9.30.2010

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

See this book? It's called Forever and it's by Maggie Stiefvater. And guess what... you can pre-order a signed copy of it!!!!!! Go to this link and order it!

9.28.2010

The Wolf

I wished myself into a storybook once, a long time ago. I’m not sure how, or how I got out, but I am sure of the fact that I never want to go back.

I woke up in a field with no idea how I got there. I stood up, brushed my pants off, and looked at my surroundings. In the distance there was a forest with enormous trees. It looked dark in there. I repressed a shudder. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little red figure bobbing up and down. I squinted toward it. A little girl smiled up at me from under a hood and waved for me to follow her.

After catching up with the girl, time seemed to pass in a haze. Only one other thing stands out clearly in my mind, the one thing I wish I could erase forever, and the one thing that keeps replaying in my dreams; meeting the Wolf.

The girl and I could feel his presence before we saw him. She was extremely jumpy and kept glancing through the trees on either side of the little path we were on. We stopped abruptly at the sound of a breaking twig. We barely had time to blink before he jumped through the trees and in front of us. My eyes grew impossibly wide at the sight of him. One of his eyes was a milky white, and the other electric blue. There was a certain menace emanating from him that I had never felt before. He eyed us hungrily as he asked, “What do you have in your basket, little girl?” His voice was a low, rumbling growl filled with what I can only describe as evil. I suppressed a shudder, but before I had time to do anything else I was back in my house.

Even now, ten years later, that voice still cuts me like a knife dipped in icy terror.



I can smell her. I remember that scent well. So mouth-wateringly delicious. I was ever so disappointed when she never arrived at the cottage with the little girl. I was so looking forward to tasting that sweet-smelling flesh. Tonight I will finally get my meal. I am in the woods near her home, watching and waiting. It is dark when she finally walks out the door, shivering in the cold. She turns her back to me and I see my chance. “We meet again,” I growl. She whips around with terror in her eyes but her scream never leaves her lips.


Note: This is the condensed version I had to turn in. If you want the full version just let me know.

9.26.2010

Please Excuse My Smelling. I Mean My Spelling.

So this post is on, you guessed it, spelling.

Alright so my first order of business for this spelling post is to point out that my spelling is horrible. I always find mistakes. I misspell my own name sometimes. The other day I was looking though my old posts and I found tons of spelling mistakes which I promptly fixed. It's honestly not a big idea. Everybody misspells words sometimes. It won't hurt my feelings if you point out a mistake I made. I'll fix it. Or just say I don't care. Something like that. It's not a big deal.

Second: Spelling is not the biggest mistake an aspiring author can make. Duh. People who say that get on my nerves. Usually when people write, they aren't thinking about the spelling, just the words coming out of their brains. There is a reason for spell check, you know. If you're a writer, spelling is not your job. At least not while you're writing. That's what the editing stage/editors are for. K? Oh and by the way, you don't worry about spelling during the revising stage, which comes before editing. If you don't know what revising is, ask me and I'll do a post about it. I won't if you don't ask, so if you don't know what it is, you'd better ask. Anyway, the biggest mistake an aspiring author can make is one I covered in a previous post. So go look.

Okiedokie, one last thing and then I'm done for the night. Here are some common spelling mistakes that really bug me: alot (supposed to be a lot), accross (supposed to be across), mispelling (misspelling people. misspelling), and acapella (I'm a singer. It's supposed to be a capella. If you don't know what that means, go google it). These are just a few of them. I will definitely yell at you if you use alot or acapella. Seriously. So spell those right.

Well I'm tired and tomorrow is Monday so if you have any questions you can comment, email, or go to my facebook fan page for this blog and leave a comment there. Oh I also have a twitter for this blog (link is at the bottom) so feel free to do that too.

Thanks for reading!

9.24.2010

More Advice!!!!!

So on Random Buzzers.com there is a question of the week. This week's question was "What would you say is the number-one mistake aspiring authors make?"
There were some good answers and some bad ones. I am going to go through some of them in this post and tell you whether or not you should listen to their advice, and then I'll add some of my own at the bottom.

Answer #1-  Laura Resau, Author, "The Indigo Notebook" says:

Many writers dive into a wonderful story, but then, a few chapters in, they get stuck and eventually give up. I think writers need to understand that it's natural to encounter obstacles on the story's journey. You just need to come up with strategies to write through the struggles and finish the book!
This is entirely true. I have a big problem with not finishing my stories. A lot of people do. Just write it. It doesn't matter if it comes out horrible because that's what revising is for, right?

