Monday, September 30, 2013

It's October!

Well, not quite yet. But in an hour it will be October--definitely my favorite month of the year. I plan on drinking many a' pint of Octoberfest, don my favorite sweaters and jackets, put together a kick-butt Halloween costume, and just otherwise enjoy the changing of the seasons and cooler weather. I. Can. Not. Wait.

Football, changing of the leaves, hot chocolate and cider... Yeah... Annnnnd. Horror Movies!! lol

I love 'em. I plan on watching many, many horror movies and ghost stories over the next month. Not only are they great fun, but I'm often inspired to write something creepy and spooky. It will be interesting to see what happens.

I'm starting the month off tonight with Halloween H20. Okay, I know.. it's a little cheesy. BUT.. I love seeing Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her role and it's actually pretty decent if you Just. Go. With. It.

Run, Laurie, Run!!

I'm actually not sure what my favorite scary movie is... I'll have to think on that one. And with that, I'm off to watch a little Michael Myers magic. Night!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rough Beginnings

So, in the last 2-3 months, I've been doing a lot of reading. I find, actually, that the amount of reading I do is directly related to how my writing is going at any given time.

Reading a lot? The writing isn't usually going so well.

Not reading? Yeah, I'm using pounding the keys pretty hardcore.

Thankfully, the pendulum is currently swinging towards writing. But as I said, I've been reading many a' book these past months. Some books I've absolutely loved. Some I made it through, perhaps a little begrudgingly. Others I could barely get past the first chapter without wanting to give up. Ever find that happens to you? Unfortunately, I've never really developed a knack for giving up on a book, even if it doesn't snare me right away. I guess I'm an optimist that way. I push through, hoping beyond hope that it will get better. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. But regardless, if I start it, I finish. I'm seeking help. If anyone knows of a good support group for this ailment, please speak up.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few examples.

Yeah, this one shocked me too. It's the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series, and I REALLY enjoyed the first three. I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to get all the way through it. I started and gave up on it at least 4 times, never making it past the first 150-200 pages before calling it quits. Thing is, everyone kept telling me how good the next 2 books were, so I was HIGHLY motivated to push through. But I just couldn't. It bored me senseless. That said, I finally read it from start to finish. It did get better for me the further into the book I got. I don't think there's anything to really fault with the book itself--it just didn't float my boat like the others had.

I went on to finish the series. It was a pretty dang good series, all-around. No idea why 4 hung me up for so long.

Honestly, I don't think I got past the first chapter before calling it quits on this book the first time. I've tried reading other books by Larbalestier and ran into similar issues. There's something with the cadence of her writing that just doesn't jive with my inner ear. I get tripped up, frustrated, and generally speaking, annoyed as all hell when I try to read her work. Again, this says nothing about the storylines--I tried reading her Magic or Madness trilogy and had the same issue. A few pages in, my head was splitting and I had to just call it a no-go--so I can't speak to whether they're good books or not. That's not the issue.

At any rate, I finally read all of HTDYF, and....*drum roll* I actually really enjoyed it. Now, it definitely took me a minute to sink into the cadence of Larbalestier's writing, but I did. The story was pretty dang entertaining in the end. Glad I pushed through. Ah, the rewards of perseverance.

Where do I begin? I hated everything about this book right from the get go. The writing was fine, the setting pretty dang interesting...but the characters? Good gawd. I wanted to hurt them. No, make that beat the ever-lovin' you know what out of them. They were seriously that annoying. I pushed through, pushed through--basically because I have a friend who swears this series is the best love story ever to grace this world. I found the pair annoying and selfish beyond all measure. Oh, did I mention they weren't all that bright, either?


Anyway, I finished. And do you know what I did then? I went and bought the second book in the series.

Yeah, don't ask. I don't know if I could explain my range of emotions about this sudden turn of events.

And finally, my current read.

Y'all. I hate this book. HATE IT. I'm a little more than halfway finished, and I swear, the only way I'm getting through it is by squinting and letting the words blur together. I then proceed to dart my eyes across the page like a gerbil on crack. Ugh. I dread going to bed each night because I know I'll feel compelled to crack it open and read at least 20 pages. 20 pages is doable. 20 pages won't break my spirit or rip away a piece of my soul. I hope.

LOL. Seriously, though.. It just doesn't float my boat. I was so extremely intrigued at first and the premise itself is amazing. I'm just lost and overwhelmed by the world building and all the political stuff and Animals and animals...and yeah, don't get me started. No offense if you really enjoyed this book--it's just not singing for me.

