Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the year post

I wasn't going to do one of these, but I've been lazy and absent lately so I figured I might as well.

2009 was a mixed year for me. Writing wise and personally.

Even though I'm not quite where I want to be when it comes to writing, I did start working at it more this past year.

I don't like looking back in the past, so instead here are some personal and professional goals for the coming year.

1. Get my own apartment. I'm nineteen years old and still living with my father. Now, that might not seem too bad for some of you, but after living on my own for a year it's really hard living with a parent again.

2. Finish up high school. By this summer, I'm going to be a goddamn high school graduate if it kills me.

3. Finish all three drafts I started in 2009. For VDGP, that shouldn't be too hard. That story still speaks to me the most. College For Witches, on the other hand, needs to be totally ripped apart and redone. TFA is going to need a lot of work as well.

4. Start at least one completely new story.

5. FINISH NANO! Nano has defeated me two years in a row and I won't stand of it again.

6. Read 100 books, which is only 20 more than I read this year. Shouldn't be too hard.

7. I have some fitness and weight goals for next year too but I won't go into detail there.

8. Post on here at least once a week.

I'm sure I have more goals as the year goes on. But even if I just reach a few of these, I'll be damn proud of myself. I hope everyone keeps checking in withe me and hounds me every now and then about these goals. Something about people I've never met before yelling at me motivates me strongly.

Anyone else have some goals for the new year?

Oh yeah. One more goal:

10. Spend more time looking at hot men, like Jensen Ackles. It just makes my day seem so much brighter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Tuesday, Another Teaser.

This scene is when the main villain comes into play. Enjoy.

My mouth opened to say something, maybe to give Chris a warning but I can’t seem to form the words. The complete and utter fear was back and nothing on my body seemed to worked.

“Well, aren't you going to welcome me back? After all, I left you some presents as a welcoming. Shouldn’t you repay me?” Dante’s voice was smooth and haunting. I started to shake and clutched Chris’ arms to me.

“Who the fuck are you?” Chris growled angrily. I gave him a hard squeeze in warning. The last thing we needed was for him to piss Dante off. He shot a questioning look down at me, his eyes full of anger. But when he saw my face, the emotion faded away rapidly. He could tell that I was terrified and it threw him off. He had never seen me like this and he didn’t know what to think or do. I tried to shake my head at him but couldn't manage it. I wanted to scream for him to run, to get away but couldn't.

Dante moved and my head snapped back to look at him. He grinned maliciously and answered with a bow, “I am Dante. You must be…Christopher. It is so good to finally meet you face to face.” My blood turned to ice when he said Chris’ name. How did he know? Had he been watching me?

Thankfully, Chris didn't respond. I think he finally realized who was standing in front of us and the fear had set in. His body went rigid and he grabbed my hand behind my back, gripping hard.

“Hmm. I can see I’ll be the one carrying on the conversation,” he slinked toward me and I cringed away. There was a flash of movement and his hand was on my chin, forcing me to meet his eyes. I whimpered and tried to pull away but he held me still. Chris shifted behind me, “Move and I’ll snap her neck,” The movement stopped. “Back away child. I wish to speak to my pet without you interfering.”

Chris hesitated, trying to decide what to do. Just listen to him. Run, Chris. Run. I thought fervently at him. After a moment, Chris dropped my hand and backed away, causing me to stumble. I had been leaning on him more than I realized; he had been practically holding me up.

“She’s not your pet,” Chris spat at Dante and I flinched. Dante’s eyes lifted off my face and stared at Chris. The coldness was gone from his eyes, they were positively on fire.

“I look forward to teaching you respect, Christopher. Unfortunately, the tough guys are usually the ones who break the easiest. Still, I will enjoy it no matter how short the affair will be.”

I think I fixed all the tense issues I was having. While I was writing this, I was reading a book written in pretense tense so it came sneaking into my own writing. Let me know if you see something I missed!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another 2010 Challenge!

That's right. This one is all about my favorite subject. Vampires! The details are below (Copied from Reading with Tequila) I'm going to go nuts and go for the Vampire lover. The three full series I'm going to read are:

1. Woman of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong (three down, six to go)
2. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (two down, two to go)
3. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Mar (two down, two to go)

Wish me luck!