Answer #2-  Brooke77 says: not trying.
Well if you don't try it's not going to work. If you're not committed to writing a story (and finishing) then don't write one. Good answer.

Answer #3-  thebookmuncher says: Thinking that they are the next big thing. More often than not, they aren't.
This isn't the best advice to give someone. Obviously (for most people) their stories aren't going to be very good until they have written (and finished) a bunch of stories. But that doesn't mean they can't be the next big thing. As long as your head stays the right size you're good.

Answer #4- ScarrletReader says: They give up on something that could be great because of loss of interest.
This happens. If you're not interested in it you're not going to be very good at writing it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. If you find yourself loosing interest in your unfinished story, take a break from it (try not to start any new ones. If you have an idea write it down so you can come back to it) and try and find some new inspiration for it. Watch movies, read books, see plays, stuff like that.

Answer #5- bookiegirlie says: They don't know grammar rules.
Uh, sorry bookiegirlie, but this is a stupid answer. Grammar isn't the most important thing when you're writing a story (unless it's an assignment for school). That doesn't mean you should not worry about grammar at all, just don't make it the point of your story. If grammar is your focus, then write a book about grammar. If you make a mistake and you catch it, then fix it. If you don't catch it just then, well that's what editing is for. Remember, editing comes after revising and they are NOT the same thing.

Answer #6- xoxo4rica says: To not pursue your wildest ideas. Books are a form of expression, so express yourself!
Excellent answer. If you have a great idea, write it down. Don't try to write a book that is the same as all the books everybody else is writing. (Some) People get tired of reading forty million books about vampire romances. Write your own story, not someone else's.

Answer #7- muggs1105 says: Not having a good story line, technically, the story should have a Beginning, Middle and End.
If you're writing for the first time every, your story line isn't going to be great. So if you're a first time writer, try to have a beginning, middle, and end, but if you're not quite there yet, don't worry. You will be. Now if you've been writing for years and none of your stories have a defined beginning, middle, or end, then I think we have a problem.

Answer #8- hobbitsies says: Comparing their book to other books. Never a good idea! It just discourages you.
Pretty self explanatory. I like it.

Answer #9-  Pinkangel1026 says: I think people try to please others when it is more important that they are happy and proud of their work.
Always write for yourself. Don't worry about what other people think. You can have the best story ever written and there will still be someone who hates it. Ignore the people who live to tell you that your writing is horrible and listen to the people who actually like your book. That doesn't mean disregard criticism. There is a reason why it is called "constructive" criticism.

Answer #10- ikra says: using vampires
Lol.

Answer #11- intothemorning says: I think many aspiring writers make the mistake that they HAVE to write from beginning to end with everything in order. Not so. Writing scenes on notecards and arranging them how I want them before writing has been so helpful to me in the past!
Again, pretty self explanatory. It's your story, write it however you want.

Answer #12- Actinupwithbooks says: I think some writers edit themselves before they even start to write when they should just put pen to paper and let the words flow. Sometimes I edit my ideas so much that they never are written in the first place.
Editing comes last. With this answer, I think she actually means revising. Don't revise anything unless you get stuck, something doesn't fit, or you finished your first draft. Just write it.

Answer #13- BertieBoo4196 says: Mispelling words I read books with mispelled words. I'll be like um is this spelled write
Notice how this person used 'write' instead of 'right' and misspelled 'mispelling.' Needless to say, I laughed when I saw this answer, and you should to. Spelling is not important. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to spell words right, just don't make it the focus of your story (sound familiar?). Write a dictionary if you love spelling words so much. As for published books with misspelled words, that is probably not the author's fault. It is the editors. But don't make a big deal about it. They have to fix a lot of mistakes. It's not a huge deal if one slips by.

These aren't all of the answers that were given so go to www.randombuzzers.com if you want to see more of them. Some of them are quite ridiculous, but I think the most ridiculous by far was the one about 'mispelled words.'

The number one mistake is not finishing. Even if you know that your story isn't going to turn out, finish it. If you still really like that story, fix it. If not, start (and finish) a new one. I have a problem with this concept ;) Another mistake is having too many stories going at once. If you have an idea, write it down and come back to it later. Editing comes after revising. No, they are not the same thing. Revising is fixing your story and making it flow (short definition, there is more to it) and editing is fixing the grammar and spelling and making sure you didn't actually put the wrong name in that spot, or the wrong school in that other part. Editing is easy. Revising, not as easy. If you want some info on revising, I suggest you vising Maggie Stiefvater's blog (I'll post a link on the links page) and look in her archives. She is an author and knows what she is talking about so listen to her. I also know what I am talking about so listen to me too! :)

Thanks for reading, and I hoped this helped!

