Junishness

Happy July, everyone! I’m just sitting here trying to comprehend how the year can be
half over… Can anyone tell me what happened?? O_O

For me, at least, June kind of vanished in the blink of an eye — summer is flying, peoples! But here’s an update on some of my doings…

I can’t think of a single non-writerly/non-readerly thing of interest, besides doing a phenomenal amount of blogging in June including catching up on all my tags. Which I am extremely proud of myself for. Basically I’m an ecstatic blogger at this moment. But! Writing and books! And lists. Let’s have some lists because lists are awesome.

Writing

I did wriiiting! I’m so excited. Most of this year has been a slow arena in the writing world. I say arena because I halfheartedly wrestle my stories and they easily best me and then go sit in the shade and sulk without me. Which makes for a lonely writer… But! That changed in June because I was super inspired and ended up working on five different stories and pounding out 11k words! That may be small potatoes to some of the big writer folks out there, but for this little weakling, I find myself quite unusually proud of me.

  • 5k of that was working on a couple of lesser stories in the Kedran’s Wood series, messing with Tare backstory which is fun (Son of Kedran’s Wood [0.5], and Return to McAllistair Mansion [1.5, short story]). Like 500 words of KW2, The Secret of Kedran’s Wood… yes, that’s slow right now. But happening! Which is still good!
  • And between a random snippet and that writing dare I posted that I’m leaning toward fitting into The Other Half of Everything somehow… that’s about 1500 words on that story. It’s still in the snippet stage, but hey, I won’t complain if it gets some of itself written already. 😉
  • And most of all, I’m very excited about getting about 3.5k words of my short story Darkling Reflections written! I diiid hope to finish it in June but at least I wrote the middle part and now just have the final third to do. So. That’s kind of awesome.

Um… and such nitty-gritty details of what-I-wrote-and-words is probably is of no interest to anyone but me. Ahem. But ANYWAYS. I basically wrote 11,000 words of awesome in June and feel extremely happy and inspired. I also had a couple of epic ideas for fairytale retellings I plan to write and got some plotting notes down. So THAT’S always fabulous. 😀

I will totally have to post some snippets because AAALL THE WRITING.

Reading

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I wanted to read way more than that, but apparently I got a goodly amount of reading done all the same… Huh.

  • The Hobbit is a reread, naturally… and just as awesome as always.
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (finally), as well as Stargirl and Love, Stargirl (totally random), were all small and rather mixed-feelings books that kind of left me a bit torn going “meh”, though they did have their merits I suppose.
  • Perfect Scoundrels — I finally read the last Heist Society book! Which as always was awesome. Cleverness and Hale. Yes. The author totally must write more…
  • Wildwood Dancing and Illusionarium — I had complaints for both, but were generally amazing. Another Twelve Dancing Princesses book (still working on those!). And my first steampunk, so yay! …I feel like all I’ve been doing on my blog lately is talk about Illusionarium (without even talking about it really or reviewing it or anything. O_O). I will stop, I promise! Ahem…

Anyways, that’s the reading I got done. A fairly good month, I guess?

July Nightstand Books

Aaand it being the first Wednesday of the month, not to mention first DAY of the month, I can’t resist posting the stuff I hope to read in July — so here I am, linking up with the Nightstand Books meme as started by Jenelle and D.J. It’s usually the first Wednesday of the month, I thiiink…

Here’s what I want to read… though I have no illusions (arium or otherwise har har) about actually getting them all read this month. BUT I CAN TRY.

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AREN’T THEY SO PRETTY.

  • I’m STILL in Veiled Rose… I can’t believe it. But I’m trying to finish that soon. Poor Leo. *pets him*
  • Plenilune… Erm… Yes, I started it on Christmas, so I’ve officially been in this book for half a year now. IT’S. SO. BIG. I’m only 137 pages in, out of 659… I may cry. Ahem. However, it’s kind of delightful so far in its way, just verrry slow to wade through. *puffs and pants and puts on little-engine-that-could mentality* I think I can, I think I can!
  • And yes, I’m finally going to read The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because my bookclub is reading it. Every single person I know seems to have read and loved it and I’m always being told to read it. So I finally am going to, yay! I love stuff like that so I hope it will be awesome.
  • I don’t know if I’ll get to Out of Darkness Rising and Mist of Midnight, but I’ve been dying to read both of them for so long that hopefully I will… They just look so delicious.

Aaaand also some ebooks.

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See, that’s the problem with ebooks, they don’t fit beautifully on stacks on nightstands… *cough* BUT THESE ARE AWESOME ANYWAY, SO.