Vampire Series Challenge
Hosted by MizB

For this challenge you will read according to your preferred level of participation. Choose ONE (1) of the following 4 levels:

Level One: Vampire Newbie
~ read Book 1 of three (3) different vampire series (for a list of series’ featuring vampires, see my All In Order blog, or check out Kathrin’s list here –but note that some of the ones she mentions may not be series books). So, for example, you could read: “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer (book 1 in the “Twilight” series), “Evermore” by Alyson Noel (book 1 of the “Immortals” series), and “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare (book 1 of the “Mortal Instruments” series). NO re-reads allowed for this level, as you’re supposed to be introducing yourself to new vampire series.

Level Two: Vampire Addict ~ Choose either to: reread 2 vampire series books you’ve already read; OR read 2 more books from a vampire series that you’ve already started reading. For example: if you’ve already read books 1 & 2 of the “Twilight” series, now go and read books 3 & 4. OR, if you’ve already read the whole “House of Night” series by P.C. Cast, go back and read 2 of the books from that series.

Level Three: Vampire Enthusiast
~ Read 6 books from any series featuring vampires as key/main characters. This can be a mix of different series, or you can read all 6 books from one series, or whatever.

Level Four: Vampire Lover ~ If you’re really feeling crazy about vampires, this is the level for you! Read 3 full series featuring vampires as key/main characters. Example: The whole “House of Night” series, the whole “Twilight” series, the whole “Vampire Academy” series, or whatever. Totally up to you. And, I don’t care if you’re re-reading them. So long as you read the whole series.

Other rules:

  • rereads are allowed, EXCEPT for Level One (Vampire Newbie).
  • ebooks & audiobooks are allowed
  • the challenge will run from January 1st through December 31st, 2010.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Road Trip Wednesday.

This is a weekly thing done over at YA Highway. They ask questions, people answer. This is the first time I've ever participated but I've been reading others for awhile now. I saw the questions and thought, 'What the hell?' and here we are.

Question One: What are the three best books you've read all year?

1.) Easily Atonement by Ian McEwan. It blew me away. It was the first book I read all year and I can still remember it perfectly. And I want to reread it more than you know.

2.) The Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clark. These books made me sad, angry, heated, passionate, happy, and every other emotion under the sun. I cared about these characters and wanted them to succeed, to be happy. I loved them all.

3.) Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton. Now, in all honesty, this may not have been in the top three best books I've read this year. But it was in the top three favorite. The Anita Blake series had dissolved into nothing but sex for the last few books. Don't get me wrong, I love a good sex scene as much as the next girl. But the series lost the danger, the action, and the thrill that kept me coming back. In this one, Laurell found her magic again. And I fell in love with this series all over again.

Question Two: If I could meet any author, alive or dead, who would I meet?

Laurell K. Hamilton. Her series was the first one that ever really hooked me. There had been books I liked in the past, but hers was the first I couldn't not read. I've read every book of hers except two, one that just came out and one that was her first one ever published. I'm buying Divine Misdemeanors ASAP and I'm starting Nightseer soon. I think I would die of giddyness if I ever meet her in real life.

Question Three: What books am I looking forward to in 2010?

There are a few people I've interacted with over at AW that I'm excited to read their new books. The new Anita Blake comes out in 2010 (I like Laurell K. Hamilton in case you didn't catch on yet). But mostly I just look for books as they come out. Looking at books that haven't been published yet just make me yell, "WANT NAO. CANNOT WAIT." (That's what she said.)

Well there you have it. It's been fun. I didn't think I'd have that much to say. Go figure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Teaser.

I'm really tired so I'm not going to explain the scene. I think you'll be able to understand it on your own. *Insert usual disclaimer about how rough the selection is.* Enjoy.

He stared at me for several moments before he broke, “I’m sure you have some questions for me.”

I lifted my eyebrows, “What makes you think that? It’s not like an evil vampire bitch just told me that you were involved with another evil vampire that killed my parents. Oh wait…”

He sighed and stared at his hands. “I know how you must be feeling.”

Something inside me snapped at this. Anger rose inside me, leaving a trail as hot as fire, and settled in my throat. I tried to swallow it but it burst from my lips and I shouted, “Really? You know what it’s like to relive your parents murder? You know what it’s like to not know if you can trust the person you love above anyone else? Really?” I was suddenly standing over him and I didn’t remember moving. My breath was ragged and I had to clench my teeth shut to stop myself from screaming.