9.21.2010

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater


For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Love this book. Plain and simple. Love it. Oh, you want to know why? Well alright. First of all, it's not your average werewolf love story. It's not even your average love story. It's not even your average story. It's just not average. The chapters are written in alternating views and instead of chapter titles you get temperatures. Yes, the temps mean something. Oh and it's printed in blue ink. And the cover is beautiful. Now that we've covered the obvious, I'll tell you about what I loved about the story inside the book.

I loved that you got to see both Sam's and Grace's points of view. Right away you see they're meant for each other. Their togetherness is something everyone can see. I also loved the way you know it's inevitable that something is going to happen that will potentially keep them apart. A 'bittersweet love story' is Shiver is often described. Bittersweet indeed. I can guarantee that you will cry sometime or another while reading this book. Yet another thing that I loved is the ending. It was amazing and totally unexpected. It was so good, I was shocked when I found out there was a second one. And a third one. Plus the second one has Cole. The third one isn't out yet but I can't wait to get my hands on it. Oh, and did I mention I love Cole? He's not in Shiver, but still, I love him.


 
Thanks for reading!

Creative Writing Assignment #1

Rae has never particularly liked David. He has never given her any reason to like him. In her opinion, David is a generally unlikeable person. Maybe it has something to do with the way he asked her best friend, Aly, out. Not asked, told.


David has never really understood why his girlfriend's best friend didn't like him. It doesn't particularly bother him, but it wasn't like he did anything to make her not like him. Maybe she just didn't like that he was spending so much time with her best friend. Maybe she thought he was stealing her away...

It's 7:15 a.m.

“Aly,” Rae says as they walk down John Street, “Don't you think that maybe you should dump him?”

The short redhead girl looks up at her best friend in disbelief. “Why would you say something like that?” she asks, “I love him.”

Rae shakes her head. “Sure you do.” Aly doesn't love him, and he definitely doesn't love her. As the cool autumn wind caresses her face, she wishes that Aly will come to her senses before she gets hurt.

David is perched on the green fence that surrounds the play park. His jacked almost blends in with the fence. The sun hasn’t cleared the mountain yet but it already lights up the grey sky. He is the only one at the bus stop and the bus will be here soon. He wishes his dad didn’t have to borrow his truck today. Normally he would have been picking up Aly and Rae by now. He found it funny that Aly didn’t seem to notice how much Rae disliked him.

Over on Robertson Street at the corner of John Street, a driver slams on his brakes.

When David first met Aly, she was a small, self conscious little girl who hid behind her books. The only one who could ever get her out of her shell even a little bit was Rae. David promised himself he would be the one to get her to come out completely. After two years of watching and waiting, he made his move. “You’re my girlfriend now,” he had blurted out. In his head he groaned. That was not what he had planned. Luckily, Aly seemed not to care. She blushed a delicate shade of pink and said “OK.”

After that that they were hardly ever seen apart. They did everything together with Rae, sometimes forgotten, in the background. Rae hated it. She hated to see her best friend ‘falling into his clutches,’ as she sometimes said.

Now, for the first time ever, Rae wishes David was there to help her.

It’s now 7:36 a.m. and Rae is in the back of the ambulance, her face pale and tears streaming down her face, watching the life drain out of her best friend. The doctor swoops in and starts CPR, his face fierce with concentration. He will not let this girl die.

David has arrived at school and he is looking for Aly. When it is obvious that she isn’t here, he tries to call her. She doesn’t answer, so he calls Rae. “Where are you guys?” he asks when she answers. “At the hospital,” she answers her voice hoarse and shaky.

“Why?” he responds, “what happened.”

Rae whimpers on her end of the phone. “Rae, are you alright?” David asks.

Rae takes a deep breath. “Yes, I fine, but Aly… he hit her David. I don’t think she’s going to be OK.”

The blood rushes out of David’s face. “What do you mean? Who hit her? Why isn’t she OK?” Images of Aly, bloody and broken flash in front of his eyes. “Rae, tell me she’s going to be OK,” he says, his voice now taking on a desperate tone.

On her end of the phone, Rae bursts into tears. “I can’t. I don’t know. The truck came out of nowhere. They’re trying to fix her right now, but I don’t know if they can. She looked pretty bad, David.”

