Monday, February 29, 2016

Introducing An Unconventional Princess

Hey, everyone—Tara Tyler has a new book out in the world!

Jolissa is a contrary maiden who thinks an adventure will make her life better, until she's forced to go on one...

Jolissa: An Anti-Princess Story is available TODAY!

But the even-inventive Tara Tyler didn't stop there. The first two chapters (with the third on the way...) are available in storybook for on YouTube:

I love stories about unconventional, anti-princess characters. Especially when there are songs involved. I personally can't wait to read the entire story.

Congratulations, Tara!!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Well, here it is—the last week of February, and I'm still attempting to finish revisions. In theory, they were supposed be done at the end of January. As you've probably figured out by now, they were not.

I'm not sure why, but I feel this gif coming on...

And though I have crossed multiple items (well, like, ten things, anyway) off the "Unresolved Shit Deemed Too Much Work To Deal With The First Time Around" list, I continue to feel as though I am not making much progress. Or, you know, any progress.

It could just be that no matter how many things I cross off the list, there are still two big, big challenges looming...

1. Correct that one character's really wonky arc. I don't know what you were smoking when you wrote her scenes, but stop it and fix her story line. Fix it how, I have no idea, but you know, think of something, okay?


2. You know what, I think I may need to rewrite the ending to the whole damn thing. Rewrite it to what, I have no idea, but you know, think of something.

So that and about twenty other things, is what I'm focusing on this week. I'm not particularly pleased that I'm so far behind, but there's nothing to do for it except keep on working on those 22 (or so. I know I left something out.) items because I'd really, really like to be able to wrap this damn thing up this week.

22 items. 7 days.

Sounds like the tagline of the most boring action movie ever.

But it is my mission. Should I choose to accept it. Which, you know, I do because what else would I do?

So...22 items in seven days. That's only, like, 3.14 items a day. Totally doable. That's Pi. Which is similar to cake (in that I can't bake either one)...which means something is easy (unless it's me in a kitchen attempting to bake anything...).

Still...I imagine I shall be spending a lot of time in the very near future looking like this:

Followed by this:

Best get to it, then.

What's on your agenda this week?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Party On, Cate!

Hello, all.

Today I'm taking part in Sarah Foster's Muse Party Blogfest, (the Anti-Valentine's Day Edition) where authors and their muses have the opportunity to mingle with other authors and their muses.

Click on the above link for a complete list of participants.

From this point on, my responses will be in black, while those belonging to my muse (to be formally introduced very, very soon...) will be in purple.

O frabjous day.

What, don't you like purple?

No, purple's great. Really, it's swell. I'm so excited to be living the dream at last.


Yeah. Let's just move this thing along, all right. I've got shit to do.

Onto the questions...

1. Who did you bring to the party? Is he/she your Valentine or anti-Valentine?

The character I have brought with me today is Catherine "Call Me Cate" Cole, the main character of my current WIP, Second Nature

Two things— First, "Call Me Cate" is not my middle name. It's not anybody's middle name. And second, I wasn't brought here so much as I was dragged.

Fine. Whatever. I dragged you here.

That's all I'm saying.

All right. Cate, who was dragged here against her will (You know that's right.), is a surly, sarcastic, pain in my—

I am an absolute delight, and you know it!

Cate is an absolute delight. She's prone to several absolutely delightful bouts of sarcasm and pop-culture references. She is not a fan of authority.

Are you calling yourself an authority?

Well, I am the author. And we're still on the first freaking question, so perhaps you can keep the commentary to yourself.

Yeah. That sounds likely.


2. Which one of you is the most romantic person?

I'm going to answer M.J., because she sure does loooooooove to torture her characters.

Well, I am the author.

Whatever. Next question.

3. What gift are you giving your (anti) Valentine?

I finished her story. What else does she want?

Have you read that story? You couldn't have gotten me a nice chocolate lava cake instead? Red Sox tickets? A hole in the head? It had to be this story?

Next question.

4. Are you guys wearing red or pink (or black)?

Navy blue and gray, actually. I may or may not be still in my pajamas.

Dork. Sorry, I meant to say 'black.'

5. Did you bring any Valentine's Day treats?

M.J. ate them all in the car. This is what M.J. does. M.J. has no willpower.

No comment.

6. Name a song for our Love Playlist or our Anti-Love Playlist (or both!).

Well, on Second Nature's official unofficial playlist, there are—

Absolutely no love songs to be found. Unless one counts Hurt by Johnny Cash or Down In A Hole by Alice In Chains.

Anti-Love Playlist, it is!

7. Got a great Anti/Valentine party game?

Anyone have any alcohol? We could do shots.

Valentine's Day-themed Mad libs?

*coughcough* Nerd. *coughcough*

You're an English major at an Ivy League school.

And yet, you're still the bigger nerd. Go figure.

8. Feeling the love, or just feeling nauseous? How will you have fun at the party?

Again, I ask, "Is there alcohol?"


What? I'll share.

Will you?

Probably not.

9. Has your muse been a good Valentine?

Despite our many, many disagreements (Ha!) and the monster sarcasm rallies (Well, you try real hard, and that's what counts.), and the—(Torture. Don't forget the torture!) torture, I think Cate has been a very good Valentine. (Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little.) I really do love this character (Terrific. I can die happy now.) and I'm excited (Translation: terrified) for the world to meet her. (And I them. Really. I couldn't be more sincere. Except...I probably could. You know, just a smidgen.)

Just hope y'all like sarcasm. Like, really like it. Sorry. I may be the author, but I really have no control over anything. Anything.