Jay sat there completely peaceful. I had the sudden urge to strike him. My fist clenched in yearning but I forced it open. His total passiveness pissed me off more than him screaming back would have.

“Well?!” I demanded, placing my hand on my hips and tapping my foot.

“I wish I had a better answer for you then I do,” his perfect mask slipped for a moment and I saw the hurt in his eyes. I must have reacted because he turned from me to stare out the window. “I haven’t been lying to you. It’s always been the truth between us. Most of my life is a complete mystery to me. I get,” he made a gesture, “flashes. Flashes that don’t make any sense.” He looked at me again and the pleading in his eyes made my anger vanish. I sank down next to him. He immediately wrapped his arms around me pulled as close as possible. He buried his head in my hair as he clung to me. “I’d tell you in an instant if I knew anything about Dante. You know that. You know me.”

I stroked his hair and considered this. He was right. I did know him and, whether it was stupid or not, I believed him. I nodded, “You’re right. I believe you. But,” he pulled back at this, “maybe there’s some way to get your memories back.” He raised one eyebrow. “Zaynab might be able to break down the barriers that keep you from remembering.”

He pulled away from me completely as he thought. He was quiet for a few minutes before he spoke. “I’ll have to think about. Having someone dig in my brain like that… Well, let’s just say it worries me some.”

“I understand. It would frighten me too.”

“I didn’t say anything about being scared.”

I laughed softly. “You never admit to being scared but I know Jay-speak fairly well by now,” I nudged his side and he lifted his arm so I could cuddle against him. “It’s okay to say you’re scared, you know. At least to me.”

He scoffed, “You’re one to talk. Who do you think taught me the tough guy act?”

“I can totally admit to being scared,” he scoffed again.

“Gwen, I can count on one hand the number of times you’ve said that you were scared and still have fingers left over.”

I shifted uncomfortably. That couldn’t be true, could it? Had I become someone who couldn’t say how they felt even to the person they loved? “You’re exaggerating. I can and do tell you when I’m scared.”

He moved so I sat up. I felt his hands wrap around my forearms and he forced me to look him square in the face. “Alright. Tell me how you feel about Dante. About what we saw in the morgue today.”

My face hardened, “You know how I felt. You saw my reaction when the sheet was lifted.” For some reason, I couldn’t meet his eye so I focused on his nose.

He shook me softly till I brought my gaze up, “I want you to look at me and say it.” I stared angrily at him and he shook me a bit harder, “Say it.”

As I pulled myself from his grasp, my voice came out louder than I meant it to, “Alright. I’m terrified. I’m afraid that Dante will force me to relive my family’s murder over and over again until my mind breaks. I’m scared that he’ll finally finish what he started. I’m completely and utterly terrified. Happy?” I crossed my arms and glared at him.

His smile fell, “Not at all. I can’t imagine how hard this must be on you. And the last thing I want to see is you in pain.”

My lower lip started to quiver and I could feel the tears start to form behind my eyes. I bit down hard on my lip and dug my fingernails into my arm to try and contain them. Jay’s eyes filled with sadness as he pulled me into him. As soon as I was in his arms, the dam broke and the tears started flowing freely. The sobs weren’t far behind. Jay brought me completely into his lap and stroked my hair.

“It’s alright, love. It’s going to be okay,” his voice was soft as he repeated those words to me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Free books!

Need I say more?

The good folk over at YA Highway are giving away books to their devoted followers. Like me. Go over and check them out!

2010 Book Blogger Challenge

For 2010, I am going to try to read 100 books. When I was this post, I decided 'why not?'. The challenge is to read a certain amount of books from a list of over 200 books. A lot of them are on my 'to-read' list anyways. I think this is going to be lots of fun. I think I'll go for level 3 and read fifteen books off of the list.

