Lots of love Thursday 7/29/10

Hey, back by popular demand, here’s this week’s Lots of Love Thursday.

  • Right now I am on vacation, woo
  • I get to hang with the musers in person, as well as lots of other writers at SCBWI LA
  • I get to see my parents on Tuesday (sagelikethesister maybe on Monday since she can’t come on Tuesday, boo)
  • Southern California weather 🙂
  • I met with a personal trainer on Saturday.  First of all, I love him.  Second of all, I signed up for PT sessions, which are going to help me get in shape and eat right, woo
  • I dyed my hair with red streaks.  I love it 🙂
  • Doctor Who season finale was this weekend, and it was a good episode.  Funnier than most finales, though I think that made the stakes seem lower (even though they should have been pretty high).
  • I kept asking people at work what music they wanted to listen to (even though I was the only person in the lab full time) and coworker #2 who was in there the 2nd most kept telling me to play anything.  Yesterday I played the Beach Boys for summer and SoCal.  She came in and worked for a while, then when the album was over and I asked what she wanted, she said that was making her fall asleep, could we listen to the radio (which, btw, she has put on the easy-listening station for the past two weeks because she decided that her favorite pop station is playing too much Lady Gaga, who she hates). I switch to the radio just as they say, “And here’s The Beach Boys with ‘Kokomo.'”  I don’t know, this cracked me up for the rest of the day.
  • I finished Hero/Villain this week, woohoo.  Along with that comes:
  1. 16K in a four days
  2. A writing high that continued even after I finished (I just wanted to work on H/V some more)
  3. I’m rereading it now and I still love it.
  4. The playlist is shaping up and I love it too.

Flying is excellent writing time, so we’ll see how much I get done.  Could it be betable in August?  Maybe.  Hope I can find a bunch of readers that don’t know the big plot twist (my usual betas do know it, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of those).

Anyway, that’s it for now.

Neither iPod is different from yesterday.

Lots of love,
Sage

Best book of July 2010

Here’s my addition to Road Trip Wednesday #39.

I read a lot of books this month that I just really wanted to love.  One of them (Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones) had been on my Amazon Wishlist for ages, but I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed in it.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire suffered from the same problem I mentioned in June’s post.  Book of a Thousand Days was as well done as Shannon Hale’s other novels (audiobooks), but I liked Razo and Isi better, and the parts in the tower had trouble keeping my interest while I worked.  I really liked the beginning of The Adoration of Jenna Fox, but I felt it dragged in the middle as Jenna walked around angsting and not doing much else.

So that leaves me with Robin McKinley’s Beauty and Justine Larbalestier (check my spelling with that pic on the side; yeah I finished this book a bit ago, I just haven’t fixed the “what I’m reading” column)’s Liar.

Beauty is a beautifully told version of Beauty and the Beast.  I first heard about this book (despite loving another Robin McKinley book when I was a kid) in college, when a friend said, “Don’t talk to me about Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  The best version is Robin McKinley’s.”  Okay, but here is the problem I had with it.  I don’t know how much detail the book and the movie share with the source material, but I kept comparing Beauty to Disney’s animated version.  Totally unfair, I know, because the book actually came first, but there were so many details that just reminded me of the movie, from blue velvet suit to the way the objects in the castle moved around to him showing her the library and her bringing animals to him (made me think of the birds in “Something There”).  So yeah, it’s totally unfair but I kept comparing, and while it was a beautiful book, for some reason I didn’t connect as much as I wanted to.

So here’s the winner: Liar.

I read Liar in two days, interrupting The Adoration of Jenna Fox because I was so excited I had bought it.  Here’s what I knew about the book: 1) The main character, Micah, is a liar telling the story of her boyfriend’s death, 2)the unreliable narrator is done well (I had heard), 3) there was a cover controversy, and, therefore, 4) what Micah looks like.  That was it.

So when I was reading it, I was completely drawn in initially.  I read through the first part, yeah, trying to figure out what was truth and what was lie and where certain things were going.

And then I got to part 2.  And the book was so different from then on.  Because suddenly it was no longer contemporary non-fantasy.  That’s right, folks.  If Micah is to be believed, there is a fantasy element, which I knew nothing about going into the novel.  Leading up to the reveal, I was wondering, but being under the impression that this was not fantasy (even though J.L. has a book about a parking fairy, so I don’t know why I never considered a fantasy element more seriously), I had dismissed the notion.  But once I got there, I kept waiting for the “gotcha,” certain she was going to reveal it was a lie because certainly someone would have referred to it as urban fantasy if she didn’t.  And I waited.  And I waited.

