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Friday, February 26, 2010

Why E-Books and Music are NOT the Same

So on occasion in this e-book revolution, people bring up how illegally shared music is hurting the music industry. And how illegally shared e-books will hurt the publishing industry.

I won't deny that. But I would like to point out a MAJOR difference between CDs and illegally downloaded music, and books and e-books.

One CD = about $20 = about 15 songs

You're not going to like ALL of those songs. You may only want to ever listen to one or two. There's a reason why I've only bought maybe five CDs in my entire life. And that's it. I don't like a song well enough to pay $20 for it and a bunch of songs that I don't like.

You can't do that with a book. If you buy a book, it's because you want to read the WHOLE book. You don't buy a book, read the fifteenth chapter, and then set it on the shelf for the time when you want to read that chapter again (unless you're my mom, but she's crazy that way).

And that concludes my rant of the week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Senioritis and GOS

In 9 to 11 days, I will once again be on the laptop! :D And then all shall be right in my world again.

Anyway.

Today I was thinking about senioritis. And what I was going to blog about. So I've decided to blog about senioritis. I promise this will be writing related. Somehow.

For those of you that don't know what senioritis is. It's a disease. The symptoms are a complete loss of all desire to do work for school. Or go to school. These desires are usually replaced by an urge to stay at home and do absolutely nothing. There is no known cure.

Senioritis doesn't actually exist. Unless you have it, then you swear that it should be in medical journals everywhere.

I have chronic senioritis. I like to joke that I've had it since I was a freshman. Despite it's name, senioritis can affect students of any age, though typically targets those in high school under high stress that are almost done with their time, such as juniors and seniors.

How does this relate to writing?

Well as someone who has experiences (and is pretty much currently experiencing) senioritis, I can say that there is a similar disease that affects my writing. And I'm not talking about writers' block.

It's similar to what I like to call Writer's Depression which is when you get down on your book and start thinking that it sucks and no one's ever going to want to read it. I'm going to call this disease Get Out Syndrome, or GOS. It doesn't really make sense, but it's kind of a fun acronym.

Symptoms of GOS:

- a lack of desire to work on your book
- a desire to do anything BUT work on your book
- thoughts of just sending it out to agents now even though you know it's not ready
- rushing revisions or writing just so you can "get them over with."

Luckily unlike senioritis I have a couple of things that help with GOS. Basically there are three options.

1. Take a break. This can be a break of a few hours or several months or even years. It's up to you. Just take some time away from that book. Trunk it for a bit. Work on something else, watch a movie, take a walk, refresh your tired mind.

2. Relax. Breathe. Remind yourself that you have all the time in the world to finish writing/revising (unless you're on a deadline, then I don't suggest telling yourself that.) Maybe take a short break and try not to rush so much. If it's getting to the point where writing isn't fun anymore, then why are you doing it? Then give yourself rewards as you go along. A piece of chocolate after each new 1,000 words, a short walk outside after each new chapter, even something as simple as that can kick GOS to the curb.

3. Indulge those urges. I definitely don't suggest this one. It usually ends in disaster when you send your book out to an agent and then are crushed when the rejection comes even though you know deep down that you should've revised before you sent it. It's not usually agents that I rush to get to, it's the revision process that I rush through to send it to betas. It's not a good idea to indulge those urges to slack off and do nothing either. *should really take her own advice*

I had another solution when the idea came to me, but now I can't remember what it was. Remember, don't let GOS run your writing life like senioritis runs my school life. It's why I'm on here writing a blog post instead of studying for my huge AP Lit exam on Friday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

RTW -- Which Character? `

This week's Road Trip Wednesday at YA Highway is:

If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?

Um. *thinks*

*thinks some more*

This is a really tough one. Mostly because there are SO many awesome characters out there. If I could, I'd be Hermione in a Dramione fanfic, but I don't really think that counts.