  • Yes, I’m ashamed to say I’m STILL in Chasing Shadows, which I do need to finish and review, but despite my slowness it’s kind of awesome anyways (WILL IS FABULOUS) and I’m working through it but it’s super long and I’m a very slow PDF reader, I fear…
  • Same with Five Enchanted Roses, which I’m SUUUPER excited and grateful to get to be an influence reader for Jenelle Schmidt’s entry, Stone Curse! *flaiiiil* Lookit that gorgeous. I can’t WAIT to dive into this. I’m very very excited. Expect a review on that sometime later this month too, hopefully!
  • And then of course there’s still that Twelve Dancing Princesses Collection I’m working through. So many! They are mostly super dark, whodathunk. XD

Random Bookish News

I just need to flail a bit about this: there is an official cover for Jill Williamson’s next fantasy book, King’s FollyRead the post. It’s the first book in the Kinsman Chronicles, which are kinda-sorta prequels to the Blood of Kings Trilogy (which I love. A lot).

BloodOfKingsTrilogyButton-1024x625

She’s been writing sci-fi and dystopian and contemporary spy stuff for awhile now, which are great but not FANTASY if you know what I mean… So the fact that there’s another Jill Williamson fantasy book coming out (albeit adult instead of YA) just kind of excites me. Now I just have to wait till next spring. Whyyy. The life of a bookworm is tough, you guys, let me tell you. *falls dramatically across couch*

Anyways enough of my babbling — Coverrrr!! ❤ (Books just become REAL when they have covers, you know what I mean?)

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Basically this whole post was about booooks. With a small side of writing. But what can I say. I’m very bookwormy these days. IT’S SUMMER AND SUMMER IS FOR READING RIGHT. I think I’m also now addicted to blogging. This may be a problem…

So that’s what’s up with me!

How about you?

Did you have a good June? Have plans for July?

Are you doing Camp NaNo??

(I’m not. *hides shamefully behind a tapestry*)

Also. IT’S ONLY FOUR MONTHS TILL NANOWRIMO. *drops bombshell and calmly walks away as if nothing happened*

Authorly Bucket List

To wrap up my week of tag catching up…

Tag Catch-Up Post #7 (or #8, depending on counting…) – THIS IS THE VERY LAST ONE I PROMISE.

So, a few months back, I was tagged by Sarah @ Light and Shadows for a new tag, created by Erin Kenobithe Authorly Bucket List Tag! (It is also, apparently, known as the the Stuff-I-Need-To-Practice-More-Slash-Stuff-I’d-Like-To-Be-Better-At Tag. But Authorly Bucket List is easier to say, doncha know…) Go check out their blogs, do! You won’t regret it. 😀

Okay, so the the idea with the Authorly Bucket List Tag (Original Post) is to list three to seven things you’re not very good at, and another three to seven you’d like to try.

Shivers, y’all. This looks awesome.

Let’s get this show on the road! (And I may have to steal a couple of your things, Sarah, since I have some similar problems… >.>)

Things I Need to Work On

Actually Writing
Um. Yes. This is my biggest problem. I don’t often actually sit down to write. I procrastinate about it like you wouldn’t believe, I spend a lot of time plotting and thinking and doing little nothings, and basically everything except actually writing. But whenever I try to solve this with goals, or with events like NaNo, it works okay for a bit but then I get major burnout. If I specifically try to write several days in a row, for instance, I get burnt out and sometimes take a couple more weeks to recharge. I tend to write in large bursts (large here having the smallish meaning of like 2k words) with sometimes a couple weeks between. Yeah, it’s bad. But if I’m inspired, I can pound out a whole bunch. So it just depends. I guess I need to get myself inspired and keep it that way, and develop a bit of discipline.

Villains
Ah, villains. They’re what makes the world go ’round — or at least the plot. Usually. I never figure my villains out enough. They like to be kind of flat. And my main problem is that I never know their motives well enough or figure out what their plans are/their timelines. They kind of conveniently do stuff whenever the plot requires it, and… Yeah, enough about villains, let’s move on. I think my villains just don’t interest me much because I don’t LIKE them. I don’t want to spend all this time with them and figuring out their “deal”. I don’t understand people who are fascinated with villains and antagonists. O_O I mean, if they’re lovable/redeemable, sure… But yeah. The bad badguys I just want to stay away from, which does not help my writing since they’re kind of necessary! I guess I need some help in the villain department.

Battles / Fighting
I kind of majorly fail at fighting scenes. I don’t understand the concepts of swordfighting etc., no matter how much I read/watch about it. Much as I would like to! If there is fighting, I will be generally vague about it and move on because… what even are you supposed to do with that? It’s even worse with full-fledged battles. I haven’t attempted to write a battle in years, and I know even then I was horrible at it. How do you do it? You’ve got to focus on mini fighting scenes with individual characters throughout (see above…) and also keep track of all the sides and flanks and attacks and retreats and who’s fighting who and I just get so confused. How do you juggle all of that and make it remotely make sense?? This is probably partially why I’m terrified of returning to writing Epic Fantasy after being so long distracted in the shallower territory of contemporaries… Speaking of which…

Fantasy
So, ever since my first Kedran’s Wood story (The Owl of Kedran’s Wood) kidnapped me and held me captive to work on the adventures of Tare and the Chess Club for the last few years, I haven’t done much in the way of working on anything Epic Fantasy ish, my first love. I sort of popped back to work on my Starrellia series a couple times, and of course wrote most of Heartseeker for NaNo, but the truth is I’ve been away from Epic Fantasy for a very long time and want to get back to it. Which brings me to my thing-I-need-to-work-on: FANTASY. My fantasy is not as imaginative and full of fantastical things as I would like. It just doesn’t often occur to me that I can do whatever I want, and instead I just blunder along with whatever’s right there at the forefront of my brain. What about dragons, fairies, enchantments, intriguing magicalness, totally unique new things…? All the possibilities! My fantasy seems to normally be fairly tame, and I think some exploring of possibilities would not go amiss.

