January's Over... Already?

Wow... this month just flew by.
And it was such a good month in SO many ways!

Writing:
- 6k of Perfection is my Enemy! (5k of it being written just this past weekend, lol!)
- 1,500 words written for the Dancing Through Life re-write
- Rough outline of my new dystopian thriller idea

I'm so excited as to how far Perfection is coming. It's total word count as of now is just under 45k. When I began, I had about 70k in mind for a word count. I'm just about 2/3 of the way through! My goal is to have a completed draft by April, but maybe it will happen sooner.

Reading: Nine books. :D
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Elixir by Hilary Duff
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (Re-read)
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Re-read)

I'm going on a Borders run ASAP. Preferably tomorrow... but we might have snow :\
I need to get my hands on a copy of Delirium... ah I've been waiting for months! Other books I plan on reading are Linger (the sequel to Shiver), Matched by Allie Condie, Across the Universe, Beastly, and Reincarnation, just to name a few. :D

School: THE SCIENCE FAIR IS COMING TO A CLOSE. YESSSSS! The biggest stress in my life is just about over!

Dance: I'm convinced that my jazz competition dance is the greatest dance ever. We're doing it to Let's Get Loud by J-Lo, and it's pretty awesome :D

THE TREEHOUSE GANG
The group blog I'm a part of had it's introductory week :D
Today is Launch Day's Eve, and tomorrow we have our official launch, the theme of the month being paranormal! So if you haven't checked us out what are you waiting for? Click the adorable badge on my blog and it will take you there!

How was your month? Did you reach your goals?



Photobucket

My First Experience with Jane Austen

So I had my first reading experience with the classic novelist Jane Austen with Pride and Prejudice. My friend loves this book, and I've read so many books today with references to the classic, so I figured I ought to give it a go.

I liked it, I really did. I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would. In my head, I set this story up to be the greatest book in the world, and was slightly disappointed in the end. It was still great though, and a book I'd recommend to anyone!

I think what struck me the most, and what's the best quality of the novel was the complexity of it for the time period it was written. I mean, it was published in 1813. Almost 200 years ago!

Elizabeth was a wonderful main character. She's so opinionated and well-spoken, you can't help but love her. Strong female characters like her just weren't written back then, and reading the witty prose was so refreshing.

What I enjoyed the most was the slow developed, complex romance. While, in my personal opinion, the plot dragged at points, I loved how it's not a love-at-first-sight situation, like so many novels were that were written in Austen's time.

What bothered me the most while reading was this, the lack of paragraph breaks. Sometimes, it would go for two to three pages without a single break in the page! I pushed through it, though I wanted to gouge my eyes out at points. Also, some of the old language was difficult, but nothing I couldn't get through, as a lot of the meanings were common sense based on what they were talking about.

I have to say I was very impressed with the movie. Keira Knightley did a fantastic job as Elizabeth! Sometimes the thick old English accents were hard to understand... but it didn't bother me enough to not enjoy the movie. I love how they'd quote the book exactly in a lot of scenes. All the actors/actresses did a brilliant job.

One thing I couldn't decide was if the Mr. Darcy was cute or not... I don't know. LOL. My friend agreed with me when I brought it up.

One thing is that it was a pretty hard movie if you didn't read the book or had interest in it. My twelve-year-old sister tried to watch it with me and fell asleep. Haha!

Overall, I thought this was a great read AND watch. Bring on the Jane Austen. I think I might try Sense and Sensibility next. We'll see.

Have you read any Jane Austen? What did you think?


Photobucket

THE TREEHOUSE GANG IS OFFICIALLY UP AND RUNNING!

Remember that group blog I mentioned? Well folks, it's up and running at last.
Come join me and four of my online BFFs at The Treehouse Gang: A Site for Writers and Readers of all Ages.

This week is mainly an introductory week. Next week you'll learn about all the gang members. Our official launch is Februray 1st with the theme being paranormal. Me and my fellow gang members will be giving you a great post everyday. We have fun topics of discussion, as well as giveaways + contests.

