Monthly Archives: June 2014

So…100 Posts…That’s A Pretty Big Deal

100th Post - WOOT! WOOT!So, this is my 100th blog post.

My first post was September 8, 2013.

That means, I’ve been a blogger for 9 months and 17 days. That also translates into 290 days or 41 weeks & 3 days (I could break it down even further by saying that’s around 6,940 hours, is equivalent to almost 417,600 minutes or even converts to near 25,056,000 seconds…but that would be sort of obsessive. Right?).

When I do the math, that averages out to be around 2 ½ posts a week. In truth, I’m lucky if I squeak out 1 post a week. I like to keep my writing time focused on my fiction writing.

The bump in the average is all because of November and April. These two months I posted (almost) every single day. November was ALL updates on NaNoWriMo (I’m happy to say I’m in revisions on that book). I also participated in the A to Z Blog Challenge in April. That was a six day a week Pride & Prejudice job that I so enjoyed.

If you’d like to read any of my earlier posts, the Archive section on the right side column has the list organized by date. I plan to do a “favorites” tour at the one year mark, but there was no way I could just skim over the fact that I’ve written 100 POSTS!

I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Thanks to the folks who’ve been sticking it out since the beginning and those who’ve just found me.

Take Care,

Leanne

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A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray

Delacorte, 2003

great_terribleWhen I started reading the inside jacket of A Great and Terrible Beauty I thought, “Oh this is going to be like The Little Princess.” We’ve got a Victorian girl raised in India who starts attending an English boarding school full of hateful people. The protagonist, Gemma Doyle, is sixteen so maybe it was going to be The Not So Little Princess.

I was wrong.

This book is more of a dark paranormal Victorian gothic novel. There is nothing sweet about it. But, it is charming.

Gemma gets her birthday wish of returning to England fulfilled in a rather rude manner. Her mother dies. To make it worse, at the moment it happens, Gemma has a vision of her mother killing herself instead of succumbing to the dark force that tried to use her.

Happy Birthday Gemma!

So Gemma ends up at the stuffy Spence Academy for Girls with a dowdy roommate and a clique full of mean girls to contend with. The visions keep coming, a handsome young man from India warns her to control them and she blackmails her way into the popular crowd.

It’s the friendship with the other damaged girls that get this story rolling forward. Once Gemma learns to use her visions to transport herself and her three friends to an alternative world, they all work to become who they want to be outside of the confines of England of the day. Sort of, Girl Power when girls had no power.

I really enjoyed the book and Libba Bray’s writing style. The story was very visual. Engaging. It kept me thinking about the girls long after I closed the cover.

You can find out more about A Great And Terrible Beauty, the remaining two books in the “Gemma Doyle Trilogy” or Libba Bray’s other writing at her website: libbabray.com

 

Be warned…she’s got a sense of humor.

 

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Categories: Book Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Adults Should Be Embarrassed To Eat Applesauce (or Read YA)?

(Read below to hear me compare Rainbow Rowell & John Green’s YA writing to applesauce – OR – my take on the recent article that told adults to feel shame for reading YA – Thanks, Leanne)

ForAS

“Eat whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re eating was made for children.”

(quote from the article in question – sort of)

 

In an “article” that came out last week, the author made it clear that she has put away childish things. Applesauce, that deliciously satisfying and quick to devour food, just isn’t how adults are supposed to be eating apples. According to her, we should only be biting into the thick skin of the mature apple and chewing the delicate intricacies that could never be found in the pleasurable applesauce. Grown-up teeth can do better than eat applesauce.