“I’m coming—I’m going to…I’ll,” David stammers into the phone. Rae swallows her tears and attempts to calm herself down. “I’ll wait for you in the lobby,” she tells him, and the strength of her voice surprises her. David nods then realizes Rae can’t see him. “Alright,” he says, and he hangs up. He shoves the cell phone in his pocket and looks to his friend Tyler who had been watching him with worried eyes. “Can I borrow your keys,” he asks, and Tyler hands them over without question.

It’s 7:50 a.m. when David pulls into the ER parking lot. He parks the car sloppily across two parking spaces and just about runs into the lobby where Rae is waiting for him. She has her arms folded across her chest and a blank look in her eyes. The sight of her seems to calm him. “Rae,” he calls, and her eyes snap up to meet his. She waves him over and he weaves his way through the ugly plastic chairs and fake plants that crowd the room. “Where’s Aly?” he asks, his eyes pleading.


Rae bites her lip before answering. “In the ICU,” she says quietly. “I heard them say there is something wrong with her legs. I think she might be paralyzed.”

David’s jaw clenches but he just nods.

It’s 12 p.m. and Aly is in the recovery room. Her parents have since arrived and the doctors assure them that she will be waking up shortly. David and Rae are sitting in the ugly plastic chairs next to a potted fake tree. David is humming tunelessly under his breath and Rae is nibbling a cracker a nurse offered her and staring blindly at the wall. They haven’t been allowed to see Aly yet, and David is growing impatient.

Finally at 12:45 they are allowed to see her. Aly’s parents leave the room and head to the cafeteria, obviously satisfied that their daughter is fine. Aly is lying on a hospital bed, one that adjusts with the touch of a button on a remote control. Her face is scratched, her arms a bandaged, and her legs are covered by a comfortable-looking green blanket. She manages a small smile when she sees them. “Hi guys,” she croaks.

Neither Rae nor David smile and hers quickly vanishes. She sighs and bites her lower lip, all pretences gone. “I forget that you aren’t like my parents and can see strait through me,” she says. David takes the seat by the bed and Rae takes the one by the window. “What did the doctor say, Aly?” Rae asks.


“Well,” she replied, but her voice falters. She clears her throat and tries again. “He said… he told me I probably won’t be able to walk again.”

The last wall drops and her green eyes fill with tears. David sits beside her in shock, and Rae’s face stays blank. When David speaks, it surprises her. “Why would you need to walk if I can carry you?”

Rae’s eyes snap to his face and her brow creases. Aly gives him a small watery smile. “If you say so, David.”


Aly thinks he’s joking, but Rae knows he’s serious, and that confuses her. David isn’t a good person. That belief has been stamped firmly in her mind for the longest time, but seeing him like this creates little cracks in it. Her mind is whirring, trying to make sense of this.

It’s 2:30 p.m. and Rae is in Tyler’s car with David. They don’t bother to go back to school. “Where to?” David asks her. She shrugs. “My house, I guess.”

After they had left Aly’s room, the doctor had pulled them aside and told them about her legs. He told them she might regain partial use of her legs in the future but she won’t ever walk again. Even though Rae had already guessed that, it was still like a blow to the chest. After the bad news, the doctor tells them that she might be fit for release by the end of the week.

David drops her off in front of her house, and the cool autumn wind ruffles her jacket. When she gets to the door, she does something she’s never done before. She turns and waves goodbye to David. If it surprises him, it doesn’t show. He nods and pulls away from the curb.

Rae sighs then goes inside.

9.19.2010

Writing Advice #2

Hello fabulous readers! For those of you who haven't noticed, this blog isn't just a book blog, it's a writing blog too. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means that I'm a writer. This is where I post stuff I've written, including reviews, stories, and writing advice. Oh and sometimes random stuff. I also have a song of the week every week. Whoa, what does music have to do with writing? A lot. I almost always listen to music when I write. I don't always listen to the same music when I write. It's a little hard to write about someone dying with 'Party in the USA' blaring in the background, but that would be a perfect song for, oh I don't know, a scene about a Party in the USA? My point is that music can help you set the mood/tone *they are different* for your story. You'll see many authors (Maggie Stiefvater) post playlists for their books. The songs aren't just there because they fit the book, those are the songs they listened to while writing the book. So music+writing stories=good stories. Just make sure that the music fits for what you're writing and doesn't distract you, k?

