Wednesday, August 22, 2012

RTW: Novel's Love-List

Today is Road Trip Wednesday! What is that? It is a blog carnival where the contributors of YA Highway post a weekly topic and participants write their responses. You can jump from blog to blog to see each blogger's take on the question. 

Topic of the week:

What is your novel's "Love List"?

I think it is a great idea by following author Stephanie Perkin's lead by writing a "Love List" about my book. I'm working on a revision project right now for my Japanese-inspired fantasy KIN for almost four years. It is the hardest book I've ever written since it takes me out of my comfort zone. I wanted a challenge, and I sure got it! 

Re-reading it brought out so many things that I love about the story, and also, the things that I could improve so I can love it even more. So I'm happy to share my list here with you guys.

My Love List for KIN

Uncle mentor
Moon Festival 
Stories by the river
Scrolls 
Secret maps
Frightful forest
Sharing stories
The old well
Mountain views
Shells
Teatime
Siblings
Moonlight paths
Kimono designs
Koi pond
Shrines
Rain
Saved by a moon child
Hilt of katana
Unusual creatures
Dragon eyes
Kitsune 
The alcove 

The Moon Festival is something I'm very fond of in the story. It appears three times in the novel and shows the progression of what is happening in the character's lives. 

I could keep going, except, now I want to go and keep working on this story. Thanks to all those who stopped by.

Is there anything that makes your WIP special to your heart? 

Natasha

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

RTW: My Summer Soundtrack

Today is Road Trip Wednesday! What is that? It is a blog carnival where the contributors of YA Highway post a weekly topic and participants write their responses. You can jump from blog to blog to see each blogger's take on the question. 

Topic of the week:

What music has been your summer soundtrack?


I listen to music mostly when I'm on the computer working on my projects or catching up with friends "back home". While writing, I sometimes have a particular feel of music in mind. For KIN, which is a Japanese-folklore based story, I went to the music of Joe Hisaishi. He composed the music for the majority of the Ghibli movies and they capture the right emotions for my story.

This summer, I worked on my sci-fi project Bright World. It was so different from anything that I've ever worked on before. I relied heavily on the magic of Pandora to find me the right tunes. I played with the stations and found the Weezer (90s) rock helped get the words out. However, the music station of Florence and the Machine is what really inspired me as I sometimes sat working through a scene unfolding in my mind. 

Here are the three songs that stick out the most to me this summer:

Mumford and Sons- Awake my Soul



Shake it Off- Florence and the Machine



I Won't Give Up- Jason Mraz



Bonus: Katy Perry-Wide Awake 
This one is not as dark and I love how this video uses Facebook. I believe this is an impressive fan video.


Feel free to share your summer songs in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

Natasha

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Heroine's July 2012 Reads

I checked at how many books that I read this year and the tally so far is at 46! Wow! I usually average at about 63 books since I started using Goodreads three years ago so I might be able to read more than ever! Here is what I got through in the month of August.

On Writing
If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
I'm a big fan of Felicia Day, and right now, I'm loving her Monday show The Flog via Geek and Sundry. Every week she does Fab Five (now Top Three) as part of the show. During the second episode, she chose this book to share and talked about how it helped her with taking her writing seriously. This is the girl that started The Guild and the first real web series, so yeah, I'm going to listen! I ordered the book online, and I have to say, it is really a book that helps with the insecurities that can plague writers. I can see why it was so helpful to Felicia Day since it coaxed me out of my shell on the days I needed it most recently.  

Graphic Novels
The Unwritten: Volume 1 Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey
We picked up a copy of an issue at Free Comic Book Day and my husband really enjoyed it. At San Diego Comic-Con, he found the first volume and he told me I had to read it. It is the story of Tommy Taylor and it is a play off of Harry Potter. What would happen if there was a real Tommy Taylor the character was named after? A lot of "what if" questions run through this first installment of the series, and the next volume should give more answers to the truth behind Tommy Taylor the man and the character.

Novellas

Series
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
This is the second in the Nightshade series and it follows the aftermath of Calla's decision in the first book. The love triangle deepens in this book as Calla faces the consequences of her decision in the first book. I have to say, it is really hard to pick sides in this intense love triangle and the guy I'm rooting for in Bloodrose is not the one I excepted. The book is more than just a love triangle--- it is a fight for the pack's way of life. I like that Calla takes the power into her hands as the main alpha, and that she isn't letting the guys get in the way. 

Out in August
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The novellas, and The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, take place before Throne of Glass. There is no way in resisting adding them to your e-library. I don't think you need to read them first, but it might fill in some of the minor gaps in the main novel. The novel itself is a treasure since I feel like we haven't even scratched the surface of this world that the author has created. Celaena is a tough character who pushes through whatever is thrown at her. I love the air of mystery around her and her abilities, but I think the novellas let those moments shine more. Like I said, we haven't even scratched the surface of this world and what she can do. If you want a fantasy series that will keep you busy, this is one to jump into. To learn more about the setting of Throne of Glass, check out this blog post on how the UK influenced the setting of her story.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
I met Kendare Blake at ALA and I had to tell her how much I loved Anna Dressed in Blood, the first book of this series. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book since I have a total fascination with urban legends, which we also chatted about briefly (I admit, I wrote a  terrible movie script based on The White Lady myth back home) The title of the first book is what drew me in since right there I knew what it was going to be about, but it is so much more. Cas Lowood is a ghosthunter who travels from town to town like his father before him. He is given and finds stories of ghosts that need to move on, especially the deadly kind. Once he reads about Anna, he knows who he must face next, the name drawing him in like it did me when it came to the book! This second book continues the story of Cas and Anna. Blake really writes some heart-pounding scenes of when he comes across these baddies, and she captures the feel of ghost stories perfectly.

Currently reading: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

On the shelf for August
I'm doing my best to read the ARCs that I received at ALA and SDCC in the order that they come out. This month I will be reading some great books. Be sure to check them out and to read what I thought of them next month! 

Rift by Andrea Cremer 

This is going to be interesting since I have revisions to do for KIN and I'm going to read my critique partner Rhiannon Paille's book, Flame of Apocalypse. Jealous, right? 

What are your goals or books you're dying to read this August?

Natasha

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