Well, I disagree. Applesauce might be meant for the young, but why should we feel bad if we indulge now and again? Or even every day?

rainbow-cups2_Applesauce is delicious.  Just like regular apples, it comes in many varieties from the super sweet to the down-right savory. You can get it in huge containers and even in quick to enjoy packets that fit easily in a backpack or purse. Plus, applesauce is chuck full of good things for everyone, young and old alike.

as-pouchesGranted…applesauce is not the same as eating an apple. The peeling alone counts for more fiber and bulk than you get in applesauce, but who is saying WE CAN’T FEEL GOOD ABOUT ENJOYING BOTH (besides the article)? I’ve been doing just that for a very long time and any pleasure I’ve gotten out of eating applesauce has never taken away from my pleasure at eating a whole apple.

green-jarThe thing that burns me the most is that the author picked apart some really amazing brands of applesauce (The ones created by Rainbow and Green are a couple of my favorites). Some varieties more closely resemble the realistic essence of the apple, but if you want to eat applesauce with different amounts of spices…go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t.

I’m working on perfecting my own applesauce. Every day I try to stir up some magic that will make my variety stand out amongst the others. It’s my applesauce. I’m proud that I create it and proud that I enjoy it.

I guess what I’m really saying is that telling adults that they shouldn’t feel good about eating applesauce is as ridiculous as telling them that they should be embarrassed about reading Young Adult books.

 

Now THAT would have me laughing my head off.

If you must, you can read the article here.
I-Eat-AS

Share the Applesauce LOVE

 

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Categories: Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Juggling Ideas

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Click image to visit the IWSG Linky List

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a great group of writers who post writing insecurities and/or triumphs on the first Wednesday of each month. It’s open to all writers, so feel free to join.

The June 4 blog hop is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and C. Lee McKenzie, Tracy Jo, Melanie Schulz, and LG Keltner! Please visit their blogs and give them a hearty THANK YOU!


I  currently have two completed manuscripts in first draft form. They are books in a series, the first of which took me several months (by several, I mean many) to complete. The second was the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo this past November and December. A third book to follow these is in the works, but hasn’t been drafted yet.

In late January an idea for a new book (and subsequent series) woke me out of a deep sleep and demanded to be outlined. For the better part of a week I put pencil to paper trying to make this story work. When I was done with that, I couldn’t put it aside. So I started writing the first draft of this book. It is my current WIP.

That left the other two books I drafted sitting alone on a shelf. To make matters worse, ANOTHER story idea has found its way into my mind. I feel like a juggler…and trust me; this is not how I normally work.

juggling-ideasI know, in my heart, that I need to focus on just one story/series: draft it, draft it again, edit it, edit it again, share it with compatriots and continue editing until there is no question it’s the best it can be.

What I would love to hear from my fellow writers is how you pay attention to the task at hand and not let those new ideas distract you from getting the writing done. I hope I’m not the only one with this sort of problem.

 

 

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

Dutton Books, 2012

The_Fault_in_Our_StarsI don’t feel I need to write a recommendation for The Fault In Our Stars. If you enjoy YA and don’t live under a huge rock, you likely know all about this book and the box of tissues you should buy along with it. I’m ONLY writing this because I want this amazing title in the Recommendation section of my blog. That and because it’s timely. The movie comes out on Friday people.

John Green’s writing has the wit and charm of someone who has spent their life making smart people laugh. Plus, he gets into his characters and makes them real. He crammed all this wit, charm and realness (word?) into his protagonist Hazel Grace Lancaster.

Hazel is a sixteen year old girl that classifies herself as a cancer kid. She’s resigned to the fact that she’s dying. There is no way around it. Imminent death is the focus of her life…until she meets Augustus Waters. The romance that follows doesn’t take away her worries. It just makes her focus on the “life” part of her life more than she did before.

Besides the clever writing and moving story, here are the Top 10 Reasons I think you should read The Fault In Our Stars (and then go see the movie):

  1. Hijacked wishes

  2. Augustus Waters Fetish (it’s a thing)

  3. Side effects

  4. No eggs at breakfast

  5. The beautiful couple is beautiful

  6. Orange Picnic

  7. Infinities big and little

  8. Metaphoric cigarettes

  9. Fourteen to remember

  10. Okay? Okay.

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