Note: This time of year is always very busy for me. Last year, I hadn't really started blogging yet, so I was able to keep myself above the craziness. This year, I am. My blog is slightly inactive due to the holiday craze. Hopefully will return to the regular posting after the new year. :)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adventures in NaNoland.

Let me start out by saying, holy crap, I've missed you guys.

And now for my excuse:

Ever heard of NaNoWriMo?

Yeah, it's crazy. I mean, you can pretty easily get ahead during the beginning and be all fine and dandy when you only have to write under 1K words a day, but that only ever lasts so long. It's a challenge. It's supposed to be, but still. It really is harder than you think it will be, and it's easier too.

It's harder because you'll get worried. You'll be gone all day and you'll think, "It's so late. I'm going to get home and I'm not going to be able to write enough words before the time changes over to the next day and I'm going to fail today and I will fail this entire thing." You'll stay up late and you'll deprive yourself of sleep, but who ever needed sleep anyway, eh? Even worse, midnight will come around and the time will change and you'll find yourself faced with tomorrow/today's goal, as well as the one you were trying to hurriedly get. So you'll write 3K words in one night, because you're crazy and you're a novelist and, wow, those are kind of the same thing, aren't they?

It's easier because 50K is a big number. You think, "there's no way I can do fifty-thousand words in thirty days. That's crazy. It's insane. Impossible." You'll say, "There's no way that I can just write 1,667 words a day and still get to 50k. That's not enough." You'll look at your graph and you'll panic just a little, because it doesn't look like it could ever get there in under 31 days. But it's not and you can and it will. No matter how many times you tell yourself that it's impossible.

NaNoWriMo kind of takes over your life. You'll look at other things and you'll feel like they're not worth your time, because holy crap, you're supposed to be writing a novel right now. RIGHT NOW. What are you waiting for, you idiot?! Go write!

And also you will probably go crazy. Your desk will match your mind, meaning, it will probably become cluttered with pens and post-it notes, scrawled out ideas. You'll eat so many things that are so bad for you. You'll learn to down a Red Bull in two minutes. You'll hate Thanksgiving because you have to spend a day (or, in my case, two or three.) cooking and cleaning and, well, doing everything but writing.

But here's to you, NaNoWriMo participants! It's almost over. I wish you the best of luck in the rest of your novel-writing frenzy. Even if you're behind. Even if you're way, way behind. Heck, add five more ways and I'm still believing in you. You can do it.

Prove me right.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review - Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Amazon Link
Goodreads Link

Page Count: 435 Pages
Overall Rating: 3 Stars

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has apurpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? 
**This review will have spoilers. I've made my opinions on those highlighted in white, so you'll have to highlight them to read it. There's one spoiler highlighted in red. This one pertains to the ending. DO NOT highlight it if you don't wan the ending spoiled for you.**

Unearthly was a weird book for me. Not really in its concept, but more so in how I liked it. Everything was in the middle for me. It's not the worst book I've read, and it's not the best, either. It's flat out in the middle.

For starters, I didn't really feel the urge to pick this one back up. I actually sat at the end of class one day, knowing I should've probably picked it up and read some, mainly because my friend was absent that day and I couldn't talk to her, but I didn't. At the same time, though, once I picked it up, I hardly ever put it down. Not because it was a particularly gripping book, but more because it was really easy to read.

It was a pretty easy book to read, actually, and I think that's probably why it didn't get as much of a reaction from me. I'd expected it to be a lot heavier, have the stakes be so much higher than they were, but it was kind of more along the lines of Clara really wanting to be normal and her struggles with her feelings for Christian and Tucker.

Some things that bothered me: Some of the writing seems like it's trying to hard to fit into teen lingo. It's not poorly written, just has a lot of things that kind of seemed slightly immature for high schoolers. The word Dorkina was used in one of the first chapters and I cringed at that. Seems like something a third grader would say.

Some of the characters seem to be kind of shallow. Not vain, but kind of...underdeveloped. Tucker seemed to be pretty nicely fleshed out. Clara obviously was, but I was living inside of her head, so it's kind of expected for me to say that. Some of the other characters felt two-dimensional though.

There are kind of a lot of things that don't make sense, as well. (Spoilers starting in 3, 2, 1.)

For example, how the tourist taking that picture completely forgot about Clara's hair glowing, but Tucker could not, would not forget about it at all. I understand that the situations are pretty freaking different, but you'd think that glowing hair would be memorable no matter what.

Second off, the one that completely, completely irked me. If Angela could tell that Clara was an Angel-blood, why couldn't Christian? I mean, it's not as if Clara was particularly sneaky about it all the time, and Jeffery was definitely worse about it. If Angela could figure it out after three things, why couldn't Christian? I just don't get that one.  

But I did like things too, as much as I semi-ranted up there:

I liked how Tucker and Clara did not have an instalove thing going on. They pretty much seemed to hate each other for a while and the chapters where their relationship is developed are among some of my favorite in this book.

I liked Angela and how I did not trust her at times, though some would probably hate that. She just seemed a little shifty. I liked Christian, somewhat. He sometimes made me angry, but so did Tucker and pretty much every other character in this book at least once. But he wasn't a complete jerk and I appreciated that.

I liked Jeffery, as weird as that probably is. He added some depth to the story and certainly seems to have a larger role in the next book. A lot of things do, for that matter. The sequel seems to hold a lot of answers to questions I had for this book.

I liked Clara, even though she was slightly moody and occasionally whiny. She seemed to have a reason for whatever moping she did, and I wouldn't say that it was anything like some books, where the heroine spends three quarters of the book sobbing over stupid crap. She had pretty legit reasons for being upset.

I really enjoyed the feel of Jackson Hole. It definitely has some sort of strange vibe, but not bad ones, either. I live in small town right now and I love Jackson Hole much, much more than I like where I live now. I'm just saying.

I enjoyed the mythology, however conflicting it may have been between the two people that were telling Clara how her world worked. It was pretty fresh and is a lot of what kept me reading.

Amazing Quote:
So often we only do what we think is expected of us, when we are capable of so much more.

Songs I listened to while reading:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Returning to the blog again.

Oh, no, I didn't really ever leave you. I love the blogosphere just a little too much to leave any time soon, but I'd like to just say that I'm returning, for real.

I've just been busy. The holiday season (yes, Halloween totally counts for me. One of my favorite holidays!) is always busy for my family. There's been Halloween parties, trick-or-treating (You're never too old?), volunteer work, preparing for the big Holidays, etc. Between those things and all of my various hobbies, blogging got shoved to the back burner somehow. I've not even really been active on Twitter lately. So, yeah, I've been busy.

But I'm baaack.

...I feel like there should be some creepy theme song music playing right now. Maybe that's just because it was Halloween yesterday? Oh well. I'll leave you with this song. It's currently what I'm listening to.

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