Sunday, December 29, 2013

The demons are watching -- Interview with Emma Adams!

Our resident-Brit and very own Tangled Girl, Emma L. Adams, just released her second novel, Darkness Watching this October (Curiosity Quills Press). Darkness Watching is set in fictional Blackstone, a small, isolated town in England. The novel centers on university freshman, Ashlyn, who has an unusual connection to demons and the Darkworld from which they come. Blending magic and sorcery and good old-fashioned college shenanigans, Darkness Watching is the first book in this clever, fantasy NA series.

Read the interview below to find out about Emma's inspiration for her work, her ability to balance writing and college (she's only 22) and her thoughts on the controversy surrounding new adult literature.

Ashlyn is a young woman who learns she has an unusual supernatural connection to the Darkworld, a demonic spiritual realm. What inspired this concept?

I thought of the idea of the demons years ago. I wanted to write a magic-and-monsters story but do something totally different with it, and I thought of the idea of a creature that can terrify people without even touching them. As for Ash’s particular connection…there will be more on that in the next book. ;)

Ashlyn begins university as a timid, insecure freshman but as she learns about her connection to demons and sorcerers, she becomes empowered. Do you see Ashlyn's character arc as a metaphor for most college freshmen? 

Interesting question! I suppose I wanted to tie Ash’s journey into the idea of university as a time of self-discovery and a first chance at independence - at least it certainly was for me! 

You really developed a dynamic cast of characters from fun Claudia to lascivious Pete to enigmatic David. Who was your favorite to write and why?

Tough question! With Darkness Watching, I enjoyed writing the scenes with Ash and her fellow magic-users the most – I like Leo, Cyrus and Claudia and the strange dynamic the group has. We’ll be getting to see a lot more of them in the sequels!

I really enjoyed the mythology surrounding the Venantium (the sorcerers' governing body). Did you plan out this world before starting the series or did the mythology develop as you wrote the novel?

The background was actually part of a different story originally, the first novel I wrote. Two years ago, I had an idea for rewriting the original story and turning it into something completely different. But the background and mythology is more or less the same as it was in the first book I wrote (and which is permanently trunked!).

Darkness Watching is also considered a new adult novel. Are you excited about the trajectory of new adult in publishing and also slightly surprised by the controversy surrounding it?

I love the idea of New Adult as a category, though I may be slightly biased as I’m in the target audience and it’s sometimes nice to read about characters a little older than YA protagonists. With that being said, I’m disappointed with the way many people – including some media outlets – have misinterpreted it as being ‘sexed-up YA’ or just ‘college romance’. Although the NA books that have gained media attention have been contemporary romances, I’m hoping that speculative NA will get more of a following.

Readers may not be aware that Darkness Watching is your second novel. You published your debut novel, The Puppet Spell, in 2012. While most college kids could barely get through exams, you were writing novels. How were you able to balance writing with your course work? 

I actually wrote my first published novel as part of my creative writing course, which I guess gave me an excuse to work on my own projects! :P When I came to my third year, I’d written two novels (completed over the 3-month summer break) and had a contract for The Puppet Spell. I was lucky in that I had only 4 hours of contact time a week, which gave me a lot of leeway to organise my spare time so that I could balance both course work and writing. But I still skipped out on a lot of sleep…

How many books are planned for the Darkworld series? And can you give any hints on what's to come?

There will be five books in total – I’ve actually completed all the novels in draft form, as the series was pre-planned. The second book, Walking Shadow, will be coming out next year. It involves a murder mystery, psychic vampires and a doppelganger. ;)

Darkness Watching is published by Curiosity Quills, a small press. Can you describe your experiences working with a small press and what advice would you give authors seeking to submit to small presses?

