Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 Debut Author Challenge

I thought I might as well enter this challenge since I read at least 12 YA novels in a year. Yes, I'm a late starter--but I'm a fast reader.

I'll list twelve now and probably add more as I go along this year. Of course, I will be posting a little review for each one--that will happen at a slower rate than I read. Oh, and some books I might say a lot about. We shall see.

I still have to post a review for Libba Bray's "Going Bovine"...which doesn't count because it was published in 2009.

2010 Debut Author Challenge (Young Adult)/My List:

1. THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard

2. THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting

3. WISH by Alexandra Bullen

4. BRIGHTLY WOVEN by Alexandra Bracken

5. THE MARK by Jen Nadol

6. BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

7. MISTWOOD by Leah Cypress

8. YOU by Charles Benoit

9. INFINITY by Sherrilyn Kenyon

10. SEERS OF LIGHT by Jennifer DeLucy

11. THE AWAKENING by Kelley Armstrong

12. THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN by Susan Beth Pfeffer


I don't know that I will be all into winning prizes every month. In fact, I may forget to post a link on that blog or whatever. I'm just a reader and it seems like a good idea.

You can join in the good times as well by clicking on the "Debut Author" image on my sidebar and following the link. Have fun!

Mel

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear John--My Experience With the Movie

So, I took my youngest Godchild (age 12) to see "Dear John" when it came out because that's what she wanted to see. I thought "Percy Jackson" looked like the better alternative, but I guess the girls at school all wanted to go see "John" and that meant I had to go, too.

Well, I did enjoy the movie, "A Walk to Remember." I thought there might be some chance this adaptation would turn out okay.

But we get into the movie--which happened to be packed--during the previews and it is all couples. Here I am with my Godchild during the matinee hours and we're at a chick-flick/date-o-rama! And I thought to myself, I hope there's nothing in this film that I am going to have to explain later. Then again, she's in middle school--what doesn't she know about all that?! As a Godparent, the whole situation just made for a lot wincing and "is she okay with that?" glances from the corner of my eye.

And the movie turned out as I expected--not so good. Also, I don't think she liked it. She frowned at me when I looked over at her as we stood to leave, as if she neither understood or cared to understand why that couple was a couple.

Later, I questioned her and she reassured me that she had enjoyed the film. Still, I doubt it. None of the excitement I usually see when she's seen a film she likes showed.

But the one good thing about that whole experience came from a chick in the audience. At the end of the movie, right when the lights started to come on and the very last scene had faded out, she just loudly stated, "But she's a whore!" The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

I had to cover my mouth to keep from bursting out with laughter. Some people did laugh. Some outright agreed with her. A few nodded their heads as they stood to leave. Only the women who had been weeping piteously for awhile, and could do little else, weren't amused. There were several military couples in the audience, so that might have made a difference.

However, By God, that character was a whore! No matter the reason, I just can't conscience the "Dear John" approach. The movie made a pretty good argument for her side, but still. I don't care. And giving her anything at the end is bull.

I care too much for soldiers to see people rips their hearts to shreds. Maybe the military should "issue" spouses, as the saying goes. ;)

Mel

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Third

I have made it through a third of the book's final edit before I turn it over to the editor for the second and final eval. Good Lord, the first part of the book is always such a pain is in the butt to me! Though I can't exactly say I'm glad to be through with it, because I know I will have to go back to it again and again, it is still an accomplishment.


So yeah, I'm standing for a few moments on a hill. I'm going to have to climb another. And there are some mountain ranges in the distance, but I'm not worried. At this point, I can almost say I'm enjoying the struggle...almost.

Mel

Friday, March 19, 2010

Facing Raptors

Copper is dying.

The retched scent of something burning will not leave me. I’d seek it out, but I know it’s just me standing at the gates of my past, trying to peer through the smoke at the ruins. Even the occasional nosebleed can’t overcome that smell. I’m suffocating, drowning, choking as I slip down…down…but even near the earth they cry out to me.

The dead never rest in Hell.

I look to the east and the cliff. A secret graveyard waits for her there, bedside the great fall. I sometimes long for that view. The pull to go is in me, but instead I stand at the window and weep. Oh, I need to go. Still, I remain.

It’s happening again. Maybe I could make a difference this time, as I believe I might have before. Maybe I could save her. Yet, I am as helpless as a small child. Anyway, she’s old now and it might be her time…maybe.

Fear? No, I don’t think so. It’s more than fear--as if the Velociraptors from JURASSIC PARK (the movie) awaited me up there and by the cliff…not just her, her daughters, and the dead. Yes, it feels like those awful dinosaurs are waiting for me, only they won’t kill me outright. I’ll be gutted, eaten on, and left a suffering mess for the rest of my miserable life, if I go. And I’ll deserve it. And I’ll remember.

Sounds stay with me the most as night falls. The Velociraptors have a high-pitched communication, like a scream, in the movie. Horses scream when they are terribly frightened or in tremendous pain. The two sounds almost blend in my memories, the more I try to work up the nerve to go to her. Is she screaming? Or has the final quiet come? Either way, the raptors will be there, waiting.

I’m a coward.

Every day I fight it. Life beat another personality out of me, a stronger person, and left me with this determination…little else. Some people say that by living I’m brave. What a load of sh*t! I live because I love what’s left and they need me to. I live because I have goals. I live because it’s not my time yet. Being brave has nothing to do with it.

I want to fight raptors for Copper, but I ask myself if it’s suicide to do so. Can she be saved? Is she too old and sick? When I return, how long will it be before I am able to write again? And I’m so alone here. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I love my solitude. But if I go there, I may not be able to make it back alone.

The cost of being a reclusive writer is high.

They say writers are solitary creatures. I’ve always been thrilled with this. Everyone thinks I’m full of crap, but I like being a recluse. Only, look at me now. Serves me right, huh? I need help to get a few hundred yards and back again. But I don’t trust a lot of people to let them that close, and the few I do either live too far away or are too busy. So here I am.

I am paying for solitude now. In the years to come, there will be more payments that will weigh heavily on my soul. All of my preparations did little, if nothing, to numb me to the pain. Therefore, I will brace myself and survive. I shudder when I think about what will be left of me.

I learn.

They say life’s beatings make you stronger. That’s not true. They make you wiser, but they also make you a coward. And being wiser isn’t necessarily a good thing. Like with me, I’m just better at avoiding the blows.

I think the most content person in the world lives in a little house on a meadow in the middle of nowhere, tending a garden, untouched by the world.

Copper is dying. If I can’t save her, at least she will be beyond the reach of this world. One day, I’ll write about leaving her to the raptors. Honestly, I think we are both just outside a few hundred yards of help to make a difference.

Then again, if she still lives when next I wake, I may just go on that suicidal mission after all. Love can give you the insane rush to face raptors. But don’t ever call it bravery.

Any path I choose will be rough.

Mel

Friday, March 5, 2010

Status

I can't feel my face...because I went to the dentist today.

I am still editing and working on the query letter.

I finally joined a critique group.

Life goes on. My Bete Noire (so named from Betsy Lerner's latest blog post) is as quiet as I, so I have to assume the world is stable enough. ;)


Mel