group and it was great. I wrote some fun pieces. One might even be considered controversial, but it's what I was inspired to create. We even did a fun writing activity, that was a nice change of pace. Often, the week of writer's group, I post a snippet of what I was working on. I've been working on my novel too, and I could have posted a piece of that. But I couldn't make a decision. What's wrong with me? The weekend was busy. Lots of running around with the kids, but I had been thinking about it for a few days. I just couldn't make a decision. Then the weekend passed. Now I'm at work and I'm wondering where the time went. - I know I lost an hour to Daylight Savings and it messed up my entire Sunday.

Seriously though, I'm probably just very indecisive.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Random #74 - I Read The Comments

I need to stop reading the comments.  I read articles I find interesting, everything from Marvel to Feminism. Stats, infographics, Huffington Post videos. Items posted to Twitter and Facebook, from blogs around the web. I like the information. I want to know what’s going on in the world. For some reason lately, I’ve been scrolling down and reading the comments left by other viewers/readers. Big mistake. Some are so nice or helpful or inspire intelligent debates. Others are rude, vulgar, simplistic, hate-filled, and just plain scary. They make my mad.  Why am reading the comments after taking in the information from whatever news source?It makes me so sad, so upset, that people could behave this way. It's the 21st Century. I keep thinking we, as a planet, have come so far, but there are some who are stuck, living in a hate-filled world. Why do I read the comments when I know how it will make me feel? I’m doing it to myself.  I should know better. I do occasionally stop myself. I have to stop myself more often.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Last Week #55 - All Day For A Paragraph

I had chunck of time last week were I could write. I was so excited. Then all I produced was one paragraph. I'm not even sure I like what I wrote, but I needed it, the story needed it. What happens in it isn't super exciting, but it propels the story forward. It's about movement, right?

It's left me wondering though, what will happen in the future. When I go back, when  I'm editing the completed manuscript, will this paragraph make it.  Will I end up cutting something that took me an entire day to create? What about the rest of the work? How much of that will be hacked and slashed away? I know it's crazy of me to worry about this, but I'm a worrier. I'm always thinking about the futre and how my actions now will affect what is to come. But I'll stop. I'll just be happy that I was able to get anything done at all. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quote #51 - Robert Louis Stevenson

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Random #73 - Why I Haven't Read The Kite Runner

I was just thinking about this today, I don't know why. Maybe because A Thousand Splendid Suns caught my eye on the bookshelf. I have read both A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed. Both novels were brilliant. A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of my favourite novels, I think Khaled Hosseini is an amazing author. He has only written three novels, why haven't I read his first? The Kite Runner put Hosseini on the map. I passed by it on a display table in a used bookstore!

After considering why, I think it's the "box of tears". At the end of both the novels I have read, there are these containers (boxes). In them are things that represent what has happened in the novel. All the sad, terrible, emotional things. These are things that can bring you to tears. When it showed up in And The Mountains Echoed, I might have actually said out loud, "not again!"

So, why haven't I read The Kite Runner? Because I haven't been in the mood for a cry? I just expect to cry. I expect the end to be sad. I expect to love the characters and then to have my heartbroken with some kind of loss. I just think I'm going to be sad. I don't want to know I'm going to be sad. I'll read it eventually, but I'm just going to have to work up the emotional stamina to read The Kite Runner.