My second point for this post is: Developing Characters. Now that doesn't mean taking a piece of paper and writing 'Kaycee- 5'2'', brown hair, green eyes.' No. That's wrong. It doesn't do much to help you. That's a good place to start, but you can't just stop with that. Ask yourself, what does Kaycee like? Why does Kaycee like that? Where was Kaycee born? Who are Kaycee's parents? Does Kaycee get along with her parents? Why or why not? What do people think when they see Kaycee? Who is Kaycee's best friend? Why does Kaycee like the color orange? What does Kaycee want to do when she grows up? What did Kaycee get for her 4th birthday? You pretty much have to tell Kaycee's life story. Awwww man! I have to write a whole other story before I can start my real one? No. You can just make a list with all that stuff listed. Just make sure you know  who Kaycee is and why. Odds are, you won't be using a lot of that list in your story, but it will help you. I promise. (P.S. Replace your character's name with Kaycee's. Do not steal Kaycee's identity.)

Next up for discussion: Chapter Outlining. (If you're the kind of person who can sit down and write a 500 page book without outlining anything, don't skip this paragraph. You will probably need its words of wisdom in the future.) First thing you do when you want to outline your chapters is write down what is going to happen in the chapter like so:
  • Riley wakes up from a disturbing dream
  • She hears a voice in her head
  • Ant Lisa takes her to school
  • Her side hurts and she gets really sick
  • A boy from her Spanish class takes her home
  • Aunt Lisa freaks out
  • The voice makes fun of her
See how I did that? Simple right? Next you write down the purposes of the chapter, or what you hope to accomplish with the chapter. For example:
  1. Introduces dream sequence
  2. Introduces voice (unnamed)
  3. Establishes relationship with Aunt Lisa
Also simple. After that, you fill in the details. Before you know it, BAM! You have chapter one! (Again, please do not steal Riley's identity. She will be very sad.)

How are we doing so far? Are we keeping up? Lets have some visual relief from all these words about words:



Hahahahahahaha! Look at his face! Hahahaha! OK, one more thing and we're done here. Last topic is basing your characters on real people. My tip would be don't to it. You can get into trouble doing that, and I don't mean legally, I mean people will personally hate you because of what you did to them, even if it wasn't intentional. Even if you made them the super cool hero person. People don't like to be in books. It's weird, I know, but they just don't like it. Bad things can happen to them too. I have two examples. In one NCIS episode, (You know how McGee writes books based on his work right?) there was one crazy guy who was trying to kill Abby and Tony and Gibbs because they were in McGee's book. That actually happens, beleive it or not. Another example comes from the book Inkspell. The author gets read into his story and while he's there he writes songs and stories about a guy called the "Bluejay" who is based on Meggie's dad, Mo. When Mo gets read into the story, everyone thinks he is the Bluejay and lots of people try to kill him. So again, just don't do it. Unless, of course, it's a non-fiction book or a biography then yes, you have to write it about real people. But seriously, don't do it. Look at the previous topic on creating characters and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
Thanks for reading!

9.18.2010

Book Review: Diamondback Cave by K.L. Fogg

Imogene Vandergrift wants out of jail. And she'll say or do just about anything to make sure she can recover the millions in diamonds she has hidden away. Television reality-adventure star Jack Mackey wants nothing to do with Imogene--especially after what she has already put Wesley through. Jack has assured Wes that the evil woman who pretended for years to be his mother will remain behind bars. But that was before Alex Harris mysteriously disappeared. Now the rules have changed.
Wesley and his best friend Amanda decide it is up to them to find Alex, Amanda's soon-to-be stepfather. A little covert detective work leads them to Diamondback Cave. Although Imogene's diamonds are hidden inside, it is named for the rattlesnakes that infest the black hole in the ground. However, the cavern holds other dangers--henchman who may be working for, or against, Imogene.

Diamondback Cave was an excellent ending for this series. Imogene has finally been caught, Wesley is safe with his family, everything seems great. Oh, just kidding. Even in jail, Imogene still manages to cause problems. Word of warning: Televison reality-adventure stars and infamous ex-billionares do not mix very well, especially when they're trapped in a cave full of snakes. This book made me laugh (a lot) and shocked me (also a lot). READ THIS BOOK!!!! Thanks for reading!


9.15.2010

Thanks to soup and antibiotics, I'm all better! Yay! In fact, I was feeling so good, I went out and bought a new book!
See? I'm smiling!

In celebration of my new found wellness, I played the Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker all day. I finished the earth and the wind temples and restored the power to repel evil to the master sword. Yay! Honestly, that game isn't that hard. I just never get around to playing it.

The only down side of being not-sick and going back to school is the humongous pile of make up work I'm sure to have waiting for me. Sigh.