Curiosity Quills has been wonderful to work with and I’d highly recommend them. The best advice I can give is to do your research before deciding which path to pursue. I submitted Darkness Watching directly to publishers rather than seeking an agent. At the time, agents weren’t really accepting New Adult but it was making quite a splash in the epublishing world. Small presses are often the best bet for niche genres and for books in hard-to-sell categories – for instance, YA paranormal and dystopian are hard to pitch to agents at the moment because of the over-flooded market, but small presses are often more willing to take chances.

When submitting to agents, make sure you’ve got a finished, polished book and tailor your cover letter to each individual publisher. If you get a small press offer, I’d talk to other authors published with them and try to find out as much as possible before signing the contract. I did consider self-publishing the Darkworld series before I got the offer, but I knew signing with CQ was the right decision. In addition to editing, proofreading and formatting, you’ll get more say in things like cover design when working with a small press than with a bigger publisher. It’s like being part of a family, and I highly recommend looking into CQ if you write speculative fiction of any kind!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Writer Flip-Flops

Being a writer is hard. I am revising my first MS and I’m not doing too well with it. It’s a frustrating venture for me as something I don’t really have experience with. And because of those frustrations, I sort of just want to focus on another WIP instead. This is part of one of what I’m calling the Writer Flip-Flops. The other part is the love/hate relationship with what I’m trying to revise.

I have such an easier time creating something new. For whatever reason, a blank page that needs to be filled in is so much less overwhelming to me than 90K+ words that need to be altered, pruned, reduced, expanded on, clarified, reworked, rewritten, etc. The story idea is in that stage where all I really have to do is figure out how to put it into the correct words, which is actually a bit more complicated than that sounds. But I don’t have to figure out how one seemingly small change is going to impact every single word that follows it. I know I need to revise. It has to happen, even if just to clarify the story for me. And more than that, how else am I going to get better at revising if I don’t actually do it?

While I’m pushing myself to keep going through this slow-going process, I’m struggling with another flip-flop and I really hope I’m not the only writer experiencing this. Some days I absolutely love my work and other days I can’t help but think my storyline is stupid, silly, and full of plot-holes. I've been very fortunate to have some great friends and family read my MS and give their support and valuable input and honestly, some days it’s that support and input alone that keeps me going with it. That’s usually the point in which I step away from my computer or binder and give it a few days or weeks before attempting more progress, waiting until I’m back in that I-love-my-characters-and-their-story-has-to-be-told mentality.

Like I said, being a writer is hard. But I’m working through the Flip-Flops and hoping that at some point, it will get easier, even if that only means the flip-flop periods get shorter.

Do you ever get the Writer Flip-Flops? How do you get through them?

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's coming!!!!

(I'm posting this from my phone so I apologize if the formatting is weird!!)

SALT comes out in 20 days.
The sequel is due in 33 days & I have 18.5k words.
I baked cookies for 3 hours last night. 

Now you've has insight into the life of an author.
But in all seriousness, SALT comes out in 20 days and I'm thrilled. (Mostly. Sometimes I'm scared.) 

There are a lot of reasons we write books: for a friend, for a deadline, for a character, for publication, for fun, for themselves. SALT was completely for myself; I honestly never thought it'd ever be published. 

I wrote SALT after finishing a major revision on FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS. I'd spent two years with FMTD and that book is my heartbeat but the MC is lost, the subject heavy and the world intense. I was so tired when I finished that revision and then I heard Penelope's voice. 

She made me laugh. Her story made me smile, left me feeling joyful and light. It rejuvenated me, and I wrote it. It was fun to write and read, even while drafting and rewriting and building. That was why I wrote SALT. It was fun. It was never meant to be this beautiful piece of literary genius. It was relief and escape and happiness and kissing. 

As other people read her story, they fell in love with Penelope and her voice. That's how Entangled ended up with it. It's a fun story. And even when I was doing page proofs a few weeks ago, it made me laugh. It always makes me laugh. :)

As SALT comes out in 20 days, I hope it beings you happiness for a moment and makes you laugh. (I mean the cover is purple and sparkly I think that's pretty self-explanatory for the tone of the book.) 