So that affected my reading, probably a little negatively.  By the way, the Amazon description and reviews do all mention a “supernatural element,” but none of the reviews I had read from authors, nor the blurb on the cover hinted at it.

But why Liar wins is that two days later, I was still thinking about the story.  Really thinking about it, while I tried to figure out what in the end was a lie and what was the truth.

Incidentally, I decided that the entire thing was a fabrication from page 1 by Micah (which is amusing when you think about it, because it is, after all, fiction).  But just the fact that I was still considering the book, and liking it more with every consideration, makes Liar this month’s winner.

Currently on NEW iPod: Keeps Getting Better by Christina Aguilera (H/V song)

Lots of love,

Sage

P.S. Sagelikethesister has requested I bring back Lots of Love Thursdays, so if I have time before I fly out tomorrow, I’ll post one.

Teaser Tuesday – Ace in Pain

So this week I finished Hero/Villain.  I wrote about 16K, so there were lots of scenes to choose from… except for the spoilery ones.

Here’s the sitch:  Ace has just woken up and found himself locked in Evie’s room.  He’s pretty sure she trapped him there somehow.

I grab the bath towel hanging over the curtain rod and wrap it around my elbow, then send my elbow sailing towards the bedroom windowpane.  Crash.  The glass shatters out from its frame, and the alarms go off, but I’m free to jump out the window.  Only… I take a deep breath.  It’s a long way down from the second floor.

There’s running and shouting outside the door.  It’s now or never, Ace.  I jump.

Like the black cat I’m named for, I land on my feet, but my ankle twists awkwardly, and I fall forward.  I just barely throw my arms up in front of my face to protect it before it hits the glass-strewn grass below what’s left of Evie’s window.

I’m invisible, but I know I have to move before someone comes down to investigate and trips over me.  I get up, and swear from the pain in my ankle.  Dammit, did I sprain it or is it a break?  This is so not the night for me to do this shit.

I have to get home somehow.  I crawl over to the tree and sit against it, feeling my ankle.  I can’t see it, so no way to know if it’s discolored, but it’s totally swelling.  I take off my shoe, which relieves a bit of the pain.

Evie’s dad, I assume, pokes his head out the window and looks down at me.  For one moment, staring up at him, I feel like a naughty son who’s been caught.  Does he see me?  It’s hard to see the stare-through when I’m so far away.  But, no, his eyes keep scanning the backyard for the perpetrator.

I. Need. To. Get. Out. Of. Here.

I crawl across the muddy grass, careful of glass, until I get to the fence.  I use that to help me stand up and limp to the gate.  I just need to get out before her parents find me.  If I’m off the property, I can be basically a blob in hiding, invisible.  They’ll comb the backyard and run into me, but if I’m invisible off the premises, the search will be less intense, and they’ll have no reason to look wherever I’m at.

Finding the latch on the gate, I push it open and hobble through.  I follow the line of the fence over to the neighbor’s property, then keep a hand on the wall, the garage door, the wall again, their fence, over to the next house’s fence, and finally where their house meets their fence, I sink down against the corner and tuck my head between my knees.

I focus on breathing steadily and ignoring the pain.  I hear shouting, Evie’s parents.  Her dad is in the street out front now.  He’s shouting for her.  I cover my ears.  In and out, in and out, don’t think about the pain, don’t think about the trap.

Hope you enjoy.  I don’t know if I’ll have any more teasers up from H/V.  This is definitely the last chronologically I can probably put up.

Currently on new iPod: Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy (a H/V song)

Lots of love,

Sage

Woo, Get Ready for Some News

Yay, I’ve finished the important goal.  The first draft of Hero/Villain is done.  Don’t worry.  I’ll still tease on Tuesday.  I’ve got a cute little Ace teaser.

So on Wednesday, I started out with 42.4K.  I knew that it and Thursday were my last days off before I fly out to LA this upcoming Thursday, so I wanted to get as much as possible done.  I went to my favorite cafe (where I hung out most of the time during my mini-writing vacation in April) and shot for 6K.  I made it and kept going.

Yesterday (Saturday) when I finished during a break at work, I had 58K and the book was done.  This was about 16K in three and a half days.

I started the book with 16K in my three and a half day writing vacation.  I see a theme here.

Clearly the theme is that I was just as enthralled by the book at the end as I was in the beginning, lol.  Too bad about that middle.  Nah, there are lots of places in the middle where I love it, but I let other things distract me, and didn’t commit myself to writing as much (I’m actually a slow writer, I just get committed to it when I’m on a roll).

