Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Summer Love

Here's a rough little snippet of what I've been working on today for Summer of Second Chances. It's a scene I envision for the end of the book. Well, not end end, but like a chapter before the end. You can see that I've purposely left out the name of the guy Grace is with in this scene:
When I turned around and tilted my head up at him, he looked scared, almost uncertain of my reaction. Here was a guy who wanted me.
The girl who loved candy and books a little too much, who wore glasses and shorts cut off at the knee, who had thrown up a purple mess.
The girl who wanted him.
Pushing nervousness aside, I reached up and touched a corner of his mouth with my fingers. It started to lift beneath my fingertips. Then I finally looked into his blue eyes and smiled.  “Then what are you waiting for?” I asked. “Kiss me already.”
Both corners of his mouth lifted. His smile was the most breathtaking thing I’d ever seen in my life, and it was all for me.
Then he kissed me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's a Pretty Awesome Hug

I don't know if I will fit this sappy little scene into Summer of Second Chances or not, but the idea came to me last night when I was trying to sleep, and I thought it was cute. The bromance between Tripp and Neil can't be denied!

Neil:  "Why the sad face?"
Tripp:  "Because you'll be at Princeton, buddy-buddy with your new best friend
           Dash while I'll be at Penn State, stuck with these guys."
Everyone:  "Hey!"
Neil:  "You know you'll always be my best friend."
Tripp:  "Really?"
Neil:  "Want to hug it out?"
Tripp:  "Yes." (Either he's excited or he's sniffling...)


Jenny:  "Guys, get a room."
Tripp:  "Hey, no room can contain this hug."
Neil:  "It's a pretty awesome hug."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lene Marlin

Lene Marlin is my favorite singer since I first heard song "Unforgivable Sinner" back in 1999. Too bad her music was never released in the USA because I would love to see her perform live! I had to buy all her CDs and singles imported. I did write a fan letter to Lene years ago and send all the CD inserts. How stupid was that, to possibly never see those inserts again??? Luckily, Lene did return them autographed!

I also would love to write some short story based on "Unforgivable Sinner." It would definitely be something emotional and poetic.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Agent Pitch Contest over at YAtopia

There's an Agent Pitch Contest over at YAtopia if you want a chance to pitch your children or YA book. 
"Super agent Ammi-Joan Paquette has so kindly offered to host a pitch contest - our first, but definitely not last - on YAtopia. And seeing as she's currently closed to submissions, this is an opportunity you simply CANNOT miss out on."
I gotta say I checked out the agency and saw that Cate Tiernan is a client. Fangirly moment. I've been a fan of this author since high school when her Sweep series was first released. And I love Immortal Beloved that was released last year. It seems nowadays, teen readers are fans of vampires and werewolves, but growing up I had always been a fan of witches. I read Cate Tiernan's Sweep and L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle. I watched TV shows and movies such as Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Bewitched, The Craft, Hocus Pocus, Teen Witch, The Witches, The Witches of Eastwick, Satan's School for Girls, etc. 

No, I'm not a witch, nor am I Christine O'Donnell. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Funny Dystopian Novel?

Does that sound weird? For my fairy tale dystopia, I'm envisioning beautiful words, gritty descriptions, and action/violence. Right now, the beginning is coming out humorous in a way. (If you've read Summer Friends, Summer of Firsts, or Spark, you can see some of my humor.) I don't know if I should continue writing it humorous. The latter parts of the book are not so funny, not with the violence and whatnot. Maybe I should just give it a go and see what happens.

Here is my rough draft of my 20th attempt at the beginning of my still unnamed fairy tale dystopian novel:

If this were a true fairy tale, I would live up to my beautiful name, smell roses in bloom all day long within the comfort of a magical palace, and have my princely and handsome beast at my side, after the transformation of course. Instead, I had mud up to my knees, mud tangled in my hair, and mud smeared across my face. There were no roses in this part of town, not when the animals would munch on the delicate petals like trampled on grass and hay, regardless of the thorns. The only beast in my sight was the cow that wouldn’t stop blowing hot air in my face.
“Move, Betsy,” I cooed.
She mooed.
My mud-encrusted fingers dug into her side, trying to make her leave the mud pit. Muddy fingerprints were left on the white sections of her body. Despite my attempt, the stubborn cow only turned her head and snorted. I felt another blast of cow breath against my cheeks. Wrinkling my nose, I groaned and waved the smell away from my face. She mooed as though laughing.
Betsy had been a thorn in my side since I arrived on the ranch on my twelfth birthday for my princess-in-training assignment. She never did what I wanted: eat grass on this particular section of the field, stay away from that stud of a bull, and don’t come into the mud pit when you’re pregnant. It would be her own damn fault if her unborn baby turned out to be a stud like its father. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dystopian Binge

So I've been reading YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic books both for fun and for research for my own dystopian novel. I've also researched on fairy tales and the Amish community. Yes, I said it. Amish community. I'm still trying to figure out how much technology or lack of it I want to put into my Anserini society.