The best part about this blog is it's interactive. We have weekly themes and we want you to send us your work to be posted on the blog and reviewed!

There's much more information about all this fun stuff in the welcome post of the site.
So what are you waiting for, go check it out and follow!

With interesting posts and an amazing design (thanks to the lovely Evie!) we are so excited to be bring this blog to you. Just click the picture, and you will officially be in on the action. :D






Photobucket

Those Feel-Good Movies.


We all have those movies. The ones we could watch a million times, yet they never seem to get old. The movies that make you go Aww! by
the end and have you wishing life was that great.

Well, today I had a movie marathon... and it got me thinking. Most of these movies that I love so much aren't current movies. They're all late 90's early 2000's. Which leads me to think that the majority of today's movies aren't so great.

Beginning of the 21st century mo
vies were more original in my opinion. Today, so many movie's are adaptations of books. Like they ran out of ideas or something. Don't get me wrong... if it's a good adaptation, it's fine with me. But let's face it, most of them aren't.

Let's face it, about 1999-2005 owns when it comes to Rom-Coms. Many of my favorite movies fall into this category.

10 Things I Hate About You.
Otherwise known as the best movie I've ever seen. How could anyone not love it? And mmm Heath Ledger. RIP, you brilliant actor. I'm going to keep my talk of this movie brief or else I'd be rambling all day. Basically, EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE.

Legally Blonde.
Reece Witherspoon is amazing in this movie. I watched the first and second one today for the first time in a while, and I remembered how much I loved it. I'm also familiar with the musical. "Omigod You Guys" is constantly stuck it my head! A funny movie with such a positive message, it never gets old.

A Cinderella Story
I love Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murrey in this! A classic story with a modern twist that's done so well. I could watch it over and over. Super cute and super sweet!



What A Girl Wants
I love Amanda Bynes in this! And it's in ENGLAND.
Only one of the many places I want to visit someday. British accents!

How To Deal
Mandy Moore is one of my all time favorite actresses. Whatever she does is fabulous.

Well, this post turned into a brief rambling of my favorite movies. That's not all of them... not by a long shot! We'll have to categorize this as favorite rom-coms. Because we can't forget those Disney movies, a whole category of its own! And these aren't even all my favorite romantic comedies...

I'm such a movie junkie.

What are some of your favorites?

Photobucket

Updates On My Writing and My Breakthroughs.

I figured it was about time to give an update on my projects.
Especially when I'm having either a major or minor breakthrough with all three of them!
(I was in this writing funk for a while, but now the tough thing is decided what TO write.)

Dancing Through Life
First I'm going to talk about my biggest and most exciting breakthrough... Dancing Through Life! (Or whatever it will be called, since I'm strongly considering changing the name.) I haven't touched this piece since I got my HarperCollins review the first day of August. I needed a break from that piece, and took the tips the editor gave me as I dived into my second novel, Perfection Is My Enemy. I told myself that I would begin edits for DTL over my Christmas break, thinking that was SO far away at the time. Christmas came and went and I still didn't touch it, instead working on Perfection.

This past weekend I decided it was time to pull it out. I opened it, looked over parts, and realized that it wasn't as good as I thought it was. It wasn't so much as the writing itself... it was more like flaws in the plot. I began this novel when I was 13, and looking back I do believe it was good for my age. Now that I'm getting better and pickier... I realize that my book wasn't ready for HC to read like I thought it was.

I was thinking of ways to make it better. Scenes to take out, things to add in, characters that should be developed further. And then, all of a sudden, this idea came to me. It involves a MAJOR plot change (that I'll reveal in a later post, once I write more) but I think it will add so much more to the story. My plans will take away from a huge element, basically turning DTL into a new story... but I think it will be better. I've already written 2k of the new first chapter.

I will reveal one detail of the new storyline: Chloe is going to have a boyfriend to begin with. He's not only her boyfriend, but her dance partner as well.