In other news, I'm working on a new short story! I'll be posting that when I'm done, and I'll get Mia's reviews tomorrow at school and I'll try to have those posted soon. Thanks for reading!

9.14.2010

Hungry For HarperTeen Contest!

The Undercover Book Lover is having a contest!

There will be ONE winner who will win ONE of the prize packs below. This contest in international, but only to where the Book Depository ships to.







Head on over to check it out and enter!

9.13.2010

Monday

It's Monday!!!! :D

Just kidding. D:  I don't like Mondays. It means the weekend is over and I have to do work now. *Sadface*

So anyway, I got some reviews that need to be posted this week. Yay!!!!!
Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stievfater (Mia finally finished), Diamondback Cave by K.L. Fogg, and most likely another book. If I can find my camera I'll post some pictures too.

In other news, Amanda is sick. *Extra Sadface* Sickness does not bode well with Amanda. Amanda will try and stick it out through the week, but she will most likely not make it. But that leaves more time for blogging, does it not? So good news for readers, bad news for Manda.

That's all folks!

9.10.2010

9/11

9/11 is tomorrow. I remember nine years ago I was getting ready for school and my mom turned on the news. I remember asking her where all the smoke was coming from. She didn't know what do say. There was a lot of smoke. Almost no one came to school that day. My Grandma was my teacher, and I remember asking her what happened. She wouldn't answer me either.


What makes me mad is how some people insist on telling me that 9/11 never happened. One girl at school today was saying that it was just a hoax from the government to scare America. I don't think she saw the smoke. Another thing that gets me mad is how nobody remembers it anymore. There's no moment of silence at school anymore. Its as if they're pretending it never happened. Don't forget. If nobody remembers history then nobody can stop it from repeating. Don't forget.

http://attacked911.tripod.com/#

9.09.2010

Cool Beans!

Okiedokie so this is one of those random posts that have a whole lot to do with nothing! Don't you just love those?

First random topic: Contest. OK, so you know that contest I posted about a little while ago? The one where if you subscribe to my blog you get an entry, and you get an extra one of you told someone about my blog and they subscribe? Yeah, that's the one. Its still up and as of right I have no entries so I'd say if you want to enter your chances are pretty good. Enter by commenting with the info on either this post or the previous post about the contest. Prize: a book. Not sure which one yet. Probably a new one. I'll also throw in some book marks with that wonderful new book. So come on people! Win that book!

Second random topic: Writing (one of my favorite topics). I have lots of stuff to say about writing. First of all, people like ask me why I write. That's an easy one. Because I have to. I don't mean like assignments, even though I do have those, I mean I just have to. Its like a physiological need. I have all these great ideas (some better than others by a large margin) floating around in my head that I want to tell people and the only way I can is to write them down. Second subtopic of this random topic of writing is... :D!!!!!! Just in case that wasn't clear enough, I just tied together two ideas that were at first completely separtate from each other. The one idea was just going to be a standalone story but I was thinking about something else I had written (not posted) and they fit! Now the part that I posted is no longer the beginning of a story, but the beginning of a sequel story. I love it when things fall into place like that!

Third random topic: Stories. I have a question for all of you. Do you write stories? If so, what are they about? If not, would you like to write stories? For those of you who do like to write, I would love to read them, if you would let me. Its totally awesome if you don't want me to read them because I don't really like people reading my stuff either. Woah! Amanda of Amanda's Writings who posts stuff she's written just said she doesn't like to share stuff she's written! Omigosh! Well, thats actually why I started this blog, so I would get more comfortable with sharing my stuff. Its working, by the way. I'm actually excited when I post stuff on my blog now. Anyway, if you DO want me to read your stories/poems/essays/other forms of writing, send me an email. Don't forget to put atleast your first name and your blog's name if you have one.

Fourth and final random topic: Advice. I don't mean relationship advice or dramatic problems, but writing or reading advice. I mean, I'd be more than happy to help with other stuff too, but drama gets annoying after a while. Anyway, if you have a problem with writing, like you don't know where to start, or you don't know what to write about, go ahead and ask me. You can shoot me an email, or post it in the comments, or facebook me, or whatever else there is. (Amanda's Writings does have a fan page on Facebook) Thats another reason why I started this blog: to help other writers. I actually do have one post with some advice but there is plenty more I could give you. So ask away!

Thats all I have for now. Oh I lied. One more thing:
Cool Beans!
Thanks for reading!

9.08.2010

Button :D

Song of the Week!