Jordan's Bonus Question: Did you bring me & Sarah a musiversary gift? (Because we've put up with each other for five years, and I think we deserve something.

I like you, Jordan, so this is what I'll do...I'll give you that box of M.J.'s Thin Mints that she thinks she lost, or maybe just only thinks she bought because she has Girl Scout Cookies on the brain, but were actually stolen by me after a particularly torturous day of writing.

Wait, what?

You heard me.

And on that note, my character and I are out of here. We have a few more scenes to finish up, and I think I just may be able to squeeze in a little bit more torture—

Wait, what?

You heard me.


Thanks to Sarah Foster and Jordan for hosting today's bloghop. We had a blast!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Laptops And Revisions

I'm still working on revisions. But of course I am. This is what I do.

I honestly don't know if they're going well or not, but they're going, so that's a good thing, right? I'm a little (a lot) behind on the pace I had hope to set, but it's okay because it's more important that the revisions be done well as opposed to rushed in order to conform with a deadline I set myself.


But I'm getting closer. I only have three or four chapters left to go. Plus that one character arc I need to restructure completely. And the two pages of notes I so cleverly called "Unresolved Shit Deemed Too Much Work To Deal With The First Time Around."

To add to the revision fun, my laptop has started making the type of noises that would suggest it is, perhaps, on its deathbed. And not because I threw it out a window in frustration or anything like that.

It's dying of natural causes, leaving me to hope beyond hope that it will last through this next book release. This hope has led to several variations of the following conversation between The Man and me:

Him: Just go get a new one.

Me: Are you crazy? I'm working toward a book release. They're stressful enough without me adding 'learn how to use a new laptop' to it.

Him: It's a laptop, not a rocket ship.


Him: You're just afraid of change.

Me: I wouldn't say I'm afraid of change—

Him: I would. You run away from change like you run away from those lizards in our mailbox.


Him: Go get a new laptop.

(End scene.)

What it all boils down to is that my List of goals has just one item on it:


What's going on in your neck of the blogosphere?

Happy Monday, all!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Writing Wisdom (An IWSG Post)

Hello, all!

It's the first Wednesday of the month (at least I think it is), which means that it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. (At least I think it is...)

I don't know if you know this, because I've only mentioned it a few million times, but these days I'm dividing my time between the Revision Caves and a Girl-Scout-Cookie-Induced Coma (I don't know why I felt the need to capitalize those things. It just happened.) which means these days everyone with whom I come into contact is fortunate if I've happen to change out of my pajamas.

Kidding. I don't come into contact with anyone these days. There are no people allowed in the Revision Caves.

Anyway, the point of this introduction is not my pajamas or lack of human interaction, but just to tell you today's post will lack my customary brilliant wordsmith-ing-stuff-type-thing. (Ha. See what I did there? Sorry—There is also no sleeping in the Revision Caves.) Instead I have decided to share with you some funny and perhaps inspirational picture-type-things. That, you know, have to do with writing and editing.

Did I mention there's no sleeping in the Revision Caves?

I should probably stop typing now. On with the pictures!

And finally, a little inspiration for you:

Happy Writing and Editing and Revising and Publishing and Promoting and Whatever Else you might be doing!

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time!

Monday, February 1, 2016

In Which I Review Books

Here's what I read in January:

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy—A novel about a girl, Alice, who is diagnosed with cancer and sets out to complete a rather unorthodox bucket list (for example, get revenge on an ex-boyfriend and her arch-nemesis), with the help of her friend, Harvey, a boy who has always had feelings for her. But after the scores are settled and she admits her true feelings for the boy, Alice doesn't die at all, but rather goes into remission and is forced to deal with the consequences of all she's done. It's an interesting read because I don't think it's a typical teen-with-cancer story, especially because the main character is oftentimes just so unlikable. I really felt bad for Harvey throughout most of this novel, and really wanted him to have a nicer friend/girlfriend.

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead— A story about a boy who wakes up in Penn Station with no memory of who he is. His only possession is a copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau, so the boy decides to call himself Henry (Hank) and go to Walden Pond. It's a cool premise, and I was really drawn into the story because I wanted to know the truth about who this character really was, and what had really happened to him. There were parts where character interactions fell flat for me, but overall, another interesting read.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin—A story about a girl who falls on the stairs at school and wakes up with amnesia. She doesn't remember her boyfriend, or her parents' divorce, or her best friend, Will. There's a lot to like about this book—I especially liked Will—but I wasn't thrilled with the ending. I just needed a little more closure.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas—The fourth book in Maas's fantasy series about a teenage assassin. I have a love/hate relationship with both this character and this series. I thought this book was an improvement over the third installment, but it's definitely not as enjoyable as the second book. There is a lot of good stuff, and the world-building is amazing, but I did not care for the romantic relationship between Aelin and Rowan, or the set-up of a romantic relationship between Manon and Dorian. Nope. Not a fan. Stop it. All that said, I will read the next book when it shows itself.

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins—Stories with unlikable/unreliable characters are always interesting, but overall, this story just didn't do anything for me. I feel like I'm completely in the minority here (which is fine place to be). I guess I just didn't like any of the characters enough.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone—I think you may have started a drinking game with these reviews and taken a shot every time I described a book as 'interesting.' If so, get ready for another shot because this book, too, was interesting. It tells the story of a girl with OCD struggling to keep her secret from her friends. She stumbles across a new group of students, and her life is transformed. There's a twist that I actually didn't see coming (unlike you, Girl on the Train). So while it's not a perfect story, it was an enjoyable read.

2016 Reading Goal: 60 books
Books read this month: 6
Books left to go: 54

Read anything interesting lately? Happy Monday, all!