While this is significant on so many levels, keep in mind that this is not the biggest change coming.

I'm so excited for this much needed breakthrough, and love getting back into Chloe and Jake's heads. I miss them more than I thought. :D


Perfection is my Enemy
I'm super excited as to how this story is panning out. I feel like writing is stronger, and the characters and plot are more realistic than the first draft of DTL by far. Being inside Colby's crazy head is so much fun. And I LOVE Max.

I just hit the 40k mark with this book, a little over the halfway mark. I'm shooting for a length of around 75k. Over my break I wrote two chapters and edited two. My goal is to have a completed manuscript by April (high hopes.)

I'm so happy that the romance element is beginning to come into play. It's still a subplot, but I love that I can begin to write cute moments between Max and Colby. Like this one that happens in chapter thirteen.

“Come on,” he said, holding his hand out. I took it immediately, without even thinking about it. He pulls me up with more force than I expected. I stumbled forward, but he put his hands on my waist to steady me. When I looked at him he gave me a small smile.

Then I saw a lighthearted smirk.

“Let’s dance,” he said.

“You’re kidding right?”

He pointed at himself. “Does this face look like I’m kidding?”

“Hmph, I didn’t know you could dance,” I said. He grabbed my hand, lacing his fingers through mine. I felt my heart rate quicken.

“Oh, no. I’m an awful dancer. But who cares?” He let go of one hand and twirled me clumsily.

“I’m not dancing,” I said, trying to push him off.

“Too bad, you already are,” he said.

We took a couple steps to the left. He twirled me again and then dipped me.

“This is ridiculous, Max. There’s no music.”

He shrugged. We did that weird side step thing that seems to only look good in movies.

“Ow!” I said, laughing when he stepped on my foot. I looked up at him and our eyes locked. His eyes were so intense. Looking into Max’s eyes, I felt a twinge of hope.

“Okay, that’s enough dancing for you,” I said.

“I don’t think so,” he said, picking me up and spinning me around. I felt so silly. Okay, so maybe this was fun. But I’d never admit that to anyone.

I decided to let myself enjoy the moment. Because knowing me, I’d just find a way to ruin it. I’d let Max win for now, So I wrapped my arms around his neck, and we danced – if you could even call that dancing. What we were doing fell more into the category of swaying.

This was the first time I danced with a guy, real dancing. Not the homecoming dance Jess made me go to in ninth grade where random seniors would come up and grind on you. No, this was real, meaningful, who-cares-if-there’s-music-or-not dancing. And despite myself, I loved every second of it.

“Thank you,” I said. The words just came out, without meaning to. But I meant it.

He looks at me, almost surprised. But he understood. Max was one of those guys who just saw everything clearly, and it was effortless. So without even asking what I’m thanking him for, he just said, “You’re welcome.”


It makes me want to go write more. Right now.


And finally, there's Blissnorant.
Ah, my dystopia piece. I'll keep this brief. I was in a 6k funk with this one for a while. But I'm slowly coming out of it, and I have an idea that will hopefully produce a chapter or two this weekend. I'm hoping to hit the 10k mark by February 18, my one year InkPop anniversary. I'll devote a whole post to this novel as I get closer to getting ready to post.


That's about all in my latest writing endeavors.
I'm going to go make hot cocoa.
Peace.
Photobucket

I Miss Rose and Dimitri Already...

I just finished the conclusion of the Vampire Academy series.
And oh my God, I don't even know what to say.
Except for the fact that I LOVE it and that everyone should read it.
I feel like a piece of me is gone now that they're over.

I began the series a little less than two weeks ago, based off the high recommendations from some of my friends. I will admit I was skeptical at first, ever since Twilight, anything "Vampire" has had a bad stigma to it. I soon found out that these two series aren't even comparable.

