I did the A to Z challenge last year and had a blast. I'm looking forward to doing it again this year, as well as the Origin Blogfest. At the very least, it'll give me a reason to post something, instead of completely forgetting that I HAVE a blog most days!
Anyway, how is everyone? How's your writing going? Is your New Year all that you'd hoped for so far? Are YOU doing either of these blogfests? Maybe another one I haven't heard of yet?
I've seen a lot of entries for this blogfest floating around, so I decided to throw mine into the mix. Christine Tyler over at The Writer Coaster is hosting the Spark Blogfest. In a nutshell, participants share what books made us realize we were "doomed" to be a writer, what author inspired our current WiP or what book or author changed our world view.
I'm going to share a book and an author.
The first book that made me itch to write was Little Women. I felt a real connection to Jo and her passion for words and I was sort of envious of that passion. I wanted something to feel that strongly for, too!
"I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle, something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous, that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream."
The author that inspired me to write came a few years after I read Little Women...
Anne Frank. I read her diary so many times, for years, and always finished feeling so inspired and awestruck. That she was able to remain so positive while going through so much...it's incredible. Whenever I read this line, I'm immediately amazed by this young girl's spirit:
"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."
How about you? What books inspired you? Authors? Have you read these books?
This lovely lady is hosting the super awesome Bucket List Blogfest today. And since I'm up early and actually functioning, here I am. Early for a blogfest! It just might be a miracle...
Anyway,it's a simple concept. Just make a list of things you wanna do before you kick the bucket. Here's mine:
1. Travel. Anyone who's taken a peek at my Wanderlust Wednesdays posts knows that I've always wanted to see the world. My first stop would be Italy. I want to backpack through Italy, see everything. Then Greece. Namely, Santorini. It's so gorgeous there it should be illegal. There are so many places I want to see. I really need to become a millionaire soon so I can get started!
2. Become a mom. I've always wanted kids. More and more these days, I feel my clock a-tickin'. Everybody is having babies these days! I've still got a few years before I'm ready, but it's definitely something I know is in my future.
3.Become a published author. This is a no brainer, right? I mean, isn't that something we all want to accomplish?
4. Learn to play an instrument. I played violin for a few years in school, but I've always wanted to learn the piano or guitar.
5. Write a song. This one goes hand in hand with number 4. I've written lyrics for years, but they're all unfinished without music. I would love to learn to write music to go along with them someday...
6. Buy a house. This is something that's left over from a childhood of constant moving around. I want a place I can call my own.
Hmm...well, I'm sure I could go on. There are many things I want to do in my life, but these are the biggest ones. Can't wait to see what's on everyone else's list!
What's this, you say? Two posts in one day? Why, I must be ill or something!
Oh, I'm so lame.
Anyway, there's a reason for the double post today. I found out about the blogfest Nicole over at One Significant Moment at a Time is hosting today at the very last minute (meaning, after I was already at work with no computer). And I thought it sounded like a cool idea. Basically, it's a questionnaire. A way to get to know fellow bloggers. Over a hundred people have signed up and I can't wait to hop around and see all their answers! For now, here's mine!
1. What is your favorite word? Hmm...I'm gonna go with wanderlust. I don't know why, but I've always loved this word. It kind of rolls off the tongue and has an intriguing ring to it, don't you think? 2. What is your least favorite word? No. Seriously, I hate hearing the word "No." 3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Music, without a doubt. I know I've said this before, but hearing a good song is like eating a delicious meal. 4. What turns you off? Boundaries. I can't be productive if I feel suffocated. 5. What is your favorite curse word? The eff-word. I feel so bad-ass when I use it. 6. What sound or noise do you love? Rushing water, birds chirping, the breeze blowing through the trees. I love the sound of nature. 7. What sound or noise do you hate? Honestly? A cat in heat. No, really. We took care of my brother's female cat for a few months and when she was in heat...I wanted to toss her out the window. Argh! 8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Um...you mean besides an author? I've always had a secret desire to be a songwriter. I wrote lyrics for years but never learned to play an instrument, so that's as far as I got. But I love a well-written song and I think I've written some pretty good lyrics. 9. What profession would you not like to do? Doctor, lawyer, accountant...anything too stuffy and boring, or that requires math skills or involves blood and guts...*shudder* 10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "You did good, kid."
So, there ya have it! Sorry for posting this so late. Can't wait to browse the other posts!