Oh, I know! I'd be Daine from Wild Magic. Particularly around the end of Realms of the Gods. She's strong, she can talk and heal animals, and she lives in Tortall. Numair doesn't hurt either.

Either that or Ashleigh from the Thoroughbreds series. Because she has Mike and gets to own and race Throughbreds.

And last but not least, I'd be Annabeth. I don't think I really need to say any more. She's insanely smart, the daughter of Athena, AND she has Percy.

Those would be my top three choices. I could probably be here all day listing them off as I think of them, but that'd be long and boring. So I'll cut it off there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Obsession vs Love

Happy (not) Monday morning! The laptop still isn't back. I'm about ready to explode from lack of computer time. It's not even in the shop yet.

So I started reading Shadowland on Friday. I'm not sure how good an idea this is because Blue Moon almost made me throw a book out the window, but I have to know how the story continues so I'm reading it anyway. The good news is, this one's actually mine so I can throw it at the wall if I deem it necessary.

And then I started thinking about how a lot of books seem to have confused obsession and love.

Love is NOT constantly thinking about how you can't live without someone.

Love is NOT falling into an untouchable depression for six months and then trying to kill yourself because you have nothing to live for.

Love is NOT announcing yourself soul mates within five minutes of meeting the person. (Let the records show that I do believe in love at first sight, but love at first sight doesn't mean you're going to marry the person and live happily ever after).

So what's up with this?

I blame Twilight for starting the trend. But it continues. With Shiver (not nearly as much as the others), the Immortals series, and even Winter's End a little bit.

I go to high school. I leave my home. I realize that love does not happen that way. And if it does, it's VERY VERY VERY VERY rare. So would anyone like to explain to me why we all of a sudden have an influx of weak women protagonists that can't live without their supernatural boyfriends and depend on them for everything? Seriously?

There are lots of awesome examples of live in books. Strong women protags that don't have to have their boyfriend at their side at all times. And that concludes my rant of the week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

You Just Can't Get That with a Kindle

I was thinking about Kindles the other day again. I'm on the fence about the e-book revolution. I love print books and I don't know how I could live without them, but then there's just something appealing about having a cute little e-book reader with all the things I'm reading on it.

But I'm not going to talk about the advantages of a Kindle over a print book or how Kindles are ruining the publishing industry today. Mostly because I'm not even close to being qualified to do that and there are hundreds of posts out there dealing with those very subjects and more by people that are. No, today I'm going to talk about the things that you just can't get with a Kindle.

1. Think back to the time you were a child. Before you could read. Instead you'd just flip through the books and look at the pictures with joy. Maybe you made up your own story to go along with them. Maybe you begged your parents to read it to you. That's one thing you just can't do with a Kindle.

2. No more donating books to children that can't afford them. Not unless you donate a Kindle too and those things have to either require batteries or a charger.

3. No more libraries. How would there be?

4. No more sharing books with friends. Half the fun of reading books is lending them out to friends to read them too -- especially when you get a particularly awesome one.

5. No more walking into bookstores and libraries when you're broke just to browse the titles and take in that soothing new book smell. No breathing in said smell while you read the book for the first, fifth, or hundredth time. Now if you could find some way to infuse a Kindle with that new book smell, that would be AWESOME.

What else can you just not get on a Kindle?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gone Review

Gone
by Lisa McMann

Yes, I got my hands on Gone.

Three letters: O.M.G.

I LOVE IT! I read it in two hours. Without stopping. And it definitely didn't seem like I'd been reading that long. I wanted to murder Janie, love Cabe, and I also love Captain. She's not in it as much as she is in previous books, but she's still one of my favorite characters. I laughed, I cried, I threatened to murder Janie (repeatedly). Now that's a sign of a good book. I love the addition of Janie's father. I spent two books wondering constantly who he was and now I finally got to find out.

