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Showing posts from January, 2012

5 Tips for Finding Time to be a Writer in College

My first semester here I didn't touch a WIP after the first two weeks. I was too busy with classes, clubs, student government, friends, a boyfriend, and volunteering. It's hard to find time for writing when you're already struggling to find time to sleep.

This semester I resolved to find time to write, even if it's only a half hour a day. Here are five tips that are helping me find time to write while still experiencing the college life.
1. Write during breakfast/lunch/dinner. Every day I have an hour set aside for lunch. I head to a dining location that most of my friends don't frequent (mostly because it's closer to my classes than theirs) and open my laptop while I eat. Just be careful not to spill anything!
2. Read between classes. If you're like me and have a stack of books that only keeps growing that you need to read but not a lot of time to read them, carry a book with you to all your classes. If you find yourself sitting outside the classroom for fift…

Wildefire Review

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Wildefire
by Karsten Knight
Ashline Wild is having a rough sophomore year. She's struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve's violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California's redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her.

But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn't go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy her new school -- being capitain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot local park ranger -- she discovers that a group of gods and goddesses has been unknowingly summoned to Blackwood...and she's one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she's got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire within her before she cl…

New Releases -- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight; May B; and Never Eighteen

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
May B
by Caroline Starr Rose
I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.


May is helping out on a neighbor…

The Fault in Our Stars Review

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The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

This is one of those books that I waited years for without realizing it. Ever since I read Paper Towns a few years ago, I've hoped that Gre…

Blackout

YAHighway has cancelled Road Trip Wednesday this week in protest of SOPA and PIPA and in agreement, I will not be making a regular post today.

Piracy is a problem but this is not the answer.

The Son of Neptune Review

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The Son of Neptune
by Rick Riordan
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a campt for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother as possessed by greed. But that was the problem -- when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her d…

RTW: Pen Names

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?

This is a really tough one for me. I've thought about the possibility of having a pen name, but one of the things I most look forward to if I'm ever published is holding a book with my name on the cover in my hands.

I've thought about shortening my last name to Kirk (except then it would be a constant reminder of Captain Kirk). I've thought about taking my mother's maiden name. I don't know what I would choose if I had to change my whole name. Maybe something like Blaire Stevens since my current WIP has two male main characters. Or Rachael Grace so I can at least keep my first name.

The Scorpio Races Review

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The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition -- the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.I was so excited when I finally managed to get my hands on this book. The concept sounded original and intriguing, and of course I want to get my hands on anything that has horses. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed.

True to her style in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, the story is told from both Puck and Sean's points of view. While I enjoyed bein…

Week in Short

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The first week of 2012 is almost over! I hope all of you have had a better start to the year than I have. I got all caught up on Burn Notice finally. All five seasons in three weeks. The season five finale killed me. I haven't been nearly this depressed over a show since Doctor Who's Doomsday. In better news, Once Upon a Time starts again on Sunday!

Song of the Week: I Don't Want This Night to End by Luke Bryan

Blood-Red Pencil:
Using characters and scenes to trim the fat from your story: part one

Janice Hardy:
Making backstory work for you

Queryshark:
#217 - YA query

Querytracker:
Show and tell

Wordplay:
12 writing resolutions for 12 months

YAHighway:
On responding graciously

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!

Most Anticipated Releases of 2012

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There are a lot of great books coming out this year. Here are some of the ones I'm most looking forward to...

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - December
I am dying for this one. I just read Clockwork Prince a few weeks ago and I'm already anxious to get my hands on the finale. It's going to be a big one, I can feel it.

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak - September
It's about a boy.
His name is Clay.
He's building a bridge.
And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous.
It's Markus Zusak! His books (The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger) are the kind that change my life. I can't wait to read another.

Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz - April
It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge, trying to make sense of the random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.

Craig's crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant w…

Resolutions: 2011 and 2012

I'm going to continue my tradition of looking back on my New Year's resolutions from last year and setting my new ones.

One year ago, I resolved to...
For 2011, I resolve to have no regrets. I will do everything that I've always wanted to do and I won't let fear get in my way. I will live every day so at the end of the year I don't look back and wish I'd done this or wonder what might've been.

This has been my mantra all year and it's doing well. I've gone rock climbing (on a wall and for real). I went ice skating. I went cliff jumping. I graduated from high school and choose to attend the college that turned out to be the one of my dreams. I won't say that I don't have any regrets from the year, but I'm glad for the things that I tried despite my fears.

Now my resolutions for 2012.

1. Continue to strive to live without regrets

2. Revise Cardinal Three

3. Get a 4.0 this winter semester

4. Start riding again (this was a resolution from…