I hope SALT is as fun for you as it was/is for me! 

And now, back to my sequel. And the cookies. 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

We are Limitless

December is the season where we tell our babies and toddlers and youngsters that magic exists, it's real and you can have it if you believe in it enough. When do we all stop believing in that magic? I hope the answer is never. 

Imagination is our greatest tool and it has carried humanity to impossible shores and beyond. And I think that we need to use it more, or we'll all grow zombie-like.

Here's what one of my favorite author's has to say about the topic of imagination:

“I think most people’s imaginations don’t have limits. Imaginations get limits forced on them. You know, it’s really interesting, with kids. Kids just imagine stuff. They make stuff up. They think up stuff. They daydream. As we get older, we stop daydreaming. As we get older, we stop letting our mind wander, and it’s when your mind goes wandering that it comes home with really interesting things that it found on the way. I think what’s most important is just remembering the value of imagining. The knowledge that, if you look around, everything you see was imagined at some time, by somebody.”
— Neil Gaiman, in an interview with Cosmopolitan Philippines

I watch the little ones I teach everyday and there's a wonderment that I try to tap into with my own artistic endeavors. We are never too old to daydream. We are never too old to dream. We are never too old for imagination. We are limitless.

What have you been imagining lately?

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Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm Such a NaNo Liar

In my Tangled post last month I admitted that I was planning to give in to my desire to participate in NaNo. And I really did have all intentions of doing so. My plan was to modify the demands a bit and spend the first two weeks of November revising my last manuscript so that I could turn it into my agent by the 15th. Then, I was going to spend the second two weeks writing my newest manuscript idea. I had hoped to hit 25K in the new one by the 30th.

Yeah...that totally did not happen. Not even close. It's now December 2nd and I am still not done with revisions on that first project. I won't lie. I'm a bit disappointed I haven't yet gotten to my new idea, but I'm honestly not that disappointed.

The reason why? I'm finally back to enjoying this book. Somewhere in the middle of all the revising, I fell in love with my characters and their story all over again. I am connected to them again and that feels soooooo good. Like, omgpleaseforgivemeforeverwantingtoabandonyou good. I'm happy I stuck with them and will be proud of what I turn into my agent in just a few days.

So while I didn't achieve my original NaNo goal, I'm still grateful for NaNo because it got me recommitted. It helped me focus and, really, what's better than falling back in love with a story that you haven't felt connected to in months?

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Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNo Makes Me Jealous

I had planned to participate in NaNo this month. Really, I did. I knew from the time I signed up for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo that I wanted to participate in November. However, like most of my plans, there was a kink: we were moving. Between getting everything out of our old house and getting things set up in our new house, I just didn't have the time--or brain power--to get organized and ready to spend a month writing as close to 50K words as I could manage. Even knowing that, I still started off the month being jealous of my friends who were able to participate.

NaNo makes me jealous because I want to be able to write 50K words in one month. And because I want to have the motivation and nagging sensation that I need to sit down and write. Between homeschooling activities, my crochet/knitting/sewing business, and general life happenings, writing takes the back burner. Always. But having that goal and deadline--like I did back in July--I actually get stuff accomplished. It’s just about the end of November and I’m still jealous that I didn't’t get to experience that. I’m also jealous that my word count is no higher than it was when November started. *sigh*

Because I’m trying to find an optimistic way to look at NaNo (while keeping the green at bay), I’m going to try to mooch the last of the NaNoWriMo vibes over the last two days of November and try to hit a goal of my own: rewrite the first chapter of the MS I’m revising. Maybe that will help me get past my envy. And more than that, maybe it will remind me that I’d rather not be jealous of all my friends next year. I’d rather be one of them and participate in my first actual NaNoWriMo.

If you participated in NaNo this month, how did you do?

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sometimes the universe says, 'No!'

