Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Blog Look

So I took a break from NaNo to fool around a bit with my blog look, something I've been meaning to do for a while. One thing I wanted to change was having the white text on the black background, because I thought that might be harder to read. What do you think? Do you prefer the black background? Do you like serif or sans serif fonts when you are reading online? (For your reference, sans serif fonts are the ones that don't use the small lines at the ends of the characters, they just use straight lines, like Arial. Serif fonts have the small lines, like Times New Roman.) Hate the new look completely? *sniff* it's okay, you can tell me...

But really, constructive criticism is welcome! What do you think is most important in a well designed blog?

And to all you NaNo-ers out there--keep up the good work! Only a few days left to go!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update

You know how no matter how nicely you put away those earbud headphones, they still end up completely tangled the next time you take them out? (I blame that on what I call headphone gremlins. Nasty, mischievous creatures.) Well my novel feels like a huge box of hundreds of tangled up headphones. It is messy. It is out of order. It is a messy, out of order, tangled jumble of character development and storyline.

All right, maybe it's not THAT bad. But I am a neat freak and so it is bugging me! But NaNoWriMo is all about pumping out that first draft without worrying about going back to edit, so as much as I want to, I am trying not to look back.

On the upside, since I started late to NaNo, I made a 30,000 word goal for myself, and I am at 26,000 words now, so I've upped my goal to 40,000 by the end of the month. Hurray for getting words down on the page!

How is your NaNo project coming? Fighting off the temptation of going back to edit and organize too? One week of madness left to go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012 Trailer

I am taking a break from furiously working on my NaNo project to bring you this trailer:

Who's excited for the Christmas special and looking forward to meeting the new companion? Who was sad to see Amy and Rory go? I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of Amy at the very beginning, but she grew on me and I absolutely loved Rory. They will be missed. The new companion looks like she's got a lot of spunk, though, and I'm looking forward to how she's connected to the character who died from the first episode of the season.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You blogfest

Today's the Oh, How I Miss You blogfest hosted by Andrew Leon, Matthew Rush, and Alex J. Cavanaugh where we post about the bloggers we really miss and the bloggers we would really miss if they disappeared!

Blogger I miss

Jeremy at Geeky Tendencies is a fellow geeky blogger I miss. I made a lot of friends and found many great blogs when I started blogging, but none were quite as geeky as mine. Then I found Jeremy's blog, and it was a fantastic place of geekiness! Jeremy hasn't been blogging since the summer, though this is understandable since he is dealing with a lot of things including chemotherapy. Miss you, Jeremy!

Bloggers I would miss if they quit

It was hard to pick just three, because I would miss quite a few of you, including some gems I've only just begun to follow.

I have to mention the ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh as he is such a great blogging buddy. He is almost always the first one to comment on my posts, and almost always says something that makes me grin. I don't know how you keep up with everyone, Alex, but I would miss you if you stopped!

Jamie at Mithril Wisdom writes one of my favourite blogs to stop by. Jamie is a fantastic guy who always responds to comments and visits my blog in return. I am constantly inspired by his insightful posts and passion for geek culture!

Oh, there are so many others I would miss (my list of awesome blogs on the side says it all). But lastly I will give a shout out to Tyrean Martinson for being a sweetie and writing such heartfelt posts and comments.

Who would you miss if they stopped blogging?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: A COMING OF AGE

Author: Timothy Zahn
Publisher: Open Road
Pub Date: October 16, 2012 (first published 1984)

The first colonists to reach Tigris thought they had found Eden... but the planet had a horrifying effect on their children. Babies born there developed frightening telekinetic powers at the age of five. No one could control them -- and as the changelings grew and became aware of their abilities they initiated a bloodbath of chaos and violence that nearly destroyed the planet.

Two centuries after the Lost Generation, Tigrins have learned to cope with their strange planet and its effects. But a new threat is rising. In secret a medical researcher is experimenting with the TK ability. His guinea pigs are stolen children; his object, to extend their powers past adolescence and into adulthood. If he succeeds, Tigris faces disintegration.
(Synopsis from Goodreads)

After reading this book, I am adding more Timothy Zahn novels to my to-read pile. The story was not what I was expecting, but it was fantastic. I was expecting a fast-paced action story, and instead I got a thought-provoking detective novel. 