1. I had a BLAST participating in the Just Kiss Already Blogfest! All the entries I read were so, so good and everyone that stopped by here had such nice things to say. It was such a great idea and so much fun! Thanks to everyone who read and commented. Your compliments meant a lot!
2. I just surpassed 150 followers. Wow! I'm in utter disbelief about this. Thank you to everyone who follows me -- new and old!
Now, down to the meat of this post. There's something I've been mulling over for a couple weeks now. Something life-altering. Something big. Something...expensive.
See, here's the thing. I think I might be a Mac girl.
I've used PCs my entire life. I run them like a pro. I curse them and want to throw them against the wall. And then I turn around and beg them to forgive me for such evil thoughts. And plead with them to work better, faster, more efficiently. I know PCs, blue screens and all.
But I've been lusting after Macs for just as long. I've settled for my PCs because they're more affordable. More familiar. But the lust just won't go away.
And now I'm in the position where I could afford to go out and buy one of those shiny, pretty machines.
The problem, you ask?
It's a lot of money. And my current PC is perfectly fine (other than running slow some days and occasionally crashing, anyway). Should I really give in to my technological lust and splurge? I mean, I've always planned on eventually getting a Mac. But I promised myself I'd buy one when my first book was published. Let's face it, though. That's years (and years and years) off.
So, what do you think? Do you use a PC or a Mac? Which do you prefer? Are Macs really worth all that cash?
I'm forgoing this week's Mixtape to participate in this super fun Blogfest hosted by Stina @ Seeing Creative and Christina at Write-Brained.
The whole idea is to post a snippet (not more than 250 words) of a kiss from your WiPs or a scene from an author you admire. And then, swing by 3 to 5 other blogs to check out their entries. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, huh?
Anyway, here's my snippet. This is from the same WiP I used for the Page 99 Blogfest -- Tierney wants to win her (engaged) ex back and his best man (Jack) is determined to stop her. Let me tell you, Jack is one sneaky devil. This is their first kiss:
The moment our lips finally met was more than I expected, sending volts of electricity through my entire body, taking my breath away. The warmth of his mouth over mine had my knees knocking. Suddenly, the world around us faded away and there was only this man. This moment. This kiss.
I fought it at first, closing my mouth beneath his to deny him access. Clinging to the last shred of common sense, I put my hands against his chest, intending to push him away. But the soft pressure of his lips, the teasing of his tongue against my closed mouth, the fire running through my veins, finally won over. It’d been so long since I’d kissed anyone. And this just felt so. Damn. Good.
My body turned to butter as I sighed and relented, opening my lips beneath his, granting Jack complete access, though I knew I shouldn’t. My every sense filled with Jack. I could taste the too-sweet punch being served inside, smell his cologne or aftershave and its hint of sandalwood that had my head spinning. A fierce heat unfurled in my stomach and I pressed my body tighter against his, curling my fingers in hair that was all at once silky and coarse. If it weren’t for his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me away from the railing and against him, I would have fallen.
Hope you enjoyed it. I'm off to check out some of the other entries! You should definitely do the same!
Happy Monday, everyone! Hope the weekend was long and relaxing for you guys. Mine, well...not so much! But I'll survive!
I had a blast participating in the Page 99 Blogfest -- if you didn't check out everyone's pages, do it! It was fun and interesting and educational. Thanks to everyone who swung by to read my page and for all your lovely comments. Tierney isn't as heartless and selfish as she comes off on that page, I swear!
Anyhoo, the lineup for Monday Mixtape is filled with leftovers from last week's blogfest. My honorable mentions that didn't quite make it to my top ten list. Hope you enjoy!
Addicted - Kelly Clarkson
Who hasn't been in a relationship like this before?
My favorite line: Well...all of it, really.
Cruz - Christina Aguilera
I don't know what it is about this song, but every time I hear it, I want to close my eyes and soak it in...
My favorite line: "As I'm driving I'm captured by the view/So much beauty, the road becomes my muse"
The Difference - Matchbox Twenty
My all-time favorite song by this band is Hand Me Down, but this one is a VERY close second. I love Rob Thomas' voice and he's a great songwriter. My favorite line: "Day breaking on the boulevard/Feel the sun warming up your second hand heart"
I thought this one sounded interesting. The whole idea is to post page 99 from your book and see if people would read on. Cool concept, right? If you want to read the other entries, click here!
Alrighty, here's page 99 of my current WiP. A little backstory: my main character, Tierney, is determined to win back her ex, Wes, who's engaged to Sam. Jack is determined to stop her. Tierney has just brought up the night she and Wes painted their initials on the town's water tower.