It’s that time of year – thousands of would-be-wordsmiths across the globe are scribbling away, aiming to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Every year, I intend to take part but something, somewhere, stops it from happening. For the past three years, it’s been university work. This year, I’ve already fast-drafted four novels, so I thought I’d have a chance.

The universe said no. First, the start of NaNoWriMo coincided with the review tour for my book, Darkness Watching, so I began as a neurotic mess with a tendency to over-analyse every sentence to death. My inner self-critic was in overdrive, and I fell behind on my WIP within a day! I can always catch up later, I thought…then I planned an impromptu weekend away.

“I’ll write on the train!” I told myself. Two hours is plenty of time to get some words down, right? Unfortunately, the universe decided to intervene and make my train late, so I ended up with no seat and had to stand in the corridor for two hours. Even I’m not crazy enough to try and type on my laptop whilst standing in a moving train…

And then my boyfriend bought me a 2DS. Gaming is my biggest weakness, and try as I might, I couldn’t resist the lure of Pokemon. So I got absolutely nothing written over the weekend. I tried to catch up on the train back, but only managed to fall asleep. Then, the next day I woke up with flu. The universe strikes again! I battled the fog in my head for a week, forcing myself to get words on the page, but I felt sluggish and uninspired.

Then came the thing I’d waited for – and dreaded – for months. The Editorial Email of Doom, from my publishers, for the second Darkworld novel. I’d known it was coming at some point in November, but one look at the long list of things to change told me I’d have to put my NaNo project aside if I ever wanted to get it done. When I edit, I need to be fully immersed in the story’s world to the exclusion of everything else. So I locked myself in the editing cave for a week. I got no new words on my WIP done, but rewrote the best part of a 63,000-word novel.

By now, there was no chance I’d be able to catch up. So I willingly let myself get distracted, first by shiny new ideas, then by editing old projects, then by Pitch Wars. I had a YA fantasy that was almost ready to query (except I’d been putting it off due to my fear and hatred of query letters and synopses…). So I did the final polish and drafted the query. Once again, my poor NaNo WIP took a back seat!

And now I’m facing the last week of NaNoWriMo, and unless I get possessed by some crazy writing muse, I’m unlikely to ‘win’ this year. Strangely, I don’t mind. The main goal of NaNo is to get into the habit of writing, and for writers, every month is a writing month. The important thing for me is that I’m always working on something – be it drafting, revising or editing. Maybe next year NaNoWriMo will coincide with starting a draft!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#NaNoWriMo isn't the enemy -- I am: Why I've never won NaNoWriMo

 I've been participating in NaNoWriMo (which up until last year, I'd been mispronouncing as nan-o-wreeemo) for five years-ish. And I've never won. Well, maybe I've technically won once. During Camp NaNo, I set the goal at 20K words. And that was totally doable by the skin of my teeth.

Here's the thing I've learned about myself all these past NaNos -- I need a plan. For me, writing 50,000 words on the fly is gut-wrenching horrendous because I have no idea where I'm going. Every word is a struggle because I feel like I'm just spinning around in circles and yet, I've made a commitment. I need to finish these 50K words because I signed up for NaNo and I'm part of a community, dammit.

The other thing I've learned all these years is that I love NaNo. I love signing up. I love meeting fellow NaNo buddies and participating in write-ins. I love the race against time and the promise of a brand new work. I love being part of the community. Writing can be such a lonely business. Being apart of NaNo makes it so much less lonely.

And yet, for me it's an incredible struggle. I've never come into NaNo with a plan, and by plan, I mean a detailed scene list because that's how I like to work. It's not NaNo's fault I've never won. It's my own. I should've spent October outlining, but November has this crazy way of sneaking up on me.

This November, I am out of the NaNo game. I'm working on edits on my debut novel and I'm writing my second book (with my scene list) at a pace that works for me. So, perhaps this is my breakup letter to NaNo. It's been a fun five years, but I've got to move on. No regrets. I've learned so much about my writer self from you. So, thank you.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

#NaNoWriMo: The Key to Success

What is the key to success for NaNoWriMo?