Also, I'm Team Cabe now. Just saying. I love him.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lightning Thief Review

I'm doing two reviews of LT. This first one is almost completely disregarding what I know from the book. The second one covers everything that I can think of that they changed. Both have spoilers, the second one more than the first. The first one was written while I was still on my post-movie high just so you know.

Disregarding the book:


It was great! Special effects were amazing, I still hated some parts of it because they didn't make a lot of sense (or that might just be the book talking). I'm definitely getting this one on DVD. I haven't decided yet how I feel about Luke. He's cute and all, but I still can't decide if I want to push him off the Empire State Building or love him. I love Annabeth though, she's awesome. Though I wish they'd emphasized her more of a daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom than the goddess of war. Oh, and Percy and Luke's fight on the Empire State Building: epic!

7/10

Regarding the book:

Things that were Added:

  • The romance between Percy and Annabeth. I'll let this one slide.
  • Annabeth and Percy swordfighting. They never do that. And there's only one person that can match Percy: Luke.
  • The random, freaked out stranger in Medusas's lair.
  • Hades magically showing up and demanding that Percy bring him the master bolt in exchange for his mother.
  • Percy hearing his father's voice.
  • Traveling to the Parthenon in Nashville and fighting the Hydra.
Things that were Removed:
  • Ares. Which really disappointed me because I was looking forward to seeing Percy and Ares's battle on the beach on the big screen. It would've been EPIC. (Epic's my new favorite word, by the way.)
  • Kronos.
  • Grover almost getting dragged into the pits of Tartarus
  • Clarisse.
  • Hades losing his Helm of Darkness.
  • Percy jumping off the top of the Arch while being attacked by Echidna.
  • Mr. D
  • The Mist
  • The Fates snipping the thread
  • The Prophecy and the Great Prophecy
  • The part with Percy and his mom at the cabin in Montauk
  • The tree guarding camp
  • WHY the gods are on the Empire State Building
  • Luke's scar
  • The bead necklaces for each summer they survive.
  • The Oracle
  • Luke HAS met his father. Once. And that's a whole other story.
  • The hellhound attacking after the capture the flag game.
  • Annabeth's magic Yankees cap
  • Argus
  • The fact that Riptide shows up in his pocket when he loses it
  • Them getting attacked by the Furies and blowing up the bus
  • Grover's search for Pan
  • Annabeth's past
  • Contacting Luke through the iris message
  • Going to the Tunnel of Love to get Ares's shield back
  • The story of what happened with Grover, Thalia, Annabeth, and Luke.
  • Percy getting summoned by his father, going to Santa Monica, meeting Nereid, and getting the pearls from her.
  • Crusty's Water Bed Palace where they almost get killed (again) and find out where the entrance to the Underworld is.
  • Cerberus
Things that were Changed:
  • Movie: There was a law forbidding the gods from seeing their children. Book: There was a law against the Big Three having children and also one that forbid the gods from helping their children directly, but NOT seeing them at all.
  • Movie: They go running around the country looking for the pearls. Book: They get them from Nereid.
  • Camp Half-Blood looks more like a war camp than a summer camp growing strawberries. Also, Percy's cabin is too small. Where's Tyson going to sleep??
  • Movie: Chiron threatens to rip the Fury to pieces if she doesn't leave Percy alone, she drops him, and flies out the window. Book: Percy slashes her with the sword.
  • Movie: they talked about Percy like he wasn't even there before he knew what he was. Book: they talked about him behind his back.
  • Percy is supposed to be TWELVE. Though I suppose it makes it easier for them to drive all over the country if they're older.
  • Book: Sally hated sending Percy to camp. She barely did it willingly. Movie: Grover says it's time to go, so she just starts driving him there.
  • Book: Percy goes to the Hermes cabin because no one knows who his father is. Movie: it's straight to the Poseidon cabin. I'll let this one slide too because I understand why they did that.
  • Chiron is supposed to be a WHITE stallion.
  • Book: Percy was on Annabeth's AND Luke's team for Capture the Flag. Movie: He's just on Luke's team and Annabeth almost kills him.
  • Book: It was Luke that captured the flag. Percy was too busy trying not to get killed by Clarisse while running border patrol. Movie: Percy just stumbles on the flag and then captures it after almost being killed by Annabeth, getting healed by the stream, and then fighting off the other team.
  • Book: Percy gives Grover the flying shoes because it's not a good idea for him to be flying with Zeus wanting to kill him and all. Movie: Percy keeps the flying shoes.
  • Book: Percy sent the head of Medusa to Olympus. Movie: They kept it with them the entire time.
  • Movie: The bolt was in the shield Luke gave Percy the entire time. Book: The bolt appeared in Percy's backpack that Ares gave him as soon as he reached Hades.
  • The Styx isn't supposed to be floating in midair! How is someone supposed to jump in it??
  • Movie: Percy grabs his mother and just leaves Grover behind. Book: Percy takes Grover and Annabeth with him and then promises to return the Helm of Darkness to Hades and find a way to free his mother.
  • Book: Luke stole the Helm and Bolt, gave them to Ares, and both of them are being controlled by Kronos. Movie: Luke stole the bolt in the hope of creating a war and starting a new era of the world where the heroes are in charge.
  • Movie: The magic pearls carried them all the way back to Olympus. Book: They FLEW back even though Zeus would be ticked because it was the fastest way to get there.
  • Movie: Persephone saves them from Hades. Book: She really didn't give a darn whether they lived or died.
  • The Underworld is not just hiding behind the Hollywood sign for Hades's sake!
5/10

