Sunday, June 3, 2012

Writer's Digest - Weekly Writing Prompt

I think I'm going to start doing the weekly Writer's Digest prompts more often. It's good for my writing, as well as the mind, body and soul. The topic for this week:

You get a message, it is obviously for you, but it is scrawled in lipstick on a mirror in a public restroom. It’s unexpected, but now you know exactly where the killer is hiding. It’s time to find him and, hopefully, your friend (and hopefully your friend is still alive). Write this scene. (500 words or fewer)

I know it needs a lot of love and care, but I think it's ok for right now. And for 500 words. 

Also, it hasn't been posted yet for whatever reason so I guess this can be considered a "sneak peak" of it.

The air, laden with sweat and cigarette smoke, enveloped my senses and burned my eyes. Wiping away a salty tear from my cheek while simultaneously smearing my mascara, I weaved through the crowd of twentysomethings to the bathroom. Might as well fix my makeup and see how Clarissa’s doing.
None of the stalls were occupied. Odd. Didn’t Clarissa say she’d be right back after she went to the bathroom?
I applied eye drops and blinked to clear my vision before looking in the mirror. It had a message written in smeared lipstick: never odd or even.
It was in her favorite shade – pink popcorn. The shade she wore tonight. My fingers massaged my temples. Ok, think. The killer knew we were here, at the club. The message was meant for me, and it was in code.
I traced the message with my fingertips; it was still wet. They must have left right before I entered the bathroom. What could it mean? I stopped pacing.
It was a palindrome.
Clarissa loved them, and so did her ex-boyfriend. We used to play word games together. Boggle. Scrabble. Even Apples to Apples. That’s all in the past.
But why that particular one? I bit my lower lip and walked the perimeter of the bathroom, my heels clacking against the floors.
Fourteen. There were fourteen letters in that palindrome. 1441. Neither an area code nor a date. Address?
There were two restaurants and a car dealership at that address. Cars? Clarissa hates cars, why would the killer bring her there?
Never odd or even. Clarissa was a math teacher – it made perfect sense. Infinity is a mathematical concept and can never be odd or even because infinity never ends. Infinity. Infiniti. Another play on words.
Suddenly thankful I was the designated driver, I ran to my car and sped to the dealership, not caring that I had just received a ticket last week. I gripped the steering wheel, knuckles white.
The roads were empty. All the lights green.
Screeching to a halt, I killed the engine and leapt out, screaming, “CLARISSA! CLARISSA!”
I exhaled, my air ragged like shredded clothing. I started to check the cars. The red 2012 convertible. The black 2011 sedan. Nothing underneath the cars. Nothing on top of the cars. Where? Where would he take her?
Then everything around her seemed to slow. Seconds dissolved into minutes.
There were no lights. My eyes adjusted soon enough.
The back door was ajar.
Taking a deep breath, I pushed the door open and peered around the corner. Goosebumps raised on my arms.
Tires screeched and a car sped away. The killer’s car. Panic coursed through me – was I too late?
A muffled yell.
She was thrown into a closet, an afterthought. I untied her hands and removed the cloth from her mouth and we cried in each other’s arms.
There was a lipstick message next to us: next time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Cover Revelations

I love reading. That much should be obvious. The way the words flow on the page and dance on my tongue is magical. It really is. It's like mind-reading, but there's no negative repercussions of witnessing someone's innermost thoughts. Because they're giving away their thoughts for free. Now there's a potential idea for a book.

But I think today I'll focus on not the content, but the covers itself. Shocking, I know. There's the well-known cliche, "Don't judge a book by its cover". Well, there's not going to be any judgment on this blog, especially because I need to google 'judgment' every time I use it in a sentence to make sure I'm spelling it correctly. There's only going to be sheer admiration for the beauty of words and the images that are associated with it.

No, not all of them are Young Adult novels. Actually, I don't think any of them are classified as Young Adult, but that's OK, because we're in a judgment-free zone (thanks, google). There'll probably be another post about Books with Fantastic Cover images with an emphasis on Young Adult books, but for right now it is what it is.

What are some of your favorite book covers?

A collection of top 10 Book Covers in no particular order:

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi

3. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

4. American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent

5. The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo by Darrin Doyle

6. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace

6. The Naked Pint - An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer

7. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

8. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

9. The Language of Things - Understanding the World of Desirable Objects by Devan Sudjic 

10. The Last Days of Publishing by Tom Engelhardt

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Florence + the Machine. Or, a post on music to listen to while writing.