This is the second biggest question in the universe!! (The first is "Doctor who?" -- and okay, it's really only the biggest question in the months of October and November, and for writers, but go with me.)

Here's my answer. Ready. It's going to change your life! CHANGE YOUR LIFE I SAY. To show it the best, let's turn to this lovely picture:

There are thousands of people who write books daily -- and none of these people write the same way. Some of us are plotters and some pantsers; some analyze every single sentence before they move on and others power through a whole entire book filled with crappy words. There is no one single right way to write a novel.

And while we know this, there's something about NaNo (especially if you are like me and hate failing at a goal that you want to achieve, and even more so if a prize is involved and everyone else is doing it!) that makes us feel like less of a writer if you don't try to write 50k words. Or worse, you try and fail.

This is wrong. And that's taken me a long time to come to grips with.

Even though there is one 'rule' of Nano -- which is to write 50k in a month -- that's not an actual requirement for success. I've done NaNo four times (this is four right now) and I've only won once. Only once. But does that mean the other times I tried and didn't write 50k words I failed? No.

That's because I do NaNo my way.

I know what works for me, my life, my schedule, my strengths. I know how best to achieve the goal before me.  I often feel like the years I didn't win were more important to me as a writer than the one I won.

The first time I did NaNo I wrote a lot of words, but not 50k. I was a brand-new baby writer and this seemed like a great idea. I learned a lot about my writing process that year, and even though I failed, I gained something useful. It was a very big learning experience--and now that book lives in a closet (It's so bad!) but the things I learned from that year changed the way I did the next book, and the next year of NaNo.

The second time, the year I won NaNo, I was a rebel and started a book that I was rewriting. (Follow Me Through Darkness, actually, revision 2 or 3 of 8!) I had an extraordinary amount of time to devote to it. I had clear direction with that story. I wanted to win and I had something to prove (mostly to myself) and so I dove in with everything I had. It was really hard, but I did it. I was so proud of myself that year, not necessarily for winning a prize (though it helped) but for accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.

The third time (last year) I tried NaNo and I had just started a new job, and I was in a new place and working on the sequel to FMTD. I'd already had 20k words before NaNo, and I was going to finish it. I didn't. In fact, I wrote 30k but they were so bad. I failed NaNo. Was I sad? Yes, because I really wanted to finish that book. But later I ended up sending that 50k to my editor --and she made me through that whole sequel out because it wasn't working. It was the wrong side of the story. So in the end, I was happy that I hadn't wasted even more time trying to force a book to work just so I could win NaNo.

This year, I wasn't going to do NaNo.
Even though I wanted to.

I didn't have time. I didn't want to lose myself in it. I didn't know what happened in Salt 2 so how could I write it? I made it exactly seven hours into Nov 1 and then I signed up. Why? Because I love NaNo because I like the other people involved. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. Plus, I'm competitive, so I watch all the other charts go up up up and I want mine to go up. (It brings out an ugly side of me.)

But this year I went in with my own goals: write 25k words.

That's all I want. 25k.

Realistically, I knew I didn't have that much time to devote to getting 50k words, but I needed the words and, again, I like the charts/competition/community feel of it. So I went into NaNo wanting that.

It's day 17 when you're reading this (day 14 when I'm writing it) and I have almost 16k words. Good words. Words that I will probably get to keep! And I still have half the month to get the other 10k words. The best part is that when it's over, I'll have a portion of my book. I didn't have that 14 days ago. I didn't even have an idea 14 days ago.

I say that's success.

What's the key then? Do it your way.

Screw the rules! Use this time to reach your own goals. Write an outline. 10k words. 25k words. That revision of the book that you had to finish a month ago...whatever it is for you. Set a realistic goal and then be okay that goal. Be proud of what you accomplish because you know yourself, your life and your schedule more than those organizers of NaNo know it. Use NaNo as an excuse to write and then write! 