Okay, I think that's it. Honestly I think there should be a law saying that anyone involved with the production of a movie from a book is required to read the ENTIRE series before they even start. Seriously, things that seem small in the first book could become HUGE in the later ones. J.K. Rowling is awesome at that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

No Week in Short

Okay long story short: my laptop's broken again, the blame is once again falling on me, and now I'm restricted to two or three hours a night on a slightly ancient (in computer years) desktop. Therefore, I'm afraid I have to suspend Week in Shorts indefinitely. I'll try to find time to do them, but I don't think I'm going to be able to unless all I'm going to use my hours for is blog reading. :( Regular blogging will continue as normal because it doesn't take very long to write up a blog post and those can be set to auto-post at the beginning of the week.

Hopefully we'll get this whole thing straightened out soon and I'll be able to go back to my regular blogging and writing, but until then I have to make some cuts if I want to get anything done at all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Releases - The Dark Divine, The Mark, Beautiful Creatures

The Dark Divine by Bree DespainGrace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

The Mark by Jen NadolCassandra Renfield has always seen the mark--a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her "gift," seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she's careful to hide her secret--even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend--with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone's last, should you tell them?

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlLena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RTW -- Favorite Relationships

It's a beautiful snow day over here this morning! :) Which means time to relax, kick back, and frantically try to catch up with everything on my to do list.

Each week YA Highway asks a question on their blog and then each of the contributors post an answer on their individual blogs.

This week's question was:

What's your favorite display of affection in a YA?
This can be of any sort--romantic, friendship, family, etc)

Wow. I almost had more ideas for this one than I did for the book covers. There are just SO many awesome choices! These are my top five:

WARNING: There are some minor Deathly Hallows spoilers in number one. But if you haven't read the book yet and care about reading spoilers, then just go read the book. :D No, seriously, READ IT.

1. Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Come on, you knew it was coming. From the moment they became friends to the end of the seventh book, they were a team. They went through everything together (except for the brief hiatus for Ron when he left and I wanted to kill him). They brought Voldemort down together. Ron and Hermione knew they could've stepped out at any time, but they risked everything to help Harry. How can you not love that??? I know some people don't like the Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny pairings, but I LOVE them. The kiss scene between Ron and Hermione is the scene I'm mostly looking forward to out of the two movies!

2. Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby. Another group of friends that go through everything together. They were friends even before they were born and they stuck it out through trials and summers away from each other with the help of the Pants.