And the best part is, I still love this book.  I love Evie and Ace just as much now.

Now I have to go add some scenes in, and then I can edit like crazy on the plane to LA.  Woooohoooo.

Currently on new iPod (old one is the same): Secret by The Pierces

Lots of love,

Sage

Goals and stuff

So today I passed 50K on Hero/Villain.  If this was a NaNo novel, I would have won (okay, okay, so two and a half months late).  These last two days were my days off, and I’m really really working to get through the novel by my deadline.

Here’s what I need to get done before I leave for SCBWI on the 29th:

  • The first draft of Hero/Villain finished, printed out, and ready to be edited.  There’s a lot of work to be done on this one, but I’m prepared for that.  (It’s not like The-Novel-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, which I knew needed a lot of work because it was a PoS, and didn’t care enough to work on.  I love H/V and will polish this baby until it shines.)
  • Based on recent agent suggestions, I will print out AFTRLYF and revise it on the flight to LA.
  • I might print out and work on Fireflies too, but it’s less likely to get done during the conference.  I really should set a deadline for this one, though.  It’s going to be a lot of work, YAifying it, but I’m up to the challenge.  This will probably actually happen as soon as H/V is ready for betas.
  • Finish reading Harry Potter & the Half-blood Prince before the trip because that book is heavy and I don’t want to lug it around on the plane.  I could carry three other books around and have my backpack weigh less.
  • Finish the soundtrack (I might be done now, I just want to let it simmer to make sure)
  • Finish my costume for the poolside gala/costume party

But the important one is H/V.

I think I’ll make it.  I’m into the climax now.  But the good news (if you like teasers) is that I know I have a non-spoilery teaser ready for Tuesday this week.  I didn’t think it was possible, but, yeah, Ace is having pre-climax issues unrelated to the spoilery bits.  Yay.

Currently on my iPod: High Flying, Adored, sung by Madonna and Antonio Banderas (from Evita)

Lots of love,

Sage

Sometimes you just need a Double Rainbow

I didn’t tease today (yesterday) because the last week hasn’t been very good and finding motivation to write was pretty hard.  But tomorrow I’m hitting my favorite cafe and hoping for a writing boost. 😀

I was working in the lab with someone on Saturday–that’s pretty rare–and she likes the local pop station A LOT, so we listened to that.  The morning show (I hadn’t known there was a morning show on Saturday, boo, I don’t like them) played this double rainbow guy, and then clips from the songs people have remixed out of them. Basically, this guy has this great almost religious experience about this double rainbow he sees.  (The original is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI)

This particular remix really cheers me up, so here it is:

Yay, I think I figured out how to do that, lol.  It’s my first time.

I might have to forgo teasers for the rest of the book, sadly.  I’m getting into spoilerland here.  I mean, lots of people know a big twist in the book already, but still.

Currently on iPod: Hey You by Shakira

Lots of love,
Sage

Teaser Tuesday – Davey, I mean, Danny

I’ve been bad this week.  Sorry.  Here’s my teaser.  Context: Danny has drunk Ace’s drug, but undiluted, so he’s pretty high on Ace right now.  Ace is calling him Davey on purpose and just took him back to his lair, er, hotel room.

I finally get to my room and run through to the secret passage and down into it until I reach the end.  “Davey?”

“Oh, Ace.”  It sounds like he jumps up and down, though perhaps he’s just getting to his feet, who knows?  It’s dark.

I take his hand and feel it trembling in mine.  “Don’t be nervous.  Come on.”

“So, I’m going to make you my sidekick, okay, Davey?”  At least until I have to kill him, but, you know, that’s for later and not worth mentioning.

“Um…, okay.”

“You want that more than being Evie’s sidekick, right?”  My heart flutters.  What if their relationship is too strong or some stupid power of love shit like that?

“I’m not her sidekick,” he says, with so much force that I suspect he might have said it even without superconcentrated Pure East.

“Good.”  I guide him into my hotel room, my fingers around his scrawny wrist.  “You can put that over in the cooler by the closet door.  Don’t open that closet.”

He merely gives the door a glance, I’m sure no clue that there’s another guy sleeping in there.  Firefly’s all gagged and bound, and I’m not quite ready to introduce my new toy to him.  After Davey’s put the tank in the cooler, he looks around, as if he’s not quite sure his purpose in life anymore.  I dazzle him with a smile, and his shoulders fall relaxed.

If you saw some hoyay in there, I totally support that 😉

Currently on my iPod: Henry Martin (no clue who sings this version)

Lots of love,

Sage