I really think there's something magical about doing NaNoWriMo. It's a powerful thing to think about how many people participate (a lot) and that for this 30 days every single one of us are connected, driven and working toward the same goal with the same passion. 

Being part of that community?

That's success.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dear NaNoWriMo....

Dearest NaNoWriMo:

Oh, NaNo, you bright, shiny tease of a possibility. It pains me to write this, but alas, it must be done.

We first met back in 2011. I had been writing for hardly a year. With my shiny new agent and  shiny new idea, I was pulled in by your siren's song. And I wrote--oh, how I wrote! The crap that poured forth from my fingers, over the keyboard, and is forevermore a part of my computer's now-rusty memory was prolific. Dear, sweet NaNo. What a flurry of words!

What an ever-loving mess.

Every year since, you've tempted me. Every year I swore I would write.

And for the past two years my promises have been for naught. Last year, I had a new job--two, actually--and not even the temptation of "winning" was enough to sacrifice the luxury of sleep. This year, I promised, promised!, things would be different. I touted your brilliance near and far. I made plans. 

Oh, how I've failed! You are now one-third past, but I have written nothing new.

Do you know what I have done, gentle NaNo? Do you know what I continue to do?

Yes, that is exactly right--I continue to work on that bit of temptation that I first began two years ago with you.

It is time for the truth my lovely--but the fault does not lie in you. No, those wild nights of flailing words, those days of walking through a land of dreams instead of, say, feeding one's children--what luxury! What temptation! But it is simply not for me.

No, my dear NaNo, mine is not the path of words vomited onto paper (or screen). No, neither the call of your public declarations nor the shame-induced productivity your progress bar portends tempts me this year.

So I will continue on, as I have done for many a day now. And I will write, not words in the thousands, but words with enough weight to stick on my page.

And when you come again next year....

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm TOTALLY doing NaNo next year.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

I think I made a mistake.

Today's post is probably going to be short and sweet. You see, I think I made a mistake. I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Yup, I did it. I signed up and... have written maybe 600 words. And it's the 7th. Already.

This was my first year signing up and I wanted to use it to mainly give myself motivation to really work on my half-way written work in progress. But, it seems life has decided to get in the way. Between work and kids, my word count has been pitiful. Add to that the fact that I'm pregnant and all I want to do is SLEEP right now, it's not looking good.

So I have no advice. In fact, I want to ask you all for some advice. How do you balance work and life with the intensity that is NaNoWriMo? When do you fit in the time? What helps you stay focused throughout the month? And, is this anyone else's first time trying it and realizing your time is being sucked away elsewhere? Are you sticking to your goals or, like me, falling behind?

Lastly, a happy NaNoWriMo to all you participating. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time and play catch-up. Feel free to share your NaNoWriMo screen name and buddy up with some of us Tangled Girls who are participating. My screen name is Chrystal678, so feel free to buddy me and kick my butt into gear!

Is this a legit way to get my word count? :)

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Pressure is a Privilege

It's November and since I can't grow facial hair for Movember I'm left with the terrifying option to write a novel in a mere 30 days. I've made the decision not to jump off the cliff because I feel like the picture below from job overload (I have 4 paying jobs, a common twenty-something New Yorker problem):

But I do want to talk the joy of having a deadline and of having some pressure and accountability. A dance teacher once told me that pressure was a privilege and now that I'm done with college (for now) I understand her more clearly. 

As a writer, as a performing artist, as a human being--you have to set goals for yourself, else you stay stagnant. The pressure of setting a timestamp on a goal can often propel you to dig to depths you never knew were there in efforts to finish "on time". Yes, there's a certain amount of self-induced stressed that can come with that, but accomplishment just feels too good to label this as negative. 