Her Morning Elegance-Oren Lavie

Book Review: The Widow's Revenge

You would think that having a famous adventurer for a dad would make your life a little easier. But for Wesley Mackey, his father's fame seems only to make the eighth grader a giant target. The school bully's torments never end. So, in a flash of inspiration, or perhaps desperation, Wesley courageously takes matters into his own hands--and promptly gets kicked out of school. Then things really spiral out of control. Soon Wesley finds that managing a bully is nothing compared to handling kidnappers, wild animals, and a woman who wants him to call her Mom. Now it seems his fate will be determined by the actions of his seemingly geeky new tutor and his family and his friends.

The Widow's Revenge is another amazing book. Wesley has finally found where he belongs only to see it all snatched away from him. When he is kidnapped, he is taken to a place where the kidnappers are sure nobody will ever find him, and they almost don't. Full of forest fires, karate chops, double agents, parachutes, and spiders, this adventure will have you guessing the whole time.

I really liked this book, but Serpent Tide was better, and the next one, Diamondback Cave, is the best of all. You get to see a lot more of Wesley's family in this book and they are all unique (and funny). You should definitely read this book, after Serpent Tide of course. Like I said before, this book is relatively hard to find, so you might have to buy it online if you want to read it, or you can try a website like Goodreads. Thanks for reading!

9.06.2010

Casper

Casper? Silence. Casper, where are you? I can’t feel his presence, so either he’s blocking me, or he’ just too far away. I refuse to let myself think of any other possibilities. I push my consciousness out as far as I can but I still can’t feel him. I bite my lip as I crawl out of my hiding spot then blink when the sun stings my eyes. I wait for my eyes to adjust then I start walking, weaving my way between the trees. Every now and then I pause and project my thoughts, searching for Casper. Still nothing.


I have my hand on a wide tree trunk, preparing to turn around and see if Casper is back at the hiding spot when I hear myself break a twig. I look down just in time to see a loop of rope tighten around my ankle. Before this has time to register, my foot is yanked out from under me and I’m hanging upside down from the tree. I frown. I didn’t know this actually worked. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, I think. The blood is rushing to my head and the rope is already digging into my ankle. I reach up and try to loosen the rope around my ankle.

No, this was definitely not one of your better ideas. I can hear the laughter in the thought. I grin, despite my situation. “Casper.”

Casper walks out from behind a tree and stops in front of me. The amusement is plain to see in his eyes. “Hello, Angie. Glad to see you’re hanging in there.”

I groan at his bad joke. “So…” I say “Are you going to let me down anytime soon?”

He scratches his head, pretending to think about it. “Well, I am rather enjoying the sight of you hanging from a tree by your ankle, but… alright.”

I roll my eyes. Hurry, please. He grins in response then begins climbing the tree. My ankle is starting to throb. The branch I am hanging from starts to shake, letting me know that he’s reached it. I gasp when his hand grabs my ankle. Your hands are cold, I think reproachfully, which makes him chuckle. He tugs at the rope for a moment then with a noise like a snap he is back on the ground again with his arms outstretched. Before I have time to take any of that in, my foot slips through the rope and the wind is knocked out of me when I land in his arms. He grins at me again. “Hey.”

I glare back at him while I struggle to refill my lungs. “Put… put me… down…”

He laughs again then sets me on my feet. I grip a tree branch to steady myself then bend down to rub my ankle. Angie?

I glance at him out of the corner of my eye. Yeah?

Sorry.

I straiten back up to look him in the eye. I know he’s talking about more than just knocking the wind out of me. My thoughts are filled with questions but he shakes his head. Later.

I study his expression for a moment. I see a warning there so I nod. He gives a small sigh of relief then offers me his hand. I only hesitate for a second before taking it, and when I do, I instantly feel better. He gives my hand a small squeeze and we start back to our hiding place.

9.04.2010

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to deat before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomse a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I'll admit, I wasn't actually rushing to find this book and read it. I'm not usually into Science Fiction books. This book went above and beyond my expectations. Suzanne Collins created a world and characters that you can't help but be drawn to.
The main character, Katniss, is strong, independent, and she knows how to take care of herself. Instantly you see that the person she loves most in the world is her sister, Prim, and that she would do anything for her, including taking her place in the Hunger Games. When Katniss takes Prim's place, her world is turned upside-down. She is taken away from her family and put through interviews, training, makeovers, she sees horrible things, beautiful things, and finds friends in the most unlikely places, even among her enemies.
This book never has a dull moment and is filled with unexpected twits, along with heartbreak, sorrow, and even laughter. Its hard to imagine that the next book will be better, but some how, it is.