I love listening to music while I write. When I first started, I needed complete silence and perfect conditions. A fluffed pillow. A comfortable bed. A warm laptop (not too hot) balancing on my lap while I type away on the keyboard. In the olden days, a college-ruled spiral-bound notebook with pages that were pre-approved. Yes, I have rejected journals based on the quality of the paper. If it didn't pass the finger stroke test, it was a resigned rejection. Wide-ruled? Form rejection.

Writing is a personal subject. You can't share your thoughts while you write - it tends to only make sense to you. You, as a writer, need to sort through the tangled branches of your thoughts until you wind up at the root of your idea.

I find that music helps me do this. Untangle my thoughts, much like coiled necklaces. Honestly, there must be some love story I'm missing because each time I take it from the jewelry box it's like I'm a surgeon.

I'm always thrilled whenever I find a new musician I really like. Thank goodness for  Pandora. I've found quite a few gems that way. Two Door Cinema Club, anyone?

Anyway, my initial band I liked was Daft Punk. Still great, but there's been a change. A welcome addition called ...

Florence + the Machine. Uh-may-zing. Yes, spelling it out in an obnoxious manner was completely necessary. Although, this  music video is a little out there for me, but still good, nonetheless.

Do you like listening to music while you write?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine where bloggers post spotlights on upcoming releases that they're eagerly anticipating.

This week, my pick is Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls #4) by C.C Hunter. Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin. (first published October 1st, 2012)

Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4)

Even though everything about this book seems to be a bit cliche (mix of Percy Jackson, Twilight and Jungle Book) I love the cover. Also, I haven't read the first three books but maybe I'll look into them. 

Goodreads Summary: At a camp filled with vampires, werewolves, and fairies, Kylie Galen has always struggled to figure out what she is. Now she finally knows the truth—but she's left with more questions than answers. She doesn’t have a clue what her heritage means or how to harness her newfound powers. All she knows is that she needs to sort out her feelings for Derek, the sexy half-Fae who just confessed his love, and Lucas, her werewolf boyfriend who seems more committed to his pack than to their relationship. All the while, Kylie's dealing with a group of underground rogues who want her dead and a mysterious grandfather who makes it clear he doesn’t trust the FRU . . . or Shadow Falls. Soon Kylie will have to choose: Will she stay with the new family she’s formed at Shadow Falls, or will she leave with her grandfather and embrace her destiny?

What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Book About Bookshelves To Put On Your Very Own Bookshelf

I love bookshelves. My favorite one is currently the one next to me. It's dark brown and reaches almost to the ceiling, with basic shelves and it has holiday lights on it as an accent. It's filled with childhood favorites, current reads and future endeavors.

The title of this blog, and the images that follow, are from a book about bookshelves, and the unique people who design them. My classic bookshelf will always be my favorite, but it's always interesting to see what else is out there.

Which one of the below images is your favorite?

Antique Automobile  Club

Bath & Books

The United States of America

Tree Bookcase

This is the cover image of Bookshelf, the book of the Bookshelf blog, published by Thames & Hudson. I love reading and anything and everything associated with it, bookshelves included. Hopefully I'll be able to check out this book soon. (NPR Article:

In the meantime, I'll keep placing new books onto my bookshelf. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kickstarter: The funding platform for creative projects

In case you haven't heard, KIckstarter is here. And it's amazing.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. So book collections, music albums, art projects, it does it all. The section I'm going to talk about is books. Of course, since this is a book blog, it might not come at a surprise.

But the particular book that I'm about to bring up isn't a Young Adult novel, even though there have been successful Young Adult novels that have been funded.

No. The purpose of this blog post is to learn how to .... wait for it ...

How to Pack like a Rock Star. 

I know, right? Genius.

I'm horrible at packing. I always procrastinate  until the last minute (sometimes even the morning of!) and then I end up forgetting something useful, like an umbrella.

If only the packing gods had been nice to me. See above? I can't do that. Even in my twentysomething years, I still can't back.

It really makes me wish I came up with the idea first. Alas, the inspiration should've came when I watched Almost Famous years ago. Anyway.

I love this idea, and I'm about to back it, even though it's already funded. Overall, you should check out Kickstarter, and who knows, maybe you'll find your next favorite book on there, or maybe you'll attempt to KIckstart your own project. 

