Saturday, April 23, 2011

Before I Fall

I finished another book for my 26 Books list. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver filled the B spot on my list, and was a bit of a deviation from my usual selections. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, purely because it has the tendency to strike a little too close to home. However, Delirium, Lauren Oliver's second novel, has been getting a lot of buzz lately, so I thought I'd try her debut first.

I was completely blown away by the intensity of this book. For those of you who don't know it, it's about Sam Kingston, a popular girl who is content to sit at the top of the social pyramid and doesn't really care who she has to step on to stay there. She's killed in a car crash, and relives her last day of life seven times. Sam herself compares her experience to the movie Groundhog Day, and I have to say I agree with that comparison. Nonetheless, it was incredible to see Sam's transformation from cold-hearted ice queen to a normal teenager with insecurities over the course of the novel.

There were so many layers to the story, and Oliver did a wonderful job of not giving too much away too soon. Sam really needed seven repetitions of her last day to learn all her high school's secrets, and the reader needed seven repetitions of her last day to be able to empathize with Sam and her group of friends. I'll admit, by the end of the book I was tearing up during some of Sam's revelations, something I didn't think would happen based on my first impressions of the character.

Overall, I enjoyed Before I Fall, and look forward to reading Delirium. I would definitely recommend giving Lauren Oliver's books a try, even if you aren't a huge fan of contemporary fiction.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

I believe in miracles

Oh miracle of miracles! C and I found a church that actually supports, and embraces, our belief system. It's an interfaith church that mixes the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, which makes us Buddhist Christians now (I suppose). We only caught the last fifteen minutes of the service, but what we saw was wonderful, and we're really looking forward to going back next week. If all goes well (which I think it will), we've found a church home, as well as an officiant for our wedding. :)

It's been a while since I was genuinely excited about attending church. It's a wonderful feeling! I'm off to read our welcome packet. :D


Sunday, April 10, 2011

New things to entertain myself with

Well, Sunday is winding down now, and I can honestly say that I've been pretty productive this weekend. Yesterday, C and I spent most of our time in our creative zone. He's currently working on a painting of one of my characters, and I'm currently working on the novel said character lives in. I spent the majority of yesterday outlining in my notebook. I did backstories on all my characters, developed my villain (and learned where her intense rage/jealousy comes from), and worked out the general story arc.

After Creative Time was over, we went out to dinner with some friends of ours. It was the second time eating out yesterday, since we went to Cheesecake Factory for his dad's birthday lunch earlier in the day. We're fatties. We know this. We had grand plans to bring everyone back to our house after dinner and play Thunderstone (an epic deck-building game which I kicked severe tail at), but sadly, Baby O wasn't feeling well and we lost half our group because they had to go home and tend to her fever.

Today, we returned to our Creative Cave (also known as the loft above the living room where all our electronic equipment is located) to do more work on our projects. I researched medieval weapons for the different characters in my story and found landscape reference photos for those times when having a visual is way more helpful than plucking stuff from thin air. C painted. We're still here, 6 or 7 hours later (I honestly can't remember how long we've been up here).

I've been getting a little sidetracked in the last few hours though. I started a new blog for my writing progress, which you can check out at if you feel so inclined. It only has one post so far, but that will all change. I've also been reading the archived posts of Kiersten White's blog, which is amazingly funny. I recently read Paranormalcy, which I may have talked about in a previous post because it fills the P spot on my alphabet-of-books list. Now I've become her latest internet stalker, because I'm finding that she has a lot of really great advice for aspiring writers. She inspires me to be better at what I do (and also to wish that I were as hilarious as she is).

Anyway, I really should get back to working on my story. Or reading more of Kiersten's posts. Whichever one calls to me first. :P


Friday, April 8, 2011

Where have I been?

Goodness, has it really been nearly two weeks since my last post? Not that I'm so sure tons of people read this thing, but I'm sure my one or two devoted readers have been wondering what happened. After all, the last time I posted, I had this great new photo project that I was really looking forward to, and now there's been nothing. For ages.

The long and short of it is this: That project is on hold, because I've found something different. I feel like I have the attention span of a small child sometimes. I jump from project to project and have a hard time finishing things. But let me explain! We've had a few busy weekends, what with car troubles and taxes and friends with babies and new board games to try. I've been taking photographs off and on, but nothing that applies to my project. And in the midst of all that, this burning need to write took over.

I've had this story sitting on my computer for five years now. I recently unearthed it, and while the idea is solild and I still believe in the plot, it is painfully (and I mean PAINFULLY) obvious that an 18-year-old wrote it. So, I've decided to revamp it, change some things around, look at it with fresh eyes, give it a new lease on life, however you want to describe it. Basically, I'm going to fix it and make it the best thing I've written thus far, because I know I can.

C's been helping me with character development, and has even drawn character sketches for me! I'll post them later. :) I'm working on fleshing them out, as well as really developing my setting and researching some cultural elements. I'm pretty confident that I'll have most of my development done this weekend and be ready to move onto outlining and writing next week (fingers crossed). I've been getting a lot of advice and inspiration from some newly-discovered authors that I love (and also wish I knew personally just so they could be my friends...they're all amazing!), and I feel like I'm ready to take this journey and see where I end up.

I promise I'll be better about blogging! I really don't know what happened before, but I won't do it again!