Things I’d Like to Try

Fairy Tale Retellings
Yessss. I actually hope to accomplish this soon, since I’m (currently) planning on writing a Twelve Dancing Princesses story for NaNo this year… We’ll see how that turns out. But fairy tales are awesome, and I adore retellings and they are so fun to read. So naturally I’d like to try my hand at a few! I even recently put together an idea for an epic fairy tale mashup conglomeration, so that might happen someday. I’ve never done a retelling, so it would be interesting to see how to make it similar to the original tales but also fresh and new and… yeah, it sounds like quite a challenge, and one I’m very excited to try at some point.

Mind Reading / Telepathy
There’s something really fabulous about mind-things, somehow. Mind communication. Yummy. I’ve always found it interesting to read about, and seeing the different ways different authors do it… I’d like to try it myself someday because it would just be awesome. Now I just need to find a way to do it… But there are so many possibilities! Maybe it’s been done to death, but I don’t really care. I just want to try because it sounds so fun!

Time Travel
Like mind-reading, there is something awesome about time-travel. Or, specifically, Timeslip, which is the version that’s my favorite and tends to involve someone ending up in an older time period with some sort of magicalness involved, I think… As opposed to the sci-fi-ness of a time machine. It’s also much less predictable, more uncertain, which I like. But I’d also like to try a time machine story as well, which I have an idea for, including dealing with the question of how can people go back in time without changing the future/their present… Yeah, it kind of makes the head spin. Which is part of the fun. I don’t have a specific timeslip idea but I really would love to try it someday if an opportunity presented itself. The main problem with time travel stuff is I’d have to do all the research just as if it was a historical fiction book, the thought of which terrifies me. So… we’re shelving those ideas for awhile. 😉 (Unless of course, it’s time-travel in another world…! Which would solve the research problem. I’ve only seen this done in Diana Wynne Jones’s book The Crown of Dalemark and I ADORED it so so much!! So it can be done.)

Cons and Heisty-ness
I’ve recently become obsessed with reading and watching crimey-heisty things, as I call them. TV shows Hustle and Leverage, the Heist Society books by Ally Carter, White Cat and its sequels by Holly Black (despite their ickness). Even milder versions like National Treasure‘s subplot to steal the Declaration of Independence. I just can’t get enough of the Robin-Hood-like (or at least not entirely bad) con-artists and grifters and thieves, and all of the cleverness involved in a good heist/con, especially when it involves giving the badguys what’s due them. I’m an upstanding citizen, honest, but this sort of thing is fascinating to read about. XD There is also a sad lack of such things, especially in the book (YA especially) world! (If you know of any, either books or films or shows, pleeeease do tell me.) I would probably never be able to write a con/heisty story because my brain just isn’t clever enough, but the thought is there and if I ever dared, I would love to try.

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Sooo… There’s my authorly bucket list, or some semblance thereof! What is yours? I guess I should work on these… Slowly… Somehow.

Or… I don’t know, maybe I should throw all of that together and actually sit down to write an epically fantastical epic fantasy full of full-fledged battles and deep villains who time travel (by means magical, scientific, and otherwise), with heroes and heroines from fairy tale stories, who use mind communication and carry out brilliant heists and cons.
. . .
UM. Actually, I would totally read that because it would be awesome. O_O OH MY GOODNESS. *facepalm* I need to stop coming up with story ideas and write some of my current ones.

What have I done.

(This is why I should not brainstorm when my brain is asleep and susceptible to madness…)

*hastily sweeps new plotbunnies under rug, tramples them quickly, leaves a large and heavy safe on top to keep them down, and surreptitiously walks away whistling as if nothing happened*

And I Tag

Abi // Ashlee // Kelsey // Jenelle // Katie/Robyn // Claire // Any writers who want to.

But please!! Do feel free to snag this if it looks interesting! (And let me know if you do! I would love to read such posts. :))

I’m just trying to spread out all my tagging this week, otherwise EVERYONE would
be tagged with EVERYTHING and it would be exhausting. XD

So there’s the last of my tag catchup posts! *queue cheering* I will now leave y’all in peace. 😉

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Do any of you writers have problems like mine, or tips to overcome them?

What would you like to try in your writing? (Different POVs, steampunk, talking umbrellas…?)

ARE YOU GOING TO DO THIS TAG?

Do you know any good heisty books/shows??

Tell me all! Let the Authorly chatting begin! 🙂