Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Report Monday: Imaginary Girls

Title: Imaginary Girls

Author: Nova Ren Suma

Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood. (from Goodreads)

Why did I pick it up?: The cover is too gorgeous to not own this.

Favorite Line(s): "The story you choose to tell isn't always the story you believe." This line summarizes so much of what happens.

My Review: The story is told from Chloe's perspective and focuses on her relationship with her older sister Ruby, who is as controlling as she is captivating.

I assumed this book was YA Contemporary when I picked it  up but very early on it began to show signs of Magical Realism. Then it broke away from that and firmly planted itself in the Paranormal realm. Of course, I didn't mind. I loved the voice and the story kept me glued to the pages. I would say Suma kept me guessing, but honestly I just wanted to know what the hell was going on. There were many "Aha" moments and I love those.

I don't want to give anything away at all, but it was a great change to go from reading genre specific stories to reading one that moves between genres with the fluid ease of slowly rising water.

Recommendation: Definitely worth a read if you like Young Adult books with a touch of something surreal.

Next Week: Forever, The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3

Thursday, July 14, 2011


More Distractions

I have been very lax about keeping up with Twitter and posting on Blogger. Edits are taking longer than I thought. I wrote the rough draft in about three months, so I hoped to edit quickly as well. I want to get it to a good enough place to let some Betas and Critique Partners have at it.   

Additionally, I have this new idea banging around my head. Begging to be outlined and plotted and I have to push it away. Be a good shiny new idea and wait your turn. Here I am, egging it on. Making playlists and jotting down random notes on scrap paper or on my Blackberry, so I don't forget to include this or that when I start working on it for real. Times like these I wish I had a Pensieve, and you know, the ability to deposit my thoughts into it. Imagine how helpful that would be to the writing process. Plotting would be a cinch.

Is it awkward when your characters tower over you?

Of course, I don't even need to mention the Harry Potter excitement happening tonight-but I will. In preparation for the Deathly Hallows Part 2; I am reading the book again, baking, eating fish and chips, watching part one and potentially decorating shirts. It's no surprise I am distracted when I sit down to edit.

I have never gone to a midnight showing, I usually go on Friday night. This year however, I am going to be a very patient person and wait until Saturday. My friend Ashley is flying from New Mexico this weekend and we are going to celebrate the final film together. There will be wands, dress up, tears, laughs and someone will probably spike the pumpkin juice. Things could get a little out of hand!

How are you celebrating?

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Beginnings

Strike that. Reverse it.

I am participating in a YA Critique Group over at the WB Network. The critiques have been fun to do and incredibly helpful. It was great (and nerve wracking) having people read my pages. However, it was a bit of a concern when they all had questions and comments about my opening paragraphs.

My story is told in present tense but my first few paragraphs were in past tense. I was trying to convey information without a prologue. Maybe it should have been obvious to me but it wasn't until the critiques that I saw I was doing it the wrong way. So I chopped it!

Having my critique partners question my motives made me realize, I didn't have motives. I was just doing it because that's how I wrote it initially. On some level, it made sense to me until I had to explain my reasons to someone else.

Once it was edited out, I worked out a better way to put the information into the first few pages. It isn't perfect but it is significantly better.

What is so important about others reading and critiquing your work is that they are not involved until they read the first sentence. They have no idea what will happen on the next page. And it is knowing the whole story which makes us miss certain confusing moments in our writing. I feel rejuvenated and I am happy with my new beginning and if I find a better way to start things off I will change it again.

It's like when I finally clean out the hall closet. I am hesitant to throw anything away at first. Then once I get started, this gargantuan purge of mostly empty shampoo bottles and ratty towels takes place. Don't worry I recycle. And I don't get rid of my previous versions, I save the cast offs in a separate Word document.

As for the rest of my WIP, I am at the point which could be considered the beginning of the end or maybe the beginning of the beginning of the end. Either way, I am close to done with this round of edits. Woo hoo!

On the synopsis front, I am still writing a summary of the chapter after I edit it, but the summaries are getting increasingly shorter. Some are even one line and not an all-encompassing line either. But I do have a rough synopsis in progress, which is good enough for me at the moment.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Random Facts and an Award

Ashley Nixon bestowed this Sweet Blog Award upon me. I have never received a blog award before, so I am very happy to participate. Ashley writes about pirates & elves so you should probably check out her blog.

Coming up with seven random things about me hitherto unmentioned on this blog was difficult. I brainstormed and this is what I decided on.

1. My favorite color is purple.

2. I am afraid of heights. Mostly, it's the being up high and looking down that scares me. I don't mind airplanes though.

3. I have five tattoos.

4. When I am having a bad day, I will watch this video before writing. I laugh every time.

5. My first concert was Goldfinger, Save Ferris & Sugar Ray at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia in 1998.

6. I am a horrible parallel parker, it was part of my reasoning for getting a Mini Cooper.

7. I spent four months in Perugia, Italy in 2005 and I think about it every day. I've been back to Perugia twice since.
My street in Perugia

I must now pass the award on to five fellow bloggers, who will post seven facts about themselves and pass the award along to five others. You should check them and their Irresistibly Sweet Blogs out!
1. Kelly Powell : She writes, drinks green tea, and listens to good music.

2. Court Ellyn : Get your Fantasy Writer fix.

3. Tammy : YA Writer & dog lover

4. Marjorie: Writer set loose in the US, Taiwan and China too, oh my!

5. Jen & Megan Wiegand : My friends are trying to have a baby and blogging about the process. Stop by and send them positive, fertile thoughts!

I have been busy with editing my WIP. Okay, to be honest I have also been fantasizing about a shiny new idea. I haven't begun writing or outlining it, but my brain does wander in its direction every time I try to sit down and blog. I think after this round of edits to my rough draft I will be able to outline the shiny new idea while my current WIP marinates. Then I will do yet another round of edits, ad infinitum until it's awesomesauce, as they say.

I hope everyone is having a fun summer. I am heading to the beach this weekend!