The world building is what makes this story shine. Zahn asks the question "What would happen to our society if children suddenly developed the powers of telekinesis?" His answer: A world dependent on depriving children of knowledge until after their powers disappear at puberty, keeping them in line with a "hive" system where the children mentor each other. This new society also gives reign to adults who kidnap kids from their hives, exploit their abilities through manipulation, and then discard them after the kids reach puberty, leaving them without a home or education.

It is a bit slow moving at first, but picks up as the mystery of a kidnapped boy unravels. The story mainly follows three characters: Lisa, a girl struggling with her upcoming transition to adulthood and loss of her teeking abilities; Tirrell, the detective looking for the kidnapped boy; and Omega, a "prophet" manipulating a large group of children for his own purposes. It is only near the end of the book that we discover how these characters' lives intersect as answers to the mystery are revealed.

A Coming of Age is a fascinating read with a thought-provoking set of events and characters. If sci-fi mixed with a healthy dose of gritty mystery sounds good to you, give this one a go!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Scenes

Well I posted my insecurities about not having time for NaNo and crazy November on Monday (thank you for all your encouraging responses!), but I don't want to skip an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. I am still very behind on NaNo, but I do have some words down. That's still something, right?

Here's my question for you: How important do you think your very first scene is, and how much do you end up re-writing it? I think first scenes are super important, because they will be the first thing the editor, literary agent, or reader sees. It should have some kind of tension, should introduce the characters and plot but not dump tons of info on them.

For interest's sake, here's the first 160 words of my NaNo project. You tell me. Would you keep reading? 

“We’re not supposed to be in here,” Anasta said, glancing around the low-lit storage room that gave off a comforting hum as it was right above the engine room, the heart of the ship.
“I’m telling you, I traced the power glitch to this room,” her brother, Taren, replied, tapping commands into his datapad with one hand while holding it with the other.
“It was just a little glitch,” Anasta persisted. “Harley can fix it tomorrow.”
Taren, his grey eyes the same changing shade as hers fixed on the screen, didn’t appear to be listening to her any more. She sighed. Why did she always let him get her into trouble? On the other hand, he probably could fix it. Possibly without even leaving a digital trail for Harley to find tomorrow so they wouldn’t get in trouble for being in there. Her fifteen-year-old brother knew the Anemo’s systems almost as well as the thirty-year-old techie did.

How is your NaNo or other writing project going? Is your first scene what you hoped it would be?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event!

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Craziness and I'm Thankful for My Readers

I signed up for NaNoWriMo, which may have been a crazy plan because guess how many words I have written? 0 out of 50,000. That is right. I'm afraid to sign in to my profile on the website to see how many words my fantastic blogging buddies have gotten down already.

The reason I haven't written anything is because the beginning of the month was crazy. I moved out of my old apartment and moved in to a new one. I've been going to job interviews, and this weekend I worked 11 hour days at a comic convention. Soooo... do I just give up because it's day 5 already? Heck, no. I am going to start working on it today. I may have to lower my 50,000 word goal to something more manageable, like 30,000, but that's okay.

So if I disappear for most of November from my blog and yours, this November craziness is why, and I apologize for my absence.

How are you NaNoWriMo participants doing? Feel free to gloat about your high word count--I don't mind :) Getting those words down is exciting.

And now... the I’m Thankful for my Readers Blog Hop, hosted by Tara and VikLit.

I've always been thankful for my dad, who has encouraged me in my writing, helped me think through plots, and read first drafts (telling me they were all awesome even if they were crap, of course. haha).

I am thankful for my new CP VikLit! It is great to be kept accountable and have someone encourage me to keep at it!

I am thankful for you blog readers and blogging buddies, who have given amazing support whenever I have posted any of my writing (I haven't posted much, but what I have has been well received).

Thanks all! Enjoy this crazy month.