(By the way, if you can figure out why I named my society Anserini based on the few tidbits I've given on my fairy tale dystopia, then I deem you awesome. Don't you want to be awesome?)

The YA dystopian books I've read include:

The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
Matched by Ally Condie
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan
         (I can't wait for The Dark and Hollow Places!)

Any other suggestions?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fairy Tale Dystopia

Wait. Stop. Hold on. Did that oxymoron come out of my mouth? How is it possible to have a fairy tale dystopia when fairy tales are seen as traditional while dystopia is seen as futuristic?

People, it's possible.

How? Because I'm working on it right now. I don't want to give much away, but it's a "Beauty and the Beast" - esque retelling in a twisted way. I'm very excited about this project, building up this world. I've been writing and revising the outline of the book and the rules of this dystopian world. Once I have everything sorted out, I can finally start writing the book!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Can Be Lyrical

Years ago, back in high school and college, I used to write a lot of lyrics. No music, just the words. I had some good lyrics and some bad lyrics. (The bad ones are very embarrassing, emulating the pop songs back in the day.) All in all, it's fun to create mini-stories in lyrics. For a while there, I thought I could be a songwriter, but I had no idea how to go about that.

I haven't written anything in a long time, but I want to create lyrics around a chorus I came up a couple of months ago:

Stars fall
Not because they're dying
Not because of wishes
It's because we're over
They fall because I cry

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Blond One in M2M

Marit Larsen had always been my favorite from M2M, a pop duo back in the day. I love her songs as a solo artist and two of them are like theme songs to my books.

In Spark (A Fire Girl Novel), Felicity and Alex have a relationship that's complicated. Felicity likes Alex, but Alex is still in love with his girlfriend who died in a fire not long ago. He's starting to feel something for Felicity, but he feels it's a betrayal. "Under the Surface" by Marit Larsen is a perfect song to describe their relationship.

"If a Song Could Get Me You" by Marit Larsen is the perfect theme song for Summer of Second Chances. With the whole boy band thing going on, Adam is trying to win Grace back with songs. Just imagine Adam singing this song :D

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not the Grinch

I can't wait for baseball season to start! My heart belongs to the Phillies.

I Want You!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Writerly Stuff

With all this talk of Summer of Second Chances and boy bands, I've neglected to mention the other writerly stuff going on in my life.

(Sorry, long post.)

Well, right now I'm querying my YA paranormal Spark (A Fire Girl Novel):

Half-human/half-witch Felicity Brant is on her way to Pennsylvania after her school burns down. Her father, one of the four most powerful witches in the world, is accused of starting the fire which killed hundreds of witches, but no one will ever know the truth because he died in the fire—or so everyone thinks. Felicity believes he’s still alive because like a crown or a title being passed down, she should’ve inherited his fire magic by now and taken over his position. Yet, she doesn’t feel a spark in her body.

At her new school where the witches are wary of Felicity because of her father’s infamy, things aren’t getting better. Alex Varick is assigned as her bodyguard, but he is devastated over his girlfriend’s death in the fire. A trio of mean girls is messing with her. Chase Fairfax, an ex-boyfriend of a mean girl, seems interested in her. A few attempts are made on her life. And mysterious threats are showing up, blaming her for the fire, but they must be wrong. So why can’t she remember what happened before she blacked out in the fire? Felicity needs to figure out who’s behind the attempts and the threats before she ends up dead and ashed.

I'm very tempted to query a few more agents my YA chick lit Summer of Firsts:

Grace Washington is buddies with Mr. Darcy, Dracula, Hester Prynne, Mr. Hyde, and Ishmael. Too bad they’re made of words, paper, and a girl’s imagination.

Grace doesn’t have much of a social life, and she’s comfortable with that. Honestly. Reading books is as satisfying as experiencing life or love, but her only human friend, Jenny, puts a stop to that by taking her along for a beach trip and introducing her to guys. At the beach, Grace gets to experience everything outside of books from a first date that consists of ice cream cones and teenage stalkers to a first Nancy Drew moment in the backseat of a car, but then she falls for the wrong guy and gets her first heartbreak. With a book, she can always flip to the back to see the happy ending, but real life isn’t as simple as her paper world. 

While querying, I'm also working on a new project, creating my dystopian plot that I'm very excited about! Still in outline form though. Now if only boy bands and Summer of Second Chances would stop distracting me :P. SoSC is supposed to be my summer project. A summer book with "summer" in the title should be written in the summer!