Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Books I've Loved: Violent Ends

I'm not going to say I loved this book exactly.  I loved the idea behind it, and I loved parts of it.

You see, it's an anthology.  The basic premise is that 18 authors wrote chapters (or short stories) set around a school shooting.  Some of the characters have direct links to the shooter, others more peripheral.  Some of the stories are about the victims; some about the survivors.  Some of the stories are better than others.  I wasn't entirely convinced, for instance, about the story told from the POV of the gun...

I'm a little annoyed that this book exists, to be honest, because I wanted to write something like this.  A series of short stories, each from a different POV, all taking place in the 36 hours (or so) leading up to an event like this.  Looks like these authors beat me to it.

There are some great writers included here.  Courtney Summers, Hannah Moskowitz, Beth Revis, Steve Brezenoff, Shaun David Hutchison and Trish Doller to name a few.  It's definitely worth a look, if for no other reason than that it's a really interesting idea for a book.  Just don't expect to come away from it 100% satisfied.

But don't believe me.  Here's the blurb:

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn't a story about the shooting itself. This isn't about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim's viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties.

This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA's most recognizable names.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekly Goals 28-3-16

Well, I've done it.  My "final" read-through is done.  I made a few little tweaks and fixed one tiny inconsistency and now I'm happy enough with the book to send it to my agent.  So once I've tidied up the Word document (I write in Scrivener), I'll be sending it off.  Probably later on today.


April starts on Friday, and with it, Camp NaNo.  So I will start my new book on Friday and attempt to get 40K in before the end of April.  By then I'll hopefully be far enough into the story that finishing it in May won't be a huge challenge.

Until Friday though, I'm taking it easy.  Watching as much House of Cards as I can before my evenings become devoted to writing 6 days a week (or 5, if I'm really on top of things and can blitz through 2K a night).

What are your goals this week?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things 25-3-16

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

So what am I celebrating this week?

I'm halfway through my final (yeah, right) read through of my book.  It's going well so far and I haven't found any major changes I need to make.  I plan to finish it over the weekend so I can send the book off to my agent next week.

Thursday is the beginning of April and I'm starting a new book then.  I'm excited about my new story.  It deals with a lot of stuff that I feel very passionate about and I hope I can do those things justice with this story.

And long weekend!  Easter weekend is upon us, and I'm super excited to have 4 days off!

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Books I've Loved: Rat Girl

This is a great read and you don't have to be a fan of Kristin's music to enjoy it.  It probably helps, but having been a HUGE Kristin fan for over 20 years, I can't really speak from experience.

What I loved the most about this book is how Kristin's voice flows through it.  As a performer, she's always been a great storyteller.  I remember a fantastic show she did here when she released her first solo record where she sat on stage and told stories about her life, occasionally singing a song in a way that punctuated the tale she'd just spun.

This book reads like that concert.

And what a fascinating life!  From her friendship with an aging Betty Hutton to the hell of performing when you're not yourself on stage, this book delves deeply into a place, a time and one woman's experience of it, often through a filter of her own bi-polar disease.

It's a fascinating, poignant and often very funny story.  I recommend it most highly!

But don't believe me.  Here's the blurb:

The founder of a cult rock band shares her outrageous tale of growing up much faster than planned.

In 1985, Kristin Hersh was just starting to find her place in the world. After leaving home at the age of fifteen, the precocious child of unconventional hippies had enrolled in college while her band, Throwing Muses, was getting off the ground amid rumors of a major label deal. Then everything changed: she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found herself in an emotional tailspin; she started medication, but then discovered she was pregnant. An intensely personal and moving account of that pivotal year,
Rat Girl is sure to be greeted eagerly by Hersh's many fans.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Goals 21-3-16

Ooops!  I forgot to post my weekly goals post yesterday.  How bad of me is that?

Anyway...  Nothing huge this week.  I'm about half-way through my final read-through of my MS and I'm not picking up anything huge to fix.  So far.  Not sure if that means I've managed to write something okay, or if I can't see the suck anymore.

Once I'm done, I'll send it to my agent and I'm sure she'll let me know.

Other than that, I've been thinking about my April Camp NaNo project and trying to get the various parts of that into shape.

And trying to enjoy my freedom from the desk while I have it for a few more days.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things 18-3-16

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

So what am I celebrating this week?

I got my CP's notes on my final chapters and have made a few little changes to the end of the book to incorporate them.  Now it's time for my final read-through and polish.  I hope to get that done by the end of next week, so I can do the second final read-through and polish the following week.  You know final never means final really, don't you?

I've finished the beta-read I was doing for a friend so can have the weekend off to have fun.  I won tickets for the whole family to go to a preview screening of Kung-Fu Panda 3 on Sunday which my oldest son is quite excited about.  My youngest is on school camp until this afternoon and doesn't know about it yet.

What are you celebrating this week?