Here goes nothing!
********************************************************* “Uh…” Wes trailed off, glancing down at his hands. I almost felt bad for him. But almost didn’t count. And I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity to drudge up our past.
“W.J and T.E Forever,” I supplied without a bit of hesitation. Maybe it was wrong of me to tell my ex’s fiancée that we’d planned on spending forever together and had emblazoned our initials on the town’s water tower to prove it. Maybe I should have just made something up. But what good would that do?
“I…ah, I see.” Sam looked contrite for a moment, igniting pity inside me. She’d absolutely mastered the deer in the headlights of a Mack truck look.
“Silly kid stuff.” Wes covered Sam’s fidgeting hands with his own and passed me a dirty look.
Sorry, I mouthed, not exactly sure what I should feel sorry for. If Wes was completely secure in his relationship with Sam, he would have no problem telling her what we’d been busted painting on the water tower, right? It was years ago! But that he didn’t want to tell her said something. Something I really wanted to hear. He still cared for me.
At this moment, reuniting with Wes seemed more possible than ever.
“You two should put your initials up there.” Jack aimed the comment at the other couple and brought an abrupt end to my elation. I wanted to elbow him in the gut.
Sam smiled brightly, all insecurities erased by her excitement. “Could we, Wes? That would be so fun!”
So, what do you think? Would you want to read more? Or would you toss this book aside and reach for something else?
How in the heck do I always manage to find out about these blogfests ON the day they're happening? We need some sort of master list with all the 'fests in the blogosphere!
Anyway, no Monday Mixtape today. Instead, I'm gonna participate last minute in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Music Blogfest. I still get to share music, which is awesome!
So, without further ado (and very quickly since I have to be to work in like half an hour!), here are my top ten favorite songs:
10. Moon River - Audrey Hepburn/Henry Mancini
As a hardcore Audrey fan, it would be a sin to not include this song. This is a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's. If you haven't seen it -- WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? 9. There Goes the Boy - Cyndi Thomson. I can't find a video for this song, but it's such a bittersweet story about a girl's first love. The lyrics are here 8. Fragile - Delta Goodrem
Heartbreakingly honest lyrics, gorgeous vocals...gah! I love it! 7. My Immortal - Evanescence. It doesn't get more haunting than this. 6. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls. Love the lyrics. 5. Break Me - Jewel
You guys sensing a theme here? I love me a good, honest ballad. And Jewel's lyrics are just so open and honest. 4. Plane - Jason Mraz
This is the song that made me buy Jason's Mr. A-Z album. I was super bummed upon discovering the album version is a big piano ballad. While it's gorgeous, I love the stripped down acoustic version the best. 3. What I Cannot Change - LeAnn Rimes.
You all already know I adore LeAnn Rimes. This song is so beautiful and honest. And it's become my mantra for life. 2. Vanishing - Mariah Carey
This is Mariah at her best. The vocals on this song are smoking and the lyrics are gorgeous! I want old school MC back!! 1. Me & Bobby McGee
I'm partial to the LeAnn Rimes recording of this song, since she introduced me to it. But Janis is amazing and this song is just sooooo good! I love the line, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
Gah! That was HARD! I feel like I should have another list of ten for honorable mentions! Songs like Terrified by Katharine McPhee or Addicted by Kelly Clarkson or Cruz by Christina Aguilera or Happy by Rachel Williams or...I should probably stop. I could go on for days.
Alright, I'm off to take a peek at everyone else's entries before work. Make sure you guys all do the same. And have a great Monday!
Here is an overview of my space. I put this desk together all on my own last winter, after NaNo. It's kind of cluttered with various inspiriational bits. The pink and purple blanket on my chair, my mom made for me. I love it.
Here's a shot of my cork board. Various writing quotes and my winner's certificate from last year's NaNo. The blue question mark man is a Jason Mraz sticker for the song Mr. Curiousity, which he wrote about Writer's Block.
A shot of the shelf on my desk. To the left is the plot bunny I found at a thrift store. He's cardboard and hollow inside, but I thought he was pretty cool. I've got a bunny pencil holder and a dinosaur with bunny ears, too. The book is last year's NaNo novel. I am so ridiculously proud of it, even though the cover didn't turn out exactly as I wanted. I promised Dana she could design this year's cover.