Rose is the most kick ass main character I've ever read in my life. Her voice is so much fun to read. She can be so bitingly sarcastic, and will come up with the most amazing comebacks on the spot. (Something I wish I could do. Yeah, I come up with great comebacks.... AFTER the fact!) She was strong, so strong, yet still vulnerable. I think that best part was that when I was reading, it was like Rose became a part of me. I laughed with her, I cried with her.

And don't even get me started about how much I love Dimitri.

I feel myself stumbling over lack of words here. I have too much praise for this series. What a storyteller Richelle Mead is. The plot kept getting bigger and better, and you could see the development of the characters throughout each book.

Another thing Richelle Mead does really well is use our emotions and play off them. Everything could be just the way we want it at one point and then BAM this huge plot twist is thrown at us. And it's never what we want it to be, and we're all heartbroken. But everything she did NEEDED to happen. It made us keep reading on, because at that point we're so invested in the characters, and we feel as though they're real people... so we have to know what the hell just happened?

In some ways there are those classic age-old themes. Forbidden love, good guys vs. bad guys, but then again it's different from anything I've ever read.

It's annoying how they get that vampire stigma too, especially since when reading, it's SO easy to forget that they're vampires to begin with. Mead made the Moroi and Dhampirs just so HUMAN, it's too easy to forget. It's only remembered when you see how evil the Strigoi are. But honestly, the whole vampire aspect felt so minimal to me.

I can't reiterate enough how much this series has impacted me. I can only wish that someday I can write something half as good.

I already miss Rose and Dimitri... as well as Lissa, Christian, and Adrian.
I'm sensing a reread in the next few months.
And I'll be anxiously awaiting the spin-off series!

I'm done rambling now.
*Walks away in awe.*

Photobucket

Happy New Year! Reflection of 2010 and Looking ahead to 2011

All things considered, 2010 wasn't a bad year... True it wasn't the greatest, but I'm going to focus on all the positive things that happened in my life this past year.

In 2010 I...
-joined InkPop, where I found a base for my writing.
-got my book Dancing Through Life read by a HarperCollins editor.
-went to the west coast! California I love you!
-read 70 different books
-started two new books
-made some AMAZING friends through writing. Evie, Andrea, Laura, Morgan, and Sharon, my facebook messaging buddies... you guys are the best!
-started high school
-met some awesome people through student council,
where I'm vice president of my class
-began blogging

Goals For 2011

Blog: Having a posting schedule, and staying consistent. I want to get my followers more involved. How hard is it to click a reaction button that the bottom of the page? Answer: not hard at all, so click it! I want to grow my following base as well. Can I get 100 follows by the end of 2011? We'll see...

Writing: First of all I want to finish the draft of Perfection is my Enemy. It's standing at about 40k, and I'm hoping to add at least another 25-30k on there by this summer. Also, I want to get my dystopia piece titled Blissnorant to the 10k mark b
efore Feb. 18th, my InkPop anniversary. There's also a few minor projects and short stories I'd love to expand on. And of course, there's the editing that has to be done to Dancing Through Life.

Reading: I'd love to read more this year, if that's possible! Last year I read 70 different books, and I'm hoping to make it to 100 this year. I want to find myself picking up something I wouldn't normally read and end up loving it. I want to find more books with immersing and strong main characters.

Dance Goals: Perfect my switch leap and fuette. That's all I'm asking for!

Personal Goals: Be more social! It's the same thing every year. I've gotten better I swear. Movies and hanging out with friends are happening more and more often. As much as I'd like to sit at home writing, I love spending time with my f
riends and want to do so more!

Something to look forward to in the coming months: The Treehouse Gang Blog!
I'm a part of this fabulous group blog that will soon grace the world, The Tree House Gang! This blog will consist myself, and 4 of my best online friends, and we'll be talking about all things Young Adult. The lovely Evie at Peace, Love, and Books is doing the layout, and it's looking pretty great. Everyone has a little mini-me. Look, here's mine!

Pretty cute, huh? Stay tuned for more information about this blog. I'm pretty excited for it!

Happy New Year, and here's to hoping that 2011 will be the best one yet!

Photobucket