Ah well, you can't win them all. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about some books that I've read and LOVED recently.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oh, Hello!

I live! Yes, I live! :)

Recently, I received word that there has been some concern about my welfare. And in turn, whether or not Walking in Shadow would ever be published. I have surfaced to let everyone know that YES, I am well...and YES, Walking in Shadow will be published. Unfortunately, as you know, I'm far behind schedule with it...and unfortunately, it will be a while longer before it's ready to hit the airwaves and go live. There are a myriad of reasons, but I won't offer any excuses. I'm struggling with it. Alas, the good news is that I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I can't tell you how excited I am for everyone to read it. I won't make any promises about a release date (boy did I learn my lesson about that the last time), but I wanted to let all of you know that it's coming, albeit slowly -- It's COMING. I apologize for the wait; I know it sucks. I've been there as a reader and I would want to throttle an author for missing a promised publication date.

Again, I'm sorry.

I really hope y'all can hang in there with me.

For now, here's a teeny tiny snip -- It may or may not end up in the actual book, but that's yet to be seen. :)



Ty’s window appeared dark from a distance, but as I drew near, I made out a weak light coming from behind his curtains.

There wasn’t much cover in his yard. I settled for a spot just inside the tree line and hunched down beside the trunk of a maple. The sky held only the faintest light from the setting sun, and the encroaching darkness would provide more than enough cover.

I settled into the spot and closed my eyes, focusing hard on the house before me—trying to pluck out the various sounds from within. To decipher and catalog them. Silly as it was, I imagined a periscope in my mind. One I could use to locate and focus on different things.

I did a sweep of the house, first locating Ty’s mother in the kitchen. There came with her the clatter of cutlery and dishes. I quickly decided she was cleaning up after their evening meal. No real guess work in that since I could see her pass by the kitchen windows.

Score zero for me.

Using her location, I focused on other parts of the house.

A sheen of perspiration broke out across my forehead. I wiped it away with the sleeve of my coat. This was harder than I anticipated, and it was only after several minutes of fierce concentration that I was able to push past the noises Mrs. O’Neill was making to other parts of their house. At last, I picked up what sounded like the slow crackle of pages being turned. The faint creak of…

Just then, Mrs. O’Neill dropped something in the kitchen and my concentration broke.

Swearing under my breath, I dug my fingernails into my palms and once again tried to push past her. This time I was able to focus again on the turning pages and stay there. Along with that, I heard the deep breathing of a male and the minute shifting of…leather. Someone was sitting in a leather chair. That was the creaking I heard.

Mr. O’Neill, likely working from home.

I exhaled and pulled back, surprised by how exhausted this one small feat had left me. A headache pounded at my temples; I took a few even breaths before beginning the next leg of my experiment.

Glancing up at Ty’s window, I grimaced. To say I felt shitty about spying on his parents would be putting it mildly. Spying on Ty himself was pushing past my moral limit. I reminded myself that this would be for his own good. A mild reassurance at best.

Before I could back out, I closed my eyes and concentrated on his room.

Please God, don’t let him being doing anything I can’t handle knowing about.

It was easier to focus without other people between us, their sounds bleeding into his. There was a soft thumping noise coming from his room. Evenly spaced, cushioned. I glanced up at his window, hoping to catch a glimpse of him as he paced back and forth. No such luck. The curtains shielded him from view.

He was agitated about something. He always paced when he had things on his mind. Unfortunately, I had a sinking feeling that I was the source of said agitation.

I don’t know what I hoped to discover by listening to him, but I found the sounds of him moving around up there soothing. If I expected him to phone Melanie, or vice versa—which, honestly, I had sort of hoped he would so I could listen in, even if it was only a one-sided conversation—I was disappointed. His phone didn’t ring and he made no move to call anyone.

The only thing that showed promise was when he suddenly stomped over to the window and drew back his curtains with a soft rustle. From where I sat I had a clear view of him. I crouched low to the ground and held my breath. There was no way he wouldn't be able to see me from that vantage point.

After no sirens went off, I dared to look up.

Ty stood staring toward my bedroom window, his lips turned down in a frown. After a moment, the curtains dropped back into place and he resumed pacing, his steps quicker now.

Just before I turned to move back towards my house, I heard him mutter two small words under his breath.

“Dammit, Mac.”