1:21 PM

Books Read in 2010 - January

I stole (borrowed with intent to credit?) the idea to keep a running list of all the books I read this year and to  share it with you guys (if anyone's reading that is). I consider myself a speed reader and if a book really catches me, I won't sleep until I finish it. January has found me a lot of great stuff to read, hence why I've got almost 20 books under my belt so far.

Please feel free to ask me questions about anything I've read or to add your own comments on whether you loved or hated a book. Also, I'm always *always* looking for suggestions, especially if it's a series. I hate for a good book to end!

Thanks to J. Koyanagi for the idea! Check out here list (and her blog) here !

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman (re-read)
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
Gregor the Overlander – Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane – Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods – Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Marks of Secret – Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Code of the Claw – Suzanne Collins
Once was Lost – Sara Zarr
Sweethearts – Sara Zarr
Story of a Girl – Sara Zarr
A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray
Rebel Angels – Libba Bray
A Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray
The Awakening (Vampire Diaries) – L.J. Smith
The Struggle (Vampire Diaries) – L.J. Smith
The Awakening – Kelley Armstrong
The Summoning – Kelley Armstrong
Rosemary and Rue – Seanan McGuire
Suite Scarlett – Maureen Johnson

5:23 PM


I've been trying to find a good list of all the different genres that exist in fiction writing these days. I keep hearing about ones I don't know much about, such as steampunk, dystopian and urban fiction. I'm going to comb the webs to find out what I can and see if I can put together a comprehensive list of names and a brief description of what each is. I dug a little and found a decent list via WikiAnswers.  I'm going to copy & paste the info here, but I'll also add the link because the fun thing about the Wiki article is if you double click on any of the words in the article, it will pop up a screen with a definition and more in depth description of the word.
I hope this is helpful to others and please let me know if there's something missing from the list.
What are Fiction genres

The usual categories of fiction (called genres) include the following:

  • Adventure - stories where there is an element of danger and risk. This category often overlaps the others, so that you have a fantasy novel with lots of adventure, or an adventure story with a mystery.
  • Comic or Graphic Novel - a fairly new category which includes the art as well as the story writing
  • Drama - the original term 'drama' meant stage drama, and was divided into comedy and tragedy - now we use the term to refer to any sort of fiction that ... well, that doesn't fit into any of the other categories on this page!
  • Erotic or Pornography - stories about sex
  • Espionage or Spy Thriller - stories about spies and international intrigue
  • Fantasy - stories that contain elements of what was once called 'fairy tales.' Fantasy stories deal with magic or supernatural abilities, magical or supernatural beings, or simply 'what if' situations such as alternate universes. Fantasy can be further divided into alternate universe, bangsian, celtic, comic, contemporary, dark, folktale, heroic, high, historical, juvenile, medieval, myth, prehistoric, romantic, steampunk, superhero, sword and sorcery, urban, and wuxia
  • Gothic - originally, this was just another way of saying 'horror,' but now the term is used to mean a story that combines romance and horror
  • Historical Fiction - stories set in the past and describing the events and characters' lives. This category often overlaps the others, so that you have historical fantasy or historical romance.
  • Horror - stories dealing with things that frighten us. Horror can be further divided into body-related (disease, mutation, mutilation, etc), holocaust, ghost stories, natural disaster, psychological thriller, and supernatural
  • Humor or Comedy - stories that make us laugh. Comedy can be further divided into burlesque, comedy of manners, farce, parody, satire, and sentimental
  • Medical - stories about the field of medicine and the people who work in it
  • Mystery - stories that contain a crime, puzzle, or confusing situation. Mystery can be further divided into cozy, detective (amateur, hardboiled, private investigator), medical, police procedural, supernatural, and whodunit
  • Poetry - rhythmic writing that deals with emotion. Poems do not have to rhyme, but they must be concise and emotional. Poetry can be broadly divided into epic, dramatic, lyric, narrative, and satirical. Specific poetry forms include acrostic, canzone, carmina figurata, cinquain, concrete, elegy, fixed verse, free verse, ghazal, haiku, jintishi, minnesang, murabba, ode, pantoum, quatrain, rondeau, ruba'i, sestina, sijo, song, sonnet, stev, tanka, and villanelle
  • Political - stories about the world of politics and the people who work in it
  • Romance - stories about love. Romance can be broadly divided into catogory (series) and stand-alone (single title). Romance subgenres include contemporary, erotic, historical, inspirational, multi-cultural, paranormal, romantic suspense, romantic science fiction, and time travel
  • Science-Fiction - 'what if' stories that are based on actual scientific fact. Science fiction must have some sort of logical science inherent to the story, or some sort of logical basis for what is going on. Science fiction can be broadly divided into hard (the science is the most important part of the story), soft (the characters are the most important part of the story) or social (the culture is the most important part of the story). Science fiction subgenres include alternate history, apocalyptic, biopunk, cyberpunk, dying planet, gothic, military, pulp, steampunk, time travel, space colonization, space opera, and urban
  • Short Story - actually, this is not a genre but a length. A work of fiction is called a short story if it has less than 7500 words in it - short stories can be written in any genre.
  • Stream of Consciousness - also called free-writing - unedited and spontaneous ramblings on any topic
  • Tragedy - stories that make us cry
  • War Fiction - stories about war and the military
  • Western Fiction - stories about the American Old West. Westerns are usually adventure fiction that is specifically set in this period of US history, usually (but not always) dealing with the western states and Mexico.

6:36 PM

Back Up

Just a note for all you other writers out there. Back up your work. Whether you are finishing your story or in the middle of editing it, back it all up somewhere. Hell, back it up to more than one place. Things happen and hard drives have a funny way of dying when you least expect it. I highly recommend  storing your work online somewhere. Now I don't mean copy and paste the whole of your story into a blog, but it wouldn't hurt to put a copy into Dropbox or onto Google Documents. I would even suggest emailing it to yourself if you use an online email client such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail.