Here are the ones I'm choosing:
  1. Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
  3. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  4. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
  5. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
  6. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
  7. The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
  8. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman
  9. The Shining - Stephen King
  10. Marked - PC Cast and Kristin Cast
  11. Invisible Monsters - Chuck Palahniuk
  12. Death's Shadow - Darren Shan
  13. Graceling - Kristin Cashore
  14. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collin
  15. Eragon - Christopher Paolini

List may be subject to change, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To Lori and Scarlett

(This blog refers to this blog and this blog)

*shakes head*
I'm disappointed in both of you. Shame.

Teaser Tuesday

Or Tuesday Teaser. Whatever. This is the dreaded dream sequence. (What? My MC has nightmares. Deal with it) Gwen is dreaming about her parents death. I know this scene needs a lot of work but I haven't been writing much lately so... rough and in need of lots fixing it is.

My mother raised her head weakly, “It’s going to be okay, baby.” Her arms were strung above her head just like my dad’s and her toes couldn’t even touch the floor. I wanted to believe her but the monster was too scary, too strong. How could it be okay?

He turned his attention to her, “Yes, lie to your daughter. Comfort her,” he stalked towards her as he stroked a knife I didn’t see him grab. “The mother and daughter relationship always astounded me. The absolute trust she has in you,” he turned and snarled at me. I tightened my arms around my legs as a small sound escaped me. I didn’t like it when he looked at me, “usually. Right now,” he moved behind her and placed his knife against her cheek. I shrieked and scrambled towards her.

I stumbled and fell to the ground, crying. My father was struggling against his chains and I could hear them rattle. “She doesn’t believe you. She thinks you are all going to die. And you know what,” he leaned into her and caressed her cheek. Dad screamed something at him that only seemed to please the monster, “she’s right.” The knife cut into my mom’s skin in a long cut. She called out in pain and my dad screamed again. I sobbed her name and reached out to her. The monster licked the blood from her cheek in a long stroke.

“Get your fucking hands off my wife, you sick fuck.” My dad was jerking against his chains, trying to reach my mother.

“Now, now. Such language in front of your little girl,” he tapped his chin with the knife, “How should I punish you?” A cruel smile spread across his lips. “I’ve got it!” His blade ran across my mom’s throat in a flash. I screamed as blood started to run down her skin. Her head fell forward, lifeless.

I ran to her, saying, “Mommy, mommy, mommy,” over and over again under my breath. I could hear my father calling out to me but he sounded far away. I reached my mom and started to shake her. “Mommy, wake up." I wrapped my arms around her waist and rested my head on her stomach as I sobbed. I could feel something warm dripping down onto me but I ignored it. Nothing felt real. And I knew it wouldn’t until I could feel my mother wrap her arms around me and tell me everything would be alright.

When sound returned to me, I could hear the bad man laughing and my father calling out to me in a broken voice, “Gwenie baby. Come to me. Come to me baby,” but I couldn’t release my mother. If I let her go, then she was really gone. If I dropped my arms, then she wasn’t coming back. Even as her blood dripped into my hair, I held myself to her as close as possible.

Before I knew what was happening, my back hit the wall hard and I crumpled into a heap, unable to move. I couldn’t breath and I couldn’t feel my legs. I could hear my dad shouting again but I couldn’t make out his words. After a while, I could move my head. I leaned my head back so I could look at my dad and see why he was screaming. When I saw him, I was screaming too.

The monster's laughter was louder than our screams. He was holding something medal and pushed into my dad again and again. It smelled like cooked meat suddenly and I could barley manage to roll over before I threw up all over myself.

“Kill me, just don’t hurt my little girl! Please! Please!” The monster smile frightened me so badly that it felt like my whole body was frozen. I couldn’t have moved even if I wanted to. The demon, yes I was sure by now that he was definitely a demon, stalked closer to my father and said something in his ear too quiet for me to hear. My dad’s eyes met mine and a tear slid down his cheek.

I opened my mouth to call out to him but he shook his head. He mouthed I love you, and I do the same. I knew what was coming before it happened and the tears started flowing freely down my cheeks once again. I closed my eyes as the demon raised the hot, metal rod. I heard a fleshy ripping noise and I knew my father was gone.

“No need to cry sweetheart. It will all be over soon,” the demons voice rang high in my ears as I jerked awake.

As a thank you for reading this (and just cause I like to look at him), I present to you:

James McAvoy. Cause you can never have enough McAvoy.
Absolute Write
AW Bloggers Unite!
AW Bloggers Unite!