A close-up of the other board I keep on my wall. It's filled with various inspirations. As you can see, Audrey Hepburn is a big one. I like to think of her as my muse. Sweet and doe-eyed and soft-spoken, but capable of saying just the right thing to kick your butt into action. Jason Mraz in the upper corner, a sweet note from Dana on the shamrock in the lower right. My grandma is next to that, then a few concert tickets. The lottery ticket is from Dana, too. It's a losing ticket, but she cleared the words NOVEL and MINOR. She handed it to me and said, "Your issues are minor, write the damn novel." Surprisingly, it's pretty great motivation.
And last, but definitely not least, a shot of my bookcase. It's not super organized, but it makes sense to me. Two shelves' worth of writing books and a shelf of the classics. The rest is a mix of my all-time favorites and to-be-reads. Scattered throughout are various bits of inspiration. Again, Audrey. A stuffed pig on top. Snoopy with a typewriter.
And that about sums up my writing space. It's kinda cluttery but I love it! Can't wait to check out everyone else's!
Now onto the Monday Mixtape. Here are a few songs off my NaNo Playlist:
Bon Jovi, because my main character, Tierney, has a thing for 80's hair bands.
The Dixie Chicks - I Can Love You Better. Because Tierney is in love with someone who's in love with someone else. And she really does believe she can love him better!
Sara Bareilles - Between the Lines. This song is so heartbreaking and I think it captures perfectly the moment Tierney finds out her love is marrying someone else.
Now I must be off to crank out a couple thousand words before work. Wish me luck and good luck to all you other Wrimos out there!
I'm so excited to participate in my first blogfest! This one's hosted by the awesome Jen at Unedited. Basically, this is how it works:
Day One -- I'll post a snippet of my novel, sans physical description. You guys get to guess what my main character looks like, based purely on voice, action and personality.
Day Two -- I'll post a picture of what I believe my character looks like and announce who was closest.
Sounds fun, huh?
So, here goes. This is a clip from the novel I've been working on all year. Meet Mari:
“Mama, Daddy, I have something to tell you. You remember Tom, right? What am I saying? Of course you do.” Maribel Madigan straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath, staring straight ahead with narrowed, determined eyes. She could do this. “Well, the thing is…we’re not getting married after all. And…I’m pregnant.”
The last words echoed dully in the empty bathroom, sending shivers through Mari’s entire body. Could mirrors lie? she wondered, staring at the stark, scared girl reflected back at her. It wasn’t her. In fact, she didn’t even recognize this girl. Not her usual confident, bubbly self. That girl was long gone.
Who was she kidding? She couldn’t do this. With a frustrated sigh, she pushed away from the sink. Thirty years old and she was terrified to tell her family she was going to be a mom. How pathetic!
With a growl, Mari tore open the bathroom door and marched into the bustling diner outside. Like it or not, today was the day.
So it's half past midnight right now and I can barely keep my eyes open. It was a long day at work. A busy one. One filled with superior, grumpy people who thought it was perfectly okay to talk to me like I was an idiot. I love those days, let me tell ya.
Anyway, I've been working on my novel, despite my exhaustion. Last night, I made it to the weekly meeting of NaNo folks and I finally gave first person a go. I haven't quite decided how I feel about it. It's different, refreshing. For now. But I find myself reverting back to third person. Either that or I'll start writing in first person, present tense when the rest of the novel is in past tense. Mari, my main character, is developing a stronger voice with the POV change. That, I definitely like. Who knows if I'll keep it in first, but for now, it's given my novel just the right amount of energy after weeks of loathing and laziness. I don't think I've completely gotten over the "I hate my novel" phase just yet. Hate has turned into strong dislike. And I think it's got a lot to do with the fact that I've been trying to finish it since November. I just want to type "The End" and shove it into a drawer somewhere for a couple months, forget all about it while I lose myself in something new. I actually can't wait for that moment, which is why I keep pushing on. I NEED to get this thing finished!
I finished reading Water for Elephants last night. I loved it. I'll write my review soon. Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer are up next with Don't Look Down. I felt I needed something a little lighter after the book I was just immersed in.
I was reading some of the blogs I follow and came across this . If I had known about it in time, I would have loved to participate! Although I'm pretty sure my first page is shoddy and clumsy compared to some of the ones I read. I want to give a shout out to Julie at Silver Lining for her spectacular first page. This page is part of a novel that placed in the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and I, for one, can't wait to read it!
Alright, I should probably get some sleep. I've got another long day ahead of me tomorrow. Fingers crossed, I'll have some time and energy to write when I get home!