3. Cabel and Janie. On another end of the spectrum, we have Cabel and Janie from Wake, Fade, and Gone. *bounces up and down* I just love their relationship! I can't help it. :D They're so cute together.

4. Katniss and Gale, and Katniss and Peeta. Okay technically this is two relationships, but I'm counting them as one because I can. Plus I still haven't decided who's team I'm on because both guys are awesome in their own way. Katniss and Gale have been friends for a long time, helping each other in times of need and sharing secrets. Peeta kind of threw a wrench into that. Katniss and Peeta have a very complicated relationship. You know that Peeta loves her, but she has no clue what she feels for him. Each is willing to die for the other, but Katniss mostly wants to stay friends.

5. Daine and Numair. *sighs* I don't really have a coherent explanation for this one. He goes from being her teacher in wild magic, to a trusted traveling companion in the war, to her love. I. Love. It. Oh by the way, this is from Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shiver Review

GONE COMES OUT TOMORROW! *bounces off the walls* Don't know when I'm getting it, but I can't. wait!

Last night I had the strange urge to put the laptop away, curl up in bed with the electric blanket, and just read a book. Out of my stack I decided to read Shiver.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I started this beautiful book at eight p.m. I went to bed at one a.m. even though I had to be up at eight the next morning. I don't even remember the last time I read a book straight through without stopping for more than a few minutes. It might've been Deathly Hallows whenever that came out.

*fangirl squeals* Okay, I've got that out of the way. I love this spin on werewolves. It's just an awesome idea. There are some parts I'm not sure about, like how fast Sam and Grace's relationship progressed after they met properly. I do love the characters and how well-rounded they are, however. You can have Jacob, I'm officially Team Sam.

Also, some parts of the story seemed slow and didn't hold my attention as much as the rest of the book.

I almost forgot to mention that Shiver is told from dual first person POV by Sam and Grace. I love both of their voices, but I think Sam's is my favorite. I'm not really sure why, but I just love listening to what's going on in his head.

One more note: I love the ending. I may or may not have been sitting on my bed with a huge grin on my face trying not to fangirl squeal and wake up my mom. I'm just weird that way. I can't wait for Linger!

Overall: 8.5/10

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week in Short

Happy Saturday morning everyone! I'm sick this weekend. :( Which sucks. You'd think that would equal more writing time, but somehow it doesn't.

There's a lot of news this week. Well actually there's a lot of news covering one subject. If you haven't been hiding under a rock that past week, I bet you can guess what I'm talking about. If you have, I'm talking about the Macmillan and Amazon war that took place. For a summary of past events we have Kristin's personal summary on the subject as she has authors pubbed by Macmillan and a quick summary from Writer Unboxed. Nathan and Pimp My Novel have their views on the subject. PMN looked at how Apple fits into the grand scheme of things and BookEnds reminded everyone not to forget the author. On Thursday, Kristin had an update on the proceedings, and on Friday, Publisher's Lunch via WB provided news of a possible truce.

And in other news, Caren Johnson of Caren Johnson Literary Agency is closed to queries until April 1st.

Elana explains first and last paragraphs in queries.

GLA has 5 articles on writing description and Janet Reid demystifies how to trim your query.

Kristin shares the prologue for Undone and then her reasons for why a prologue often doesn't work.

Queryshark devoured a revised contemporary crime novel query and a revised YA fantasy query this week. I'm confused, aren't all crime novels contemporary?

That's all the links I have this week!

Not a lot of news in my world at the moment. I'm struggling to figure out where to begin on ARML's edits. There are too many possibilities and I haven't quite figured out what works and what doesn't work for me in the revision department. I'll try to get on that today. Jump's still in the trunk. I got one of my beta's comments back last week and am anxiously awaiting the other two so I can start revisions.

Everyone stay safe if you're in the area of a lot of snow and have a great weekend!