But what about accountability? This was the beauty of being in school--I had outside forces that directly affected me and my goals if I didn't achieve the deadline. In my main day job, there's the threat of reprimand for not completing tasks. How do you get a more positive version in real life? Find yourself an accountability partner, someone to bitch to over the phone and to also remind you that you have 4 hours and 23 minutes to finish a draft of that sci-fi dream you had the other night and wanted to share with the world via short story. 

National Novel Writing Month is just that. It offers a community of professional and amateur writers the opportunity to be accountable for each other. It's a unique support system that has a wonderful result: you've created a novel.  

So while I have to abstain to keep my own stress and anxiety levels down, if you can, if you're teetering on maybe, do it. Take the leap and even if you don't finish, you'll have started something and that's beautiful. 

To get in on the action, click here, it's most certainly not too late. 
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNo: The Alluring Bitch

You know what I love about having friends who completely and without-question understand the need to write?

I get to hear/see comments like this that really and truly just make sense:

"NaNo is an alluring bitch and she takes a new victim."

These writing friends are also the very first to jump in line and tell you to DO IT. WRITE THAT BOOK NOW. Even though you have absolutely no time to do so. Even though you seriously need to finish the last book you've been revising first. Even though you now live in cramped quarters and have virtually no alone time for the foreseeable future.

And you know what? I appreciate that. I appreciate the craziness that NaNo creates, because, well, I like crazy.

So here we are, one year removed from when I very nearly finished my last novel and I'm itching to do NaNo once again. Maybe I want to feel the rush of writing an otherwise nearly impossible amount of words in a single month. Maybe I just want to remember what it feels like to create a brand new story, to see those characters that have been living only in my head for months to finally have a place of their own. Maybe all I want is a break from revising a book that I'm still very much in love with, but just can't seem to finish.

Whatever  the reason, I've made my decision. I'm going to do it. Will I strive for 50,000 words? Absolutely. Will I end up writing that many? Probably not, but I'm not too worried about it yet. I think I'm just more excited that it's November 1st and I am actually going to participate in NaNo again.

Hello, my name is Cindy, and I'm allowing NaNo to, once again, make me her bitch. I'm a:

Bring on the crazy!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

OTPs: A Trio, Four & Six

As the last Tangled girl to post each month, I have the benefit of reading everyone else’s posts before I’m due to post mine. Considering I had never actually heard of “one true pairing” before now, this was a pretty enlightening experience, full of squealing over couples I've fallen in love with over the years. Most of my favorites have already been touched on by some of the other girls, but here’s a quick list before I get into two groupings no one else has mentioned:

One of the biggest things for me with any couple is even footing. I like both parties to equally contribute to the relationship, rather than one person dominating over or cowering under the other. I want them to be able to hold their own and captivate me as a singular character, even if they weren't attached to their counterpart. As a couple, I want a friendship, heat and passion. I want one to push the other to do things. 

With that said, here are my new pairings/groupings: Tris & Four from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth (I have *not* read Allegiant yet) and Will, Jem, and Tessa from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare (I've mentioned my love for her writing before, haven’t I?). 

For anyone who knows me outside Tangled, you know I adore Four. Tobias Eaton = my number one YA book boyfriend. He’s strong, but also vulnerable in a way only Tris knows. He is sensitive. And while he’s protective of Tris, he does it in such a way that he leaves the ball in her court. He doesn't fight her battles for her, but instead he equips her with the power to do that herself, even if it’s not apparent to Tris at the time. And Tris? Well, she does what she feels she needs to do, whether or not it’s something Four would want her to do. She doesn't ask for his permission. And when all is said and done, it works for them.

Will, Jem, and Tessa. *sigh* My initial idea for this month’s post was to solely focus on this trio and their unique relationships as friends, pairings, and a fantastic group altogether. However, I couldn't figure out a good way to approach it without spoiling The Infernal Devices for anyone who hasn't read them. But they need to be mentioned. I loathe love triangles, but there is just something about this trio and all their many and deep connections that fascinated me to no end: parabatai, friends, lovers, sacrifices, curses. You cannot have one aspect of this trio without all the rest, just like you need all three people for it to be complete.