Sparks Are Igniting.
Flames Are Spreading.
And The Capitol Wants Revenge.
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol--a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fuled and unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences qill be horrifying.

Even better than the Hunger Games. Once again Suzanne Collins has blown my mind with Catching Fire. The way Katniss escaped the arena with not only her life, but Peeta's too, is seen as an act of defiance against the Capitol to many, and is sparking into a revolution, with Katniss as the Symbol of the Rebels. The Capitol is furious, and Prestident Snow is determined to punish Katniss for what she has accidentally done, unless she can convince him completely that what she did was an act of desparate love for Peeta.
Filled with deceptions, betrayals, losses, suprises,--some that aren't all bad--and love, Catching Fire is even more riveting than the Hunger Games, which I was so unwilling to read. Expect to laugh, cry, and almost throw the book in shock whith this second instalment fo the Hunger Games Trilogy.
My Name Is Katniss Everdeen.
Why Am I Not Dead?
I Should Be Dead.
Katniss everdeen, girl on fire, has survived even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebles' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

Mockingjay had me in shock almost the whole time. Death and destruction, along with distrust and more betrayals are the bases of this book. I can honestly say that this book is not what I expected. The Districts are in full out rebellion now, and only one thing will end it all: the death of President Snow. Katniss has unwillingly and unknowingly become the symbol of the rebellion, the Mockingjay, and everyone expects her to be strong as she appeared in the Hunger Games, but everything in her world is falling apart, peice by peice.
Once again, Suzanne Collins spins a tale of deception and sorrow with hidden twists and unexpected turns. I laughed and I cried while reading this book, and a few times I even had to put down the book. With a completely different tone from the first two in the trilogy, Mockingjay complete this series in a way completely unexpected. Suzanne Collins, welcome to my favorite authors list.

 

"And may the odds be ever in your favor!" --Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games

Wow.

I just finished Mockingjay. All I can think to say is... wow. It was definitely not what I expected. The tone was different from the other two books. I cried. I had to put down the book a few times. The world and people Suzanne Collins has created is amazing. The voices and the emotions in this book are incredibly well developed. There were quite a few twists and turns in this book, keeping me on the edge of my seat. The end was completely unexpected. I'm still not sure what to think. I think I like it. No loose ends, though, which are annoying, but she did a good job tying it all up. She has successfully made it onto my favorite authors list. Not many make it there. At the top is J.K. Rowling, then comes Maggie Stiefvater, Suzanne Collins, then Cassandra Clare. Not a big list.
So if anyone wants to discuss Mockingjay (I know I do), please don't do it in the comments section on this post, because there are still lots of people who haven't read it. You can email me if you want, though :) my email is in the links section. Thanks for reading, and I'll be posting again soon!

9.02.2010

Hey There, People Who Read

Hello! It's me, Amanda. I've just been realizing how much I've been slacking off in my blogging duties. No new reviews, no new stories, no new advice, and not one new picture. Sorry about that. Homework is insane right now, and practice is tiring. Working out is hard work. It makes you sore and grouchy if you're not used to it, which I'm not. But anyway, you will be delighted to hear (possibly) that Mia has finally finished the review for Shiver! On the other hand, she hasn't given it to me yet. Hmmm. Maybe tomorrow? Maybe Monday? I'm not sure. She doesn't really live next door. Sorry, folks, you'll just have to be patient. If you really want a review, though, I could put something together pretty quickly. How about the Widow's Revenge? Yeah, that sounds excellent. I'll have that up tomorrow.

On a different note, I have decided that I want to do a contest!!!!! The only problem is..... I only have five followers, four of which don't count. In case you hadn't notticed, on of them is myself, one of them is Mia, one of them is related to me, and one of them is one of my best friends, who honestly doesn't read very much. So here's what you have to do to begin with: tell your friends. Spread the word. Tell them about my blog. Post a link to your blog. Anything goes. Once you've done that and your friend has become follower, post in the comments who you suggested my blog to and you and your friend will automatically be added to my magical hat full of names. Every person you force to become a follower of Amanda's Writings gets you another name into my hat, if you remember to tell me about it in the comments section of this post. I'll post a link to this post in the links section of this blog so you can always find it. The prize will be a book (duh) and maybe some more niffty stuff will be thrown in with it like bookmarks and keychains. The book will most likely be a new one like Mockingjay. Oh, and one more thing, I'm broke so unfortunately this contest is for U.S. residents only. I really am sorry about that. So start suggesting my blog and posting for entries and I'll have more details posted shortly! Thanks for reading!

Search this blog!