In the meantime, here's the about video that they have on the site:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Goodreads Review: Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

My Review: Looking for  Alaska brilliantly encompasses  teenage hormones and the definition of friendship. It was a heart-wrenching story that should be read more than once. The voice was so clear, it was as if Miles' thoughts were my own thoughts, swirling in my head and leaving through my mouth, as if I were speaking the words. Everything clicked. There were no loose threads. 

I think my heart stopped at the end of the novel. It still amazes me how much power a few words on a page has over human emotions. The characters seemed to come alive from the pages, the "jokes" were clever and well thought-out and the imagery worked as well. There was much between the sentences and I appreciated that. 

I'm glad I finally read this book. If you haven't already, you should read it, too. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine where bloggers post spotlights on upcoming releases that they're eagerly anticipating.

This week, my pick is Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio. Publication Date: March 2012. I know it has already been published and it's not exactly a Young Adult novel, but it caught my attention and here it is.

Goodreads summary: Would you leave everything behind to know who you are?

Sara Beth Riley never dreamt she'd walk straight out of her life. Actually she'd never dreamt a lot of things that had happened this year ... From being kidnapped by her own best friend, to throwing her wedding rings into the Hudson River, to calling an old love in France, to getting inked with said best friend, painting the passionate constellation of these choices into permanence. But mostly, she could never have dreamt what started it all. How could it be that her mother's unexpected death, and the grief which lingered painfully long, turned her into the woman she was finally meant to become?

Sara Beth's escape begins a summer of change - of herself, of marriage, of the lives of those around her. In a story that moves from Manhattan to the sea to a quaint New England town, Whole Latte Life looks at friends we never forget, at decisions we linger with, at our attempts to live the lives we love.

What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Top 10 Hunger Game Gifs

After reading The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and then watching the movie, I still want more! So after looking through the internet I collected my top 10 Hunger Games gifs.

The last one isn't technically a Hunger Games gif, but it's so adorable I had to include it.

Which one's your favorite?











Thursday, March 29, 2012

In My Mailbox #7

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme brought about by The Story Siren. It's a fun way to share what you're reading, reviewing, about to read, etc. All images below are from Goodreads.

On the Bookshelf:

Matila by Roald Dahl (Quentin Blake, illustrator)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Merchant of Death (Pendragon #1)

Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field, Dorothy P. Lathrop (Illustrator)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

What's in your Mailbox?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #10 False Memory by Dan Krokos

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine where bloggers post spotlights on upcoming releases that they're eagerly anticipating.

This week, my pick is False Memory by Dan Krokos. Publication Date: August 14th 2012 by Hyperion.

Goodreads summary: Miranda North wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can't remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter...when there may not be a future.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Where has the time gone?

Time works in mysterious ways. I can't believe it's been more than three weeks since I last made a post! I promise to update at least once a week from now on.

If you're wondering why I've been slacking, this post will help clear up some ambiguity. Drumroll please ...

I got a job! A full-time, 40-hour-a-week job complete with paycheck and great work environment!

Although I'm really excited, it does significantly cut back the amount of time I'll be able to dedicate to reading and blogging, which I'm sure you've already noticed as you scroll through the month of March.

Here's hoping to get back to a decent schedule :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox #6

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme brought about by The Story Siren. It's a fun way to share what you're reading, reviewing, about to read, etc. All images below are from Goodreads.

On the Bookshelf:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Peeled by Joan Bauer

Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

What's in your Mailbox?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #9

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine where bloggers post spotlights on upcoming releases that they're eagerly anticipating.

This week, my pick is The Princess of Iowa by M. Molly Backes. Publication Date: May 8th 2012 by Candlewick.

Goodreads summary: What does it mean to do wrong, when no one punishes you? A smart and unflinching look at friendship, the nature of entitlement, and growing up in the heartland.

Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She's pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash , everything changes. Her best friends start ignoring her, her boyfriend grows cold and distant, and her once-adoring younger sister now views her with contempt. The only bright spot is her creative writing class, led by a charismatic new teacher who encourages students to be true to themselves.

But who is Paige, if not the homecoming princess everyone expects her to be? In this arresting and witty debut, a girl who was once high-school royalty must face a truth that money and status can't fix, and choose between living the privileged life of a princess, or owning up to her mistakes and giving up everything she once held dear.


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