So, any OTPs you haven't seen mentioned this month?  

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love & triumph

This month’s topic is OTPs – our favourite One True Pairings. Looking at my list, I noticed they have one thing in common - conflict. Either they don't get on AT ALL to begin with, or major obstacles get in the way of the two characters being together. Romance can add tension and conflict to a story if done right, because you want the characters to succeed and get together against all the odds - that's what makes it exciting!

So, here's my list:

Sophie and Howl (Howl's Moving Castle) - this is one of my favourite books of all time, and Sophie and Howl are hilarious because at first, they absolutely hate each other! Sophie gets cursed and turned into an old woman, and goes to the castle of the infamous Wizard Howl because there's literally no other option left. She then completely upturns Howl's life and causes absolute havoc, and the result is a relationship that seems completely believable, and when they finally get together in the end, it's like "YES! I told you so!". Both characters are flawed, but realistic - and that's a good thing!


Jace and Clary (The Mortal Instruments) - I don't think I need to say much here, except that it's sometimes painful to read the moments of attraction between two people who CAN'T be together - and, well, I don't want to spoil it. But the last few chapters of City of Glass - well, call me cliche, but talk about an emotional roller coaster!

Meghan and Ash (The Iron Fey) - Wow. Well, the odds are against these two from the start. She's a half-mortal, half-summer faery, whilst he's prince of the Winter Court. And, of course, there's a certain Robin Goodfellow around. But...again, I can't say much due to spoilers. But if you want an intense, emotionally wrenching these books.

How about you? What are your favourite fictional couples who fight the odds to be together?

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Favorite Fandom OTPs -- in .gifs + Smiles

This month we're talking about OTP -- ONE TRUE PAIRING. As a member of MANY fandoms (and someone who just got done with being on deadlines for three months non-stop) I'm going to make this totally fun instead of thought-provoking and share with you some of my favorite fandom OTPs in gif form. Why? Because everyone needs a little bit of happiness. (Warning: these are in no particular order, and once I started with the gifs I went a little crazy....)

 TEN AND ROSE (Doctor Who)
Because he loved her so much and I CAN'T.


...Excuse me while I die....

RON & HERMIONE (Harry Potter)
Because they are just so darn cute and I don't know how anyone ever questioned it. Hatred always = love! 

NICK & JESS (New Girl)
Because they are undeniably made for each other. 

I love Friends and I feel like most people root for Ross & Rachel. While I did too, there's always going to be a soft spot in my heart for these two. They didn't make sense at first but when it happened, it worked. Plus, who hasn't dreamed of falling for their best friend? 


Because they are the ultimate definition of bromance -- at the very least -- and friendship and devotion and I love them. And, as an AVID lover of Arthurian stories this show has this huge place in my heart. Forever. 


Ah, bromance....

BROOKE & JULIAN (One Tree Hill)
I always loved Brooke, and she's the best character pay-off in history. I love them together because he sees the real her and she pushes him to be more. I also loved Brooke being happy, and no one did that more than Julian.


CORY & TOPANGA (Boy Meets World)
Because, like it or not, they set the bar REAL high for every twenty-something and they are epitome of excellence in our lives and bars for our romances. (And they have a new show, so I'm excited.)


And last but not least (and CERTAINLY not all!!!)...

I wasn't sure who I was going to pick for this on, but Cappy and Casey are the winners. Basically, I love them. If you need me to tell you WHY they are my OTP, then you have obviously never watched the show. And you should fix that. Like, now. (There's just something about it taking a long time and the payoff of that...)





The best part about OTPs? They all lived happily ever after. (Even if they didn't.) 

 Who are some of YOUR favorite OTPs and why?? 

 Now excuse me....