If you do it often enough, then you can have copies to go back if you decide you don't like a revision you've done or if your computer/laptop dies (like mine did recently). It will allow you to have an up to date (or very close to it) version of your work to continue on instead of crying that your masterpiece is gone gone gone.

Head my warning folks. I'd hate to hear that all your hard work is gone when it could have so easily been avoided. Save those tears for some other heartbreak affair, OK?

4:51 PM

Most Anticipated YA books of 2010

This link was tweeted by a bunch of people today and it's definitely worth sharing as several of these books I'm uber excited to read. I'm sooo thrilled that so many YA books these days end up as trilogies or series. I love to see what happens to the characters and sometimes a good story just can't be contained in one book.

The link provides information the books and their due dates. This will give you time to read previous books if you have not yet picked them up.  I'm especially excited for the conclusion of The Hunger Games and the prequel of The Mortal Instruments.

Portland Books Examiner Most anticipated YoungAdult novels of 2010

3:09 PM

Teaser Tuesday

I figured if I'm going to get people interested in my WIP, I should post an occasional excerpt. That way you can 1) see my writing style 2) see if the story interests you 3) question me about things you may not understand 4) point out an error (be it plot related, grammatical, etc).  I will warn you that I have not done any serious editing yet so there are bound to be some errors. Please feel free to point them out kindly...or ya know, not so kindly if you're a bitch/bastard like that. I won't mind. Really.

So without further ado, I present you with an excerpt from the tentatively titled Red Dust (to note, this comes from very early on in the story):

    “Natalie Abigail Armstrong. Where the hell have you been?” came the angry voice of her brother Xavier. Natalie, who had been in the process of climbing the paddock fence to get back into the yard, stopped and looked in the direction of the angry voice.

    “Shit,” she muttered under her breath. It must be later than she thought. She sighed again and threw her leg over the fence landing lightly on the other side.
    “I’m waiting,” barked Xavier.

    “I was up on the hill,” she mumbled, “Sorry. I guess I lost track of time.”

    “That excuse is getting old,” her brother replied, “When are you going to finally get accustom to the time here?”

    “Well excuse me for not assimilating as easily as you!” Natalie replied hotly and stormed past her brother. She got to the front door where her other brother, Collin, was standing watching the exchange. Collin gave her a small smile and stepped aside so she could enter the house. She stomped through the small house and slammed the door to the washroom. Xavier sighed as he followed her past Collin and into the house.

    “She’s still having a hard time Xavier,” Collin commented to his brother while putting a bowl of salad on the table, “Her eyes were all red.”

    “I understand that,” Xavier replied, “but she can’t keep living in the past. This is our life now. She has to get used to Terra Nuevo and move forward.” Collin nodded in agreement.

    “I know, but cut her some slack. She’s a girl, a teenage girl at that, without a mother figure. Couple that with all that’s happened in the past two years and you’ve got to admit she’s come through better than most would,” stated Collin. Xavier hung his head and closed his eyes. He knew his brother was right. His sister was stronger than most girls her age and he knew he shouldn’t be so hard on her, but he didn’t know how else to deal with her. If only the others were here, they might better know what to do.

9:54 PM

The word of the day...

is rapscallion. I don't know what made me suddenly think of it, but I'm going to write it into the WIP.  I have several characters it can describe. I promise, you'll see it in there somewhere!

3:10 PM

Children's Fantasy

xkcd - comedy gold

9:02 PM

Judging a book...

I've done a lot of reading in between my writing lately. I need my little escape you know?  I've taken a lot of recommendations from others and have found myself very glad I have given these books a try. Why you ask? Because several of the books I had previously seen on the shelves in Barnes & Noble or Borders and have passed them by. Again you may be asking, but why writer girl? Why not give these great books a try sooner? Simply put, their covers did not catch my eye.  Yes yes I know you're sitting there shaking your head thinking, "Duh,you of *all* people should know not to judge a book by its cover." You're right, but hey, I'm only human! Certain images catch my eye while others make me have unfair preconceived notions about them. I know it's horrible and trust me, I'm happy that I've taken the recommendations at people's word, but it leads me to wonder about my own books should they ever make it to a shelf.  What draws people? Bright colors? Dark and mysterious? Photographs or artist rendered images? I'm sure it's different for everyone and I know people in the industry must research this kind of thing. I'll have to Google around a little and see if there are any statistics out there for the common (wo)man to look at.
All that being said, don't be like me people. Even if a cover doesn't grab you initially, pick up the book and read the blurb, otherwise you could be missing out on some fantastic literature! If that happens, don't say I didn't warn you...

10:51 PM

Breaktime is over!

I took some time off to do some reading and give my mind a break. I think it was well worth it. I re-read through the WIP and refreshed my memory on some of the minor details.  Things have been going swimmingly since. I did some great writing yesterday between shifts breaking the 76k word mark and writing an important scene. I ended up introducing two new important but minor characters as well

The end is drawing near. I can see it looming in the horizon, it's shimmering colors are calling to me daily.

"Come see me!"
"I'm exciting and interesting."
"I'm getting bored waiting for you!"
"Hurry it up already!!"

As you can see, it's getting quite impatient so I hope to be visiting it shortly. That will be a happy day indeed, until, that is, it's cousin "Edit" comes a calling.  I'm actually excited to edit for a change. I think I will be re-writing the whole opening scene as I feel it's quite weak. It'll be fun to see what I can come up with once the story is complete.

Stay tuned folks!